How To Properly and Easily Install O-Rings
You may view an O-ring as a minor detail of your vehicle or appliance. However, these small rubber circles play a crucial role in getting your devices to function effectively; they are the seal between assembled parts, after all.
Improper installation of O-rings could cause engine problems, such as loss of power and failure to keep gas and other liquids in their proper containers. To prevent potential issues from happening, read on to learn how to properly and easily install O-rings.
- Ensure the Correct Size
First, you need to ensure that you are using the correct size. When your O-ring is too big, it will be too loose, and it won’t be able to seal parts together properly. On the other hand, one that is too small will not be able to fit. Avoid forcing an O-ring that is too little on a device, as this can cause the rubber to tear.
To ensure you’re getting the correct size, you can search for an O-ring gland calculator online to compute the appropriate measurement. Though, if you’re still having difficulties determining this on your own, you should consult a professional from a sealant company to help you.
- Consider the Design Application
Aside from the size, you should also consider the design application. This will depend on the O-ring’s inside diameter (I.D.). Make sure to choose an O-ring that has an I.D. that is smaller than the piston groove diameter. This will allow the O-ring to be stretched perfectly and fit securely in the groove when being installed.
You can look up and use the O-ring I.D. formula to ensure that yours has the right amount of stretch. The stretch should be between 1-5%; anything over that is considered too much. However, if you don’t want to go through all this trouble, you could always verify the percentage by asking an expert from a sealant company.
- Use the Right Type of Lubricant
When installing your O-ring, make sure to use a thin amount of lubricant. This will help the O-ring slide on easier and more smoothly and prevent any breaks and twists in the rubber.
Different types of lubricant formulations exist, so make sure you choose the right one.
You need to pick one that’s compatible based on the following factors:
- Temperature – Your lubricant should be able to function at the temperature range of your application.
- Chemical Compatibility – It should also be compatible with your sealing material. If your chosen lubricant doesn’t work well with the material, this can swell the rubber, making it harder for you to install the O-ring.
- Stability – Another factor to consider is how your lubricant interacts with friction, and it should be stable, meaning it shouldn’t get harder or softer when in use.
- Regulatory Use – Lastly, make sure that the product you’re using is legit and adequately regulated. This is just to be sure that your lubricant of choice is safe to use.
- Slide It On
Next, slide your O-ring instead of rolling it on. Doing the latter can cause issues such as spiraling. When an O-ring has spiraled, it can result in performance issues and leakages. Following the previous tips, lubricant can help you slide the O-ring.
- Avoid Overstretching
Another helpful tip on installing an O-ring is to make sure not to overstretch it. Pulling the rubber too much can make it break. Generally, the less you stretch your O-ring, the stronger your final seal will be.
- Conceal Sharp Edges and Threads
Lastly, avoid sharp edges and threads when sliding on the O-ring. You can cover these up with masking tape before installation for a smoother application. Forcing your O-ring over harsh corners can cause minor tears; even tiny issues like these can cause leakages and other problems later on.
Contact a Sealant Company for Your O-Ring Inquiries
By following these tips, you will definitely have an easier time installing your O-rings. However, if you still have any inquiries, especially when choosing the right size or lubricant, you can contact experts from a sealant company to help you.