Carefully and properly selected storage conditions of o-rings are of great importance in preventing the action of harmful factors that can negatively affect their physical properties.
What should I pay attention to when storing orings?
The storage room should have a temperature below +25°C (preferably below +15°C). Storing rubber seals at a higher temperature significantly reduces their useful life. During the heating season, the temperature should be adjusted in the warehouse in such a way that it does not exceed +25° C, so that the orings will maintain their service life. They should also not be stored near a heat source. The storage of rubber products at low temperatures usually does not have a harmful effect on them. Some products may become stiffened, so to prevent deformation or damage, care should be taken to ensure that the product reaches +30°C before installation.
Care must be taken to ensure that the room is optimally humidity. Too high humidity causes condensation to form on the orings, which has a detrimental effect on them. This can cause mi.n. softening or cracking of orings. In order to eliminate the risk of condensation, the relative humidity at the place of storage should be less than 70 % (or less than 65 % if polyurethanes are also stored in storage).
Oxygen and ozone
Rubber products should be protected from ozone-producing devices that are harmful to them. In order to protect against adverse effects of ozone, orings should also be stored away from electrical equipment which may additionally produce electrical discharges. Due to the possible increase in ozone levels in the photochemical process, the presence of exhaust gases at the o-ring storage site is also not indicated. Vulcanized rubber products must be protected from airflow. For this purpose, orings should be stored in tightly closed containers.
It is very important to protect vulcanised rubber products from direct exposure and reflection of sunlight and artificial light emitting ultraviolet radiation. Both the action of sunlight and artificial light affects the degradation of o-rings. It is recommended to store rubber products in non-transparent containers or to lock windows with special screens in red or orange.
Vulcanised rubber products must be protected against the source of ionising radiation.
In order to maintain the best quality of the product, store it in such a way that it does not deform due to compression or stretching. Rubber products which are not subjected to permanent tensile stresses should be stored in the original packaging. Storage of o-rings in a natural form prevents the occurrence of a permanent change in its shape and form. Instead of hanging orings, it’s a good idea to lay them flat, which will also protect them from stress and minimize the risk of deformation. In order to avoid folding or twisting, it is recommended that gaskets with a large inner diameter are stacked on top of each other to form three equal loops.
Even short-term contact of rubber products with solutions, solids, solvents, oils, lubricants. corrosive fluids may adversely affect their service life.
Contact with metals
Manganese, iron, copper or copper alloys show great harm to vulcanized rubber products. In order to protect the seals from the harmful effects of metals, they should be stored separately and additionally protected with a layer of paper or polyethylene.
Contact with liquid and semi-liquid material
Contact with liquid and semi-liquid materials (in particular solvents) should be avoided unless they are part of the product and are packed in the original packaging of the manufacturer.
Contact with dust powder
Nesting insects or worms can adversely affect the properties of rubber. Dusting powder should contain only those components that do not have a negative effect on the properties of the rubber.
Contact with other products
Orings made of different types of materials should be stored separately. This also applies to rubber products, which differ only in color.
Products with metal parts should not come into contact with other rubber products. It is recommended that the preservative used in the metal does not adversely affect the rubber or cause the connection to be weakened.
Adherence to strict inventory rotation affects the short storage of products in the store, their efficient use and access to rubber products from the latest production.
Containers and packaging intended for the storage of o-rings should not be made of materials that may weaken the rubber or adversely affect its properties. Packages should not contain m.in. softeners, copper naphthane, creosote, etc.
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How do I clean stored orings?
The best cleaning agent for careful and thorough cleaning of rubber products is soapy water. The most harmful are any products containing abrasives, organic solvents (i.e. carbon chloride, hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene). All purified products should be dried at room temperature. Drying in the sun is prohibited.
Recycling and disposal
Used orings must be transferred to a special rubber disposal plant where they will be burned. It is forbidden to remove rubber products in a way that may adversely affect nature. Please refer to the general principles of waste management rules.