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What are silicone O-rings for and where to buy them?

From among dozens of types of sealing materials, it is difficult to choose the one that perfectly fits our expectations. Therefore, in this constantly growing market, it is worth paying attention to silicone O-rings. These flexible gaskets are a good alternative to many other specifics. Their circular cross-section opens up a multitude of possible uses, so that they are not a tool “just for one task”. Due to their multi-functionality, each tool box should contain at least several sizes and types of O-rings. However, before we move on to what makes them stand out from the rest, and why it is such a good investment – let’s start with what silicone o-rings are.

What are silicone O-rings and what distinguishes them?

Briefly, these are circles, mainly used for static sealing. They are highly resistant to high temperatures. Among other O-rings, they stand out with a large amplitude of strength, because they are equally effective at -60o and + 200o. Therefore, when using them for insulation, you can be sure that they are not in danger of freezing or melting for natural reasons. Due to their structure, vmq silicone O-rings are resistant to hot air, ozone and UV radiation, while maintaining their flexibility.

Other rings used for sealing have a temperature resistance in the range of -20 o to +190 o, which means that too low or too high temperatures could significantly affect the effectiveness and flexibility of the structure. Although all rings have the same function, silicone O-rings, due to their good resistance to high temperatures, are most often used in situations where the installation is exposed to hot air, ozone or saline solutions.

Silicone o-rings – advantages and disadvantages

Among all O-rings, it is silicone O-rings that stand out due to the enormity of unique features and applications. One of these features is very good electrical insulation, which is due to their structure and chemical compounds contained in silicone. Silicone o-rings are often used in the medical and food industry due to the lack of taste and odor and the purity of the material that distinguishes them from other o-rings. They can be used in many other cases and industries as their good high temperature resistance, ozone integrity and hot air strength – are assets that allow you to use them for virtually any static insulation.

Like all rings, silicone O-rings also have limitations. One of their disadvantages is that they do not have high strength, due to prolonged abrasion, the condition can deteriorate significantly. Therefore, they should not be used in dynamic seals. For the same reason, you cannot use them where the gas concentration is high, as their resistance will gradually decrease, which will lead to gas leakage. Silicone o-rings should not be used in the company of steam, because their resistance in these conditions will not be as high as in other cases.

Types of O-rings

There are several different O-rings on the market, depending on their specifications and applications. Among them, we can distinguish NBR o-rings, which work well with industrial acids, oils and alkaline solutions, but do not have good ozone resistance. They also have a much lower resistance to high temperatures than silicone o-rings, because their strength range is between -30o and + 90o. Another type of O-rings are EPDM O-rings, which, unlike silicone O-rings, show high resistance to water vapor, inorganic and short-chain acids and ozone, and they can stand the test of time well – which does not affect their flexibility. FKM or FKP rings, colloquially called “oil-resistant”, are used for all kinds of lubricants, oils and hydraulic fluids, as well as ozone. Their resistance to high temperatures is similar to that of silicone o-rings, as it reaches up to 210o.

As you can see, silicone O-rings are the most universal because their flexibility, good resistance to hot air and resistance to high temperatures – distinguish them from other O-rings. While EPDM and FKM o-rings are also ozone-resistant, the silicone ones also cope well with the influence of oxygen and UV rays. Used for static seals that are exposed to high temperatures but are free from acids or gases. Silicone O-rings are a good investment and the best decision in choosing the right O-rings.

Where can you buy silicone O-rings?

If you want to equip yourself with good-quality silicone O-rings, you should choose a store where various dimensions are available, a reasonable price, a sufficient quantity and a delivery that will not take several days. Most stores sell online where shipping your order is absolutely no problem. However, if we do not want to use the store’s website and want to start working the same day – instead of adding them to the virtual basket, it is worth checking where we can buy silicone o-rings in stationary. The store in Warsaw will be perfect for customers living in the capital, and those who cannot visit it directly – it will surely delight with a rich assortment and a wide online offer.

For years, our store has been supplying silicone O-rings to Pruszków, Ochota, and other districts in Warsaw. Therefore, if you are looking for seals that can be used at high temperature ranges – do not hesitate and see our offer today!

Sealing in devices

It is known that most mechanical devices contain components that absolutely need additional sealing. Regardless of the reason for this, it is necessary to obtain the appropriate silicone o-rings. Of course, a silicone seal does not seem to be the only necessary solution, but for sure it will be the best solution. Correct sealing is a necessary element of each device – only the appropriate silicone O-rings can provide us with certainty that the use of the equipment will be associated with maximum safety. Although these elements are so small, their characteristics make it difficult to talk about good working conditions and work safety without them. The most common rubber (or at least silicone O-rings) protections are an ideal insulating material with a round cross-section. High flexibility allows you to fit almost any device, and high durability will ensure the safe use of the machine. This principle of O-ring operation is invaluable and you should not save on this type of shopping. This is due to the fact that along with the failure of the cheapest types of seals, further damage to the machine occurs. Therefore, it is worth investing in this seemingly small purchase.

How does the O-ring work?

We know the technical issues associated with different types of O-rings. Silicone O-rings, i.e. torus-shaped gaskets, are vulcanized in various sizes, whatever we like. The inner cord ranges from 35 hundredths of a millimeter up to 12 millimeters. The silicone O-rings are self-acting and at the same time double-sided sealing elements. The initial clamp they cause acts radially or axially and thus ensures complete tightness in the absence of pressure. As a result of the pressure, the different forces from the pre-clamping and the pressure overlap – this allows a total sealing force to develop, which increases with increasing pressure. It is the high pressure that makes the silicone O-rings appear to have properties similar to those of liquids with extremely high surface tension. In turn, this tension allows the pressure to spread evenly in all directions. Were it not for this particular property of silicone o-rings, the sealing material would quickly yield to the pressure of the machine and lead to the leakage of the entire device. As a result, it would be easy to damage the device.

More about VMQ

These special silicone O-rings provide an excellent seal in those places where very high temperatures are involved in static use. Remarkable flexibility is not the only feature that makes silicone o-rings so appreciated by users. In addition, it is worth adding fatigue resistance – a feature that ensures the durability of the entire machine – after all, the faster the material gets tired, the sooner the situation threatening the good and safe operation of the machine will occur. The silicone protection is also characterized by high resistance. They are primarily resistant to hot air, but not only. Working ozone and UV radiation are a problem with most security features in machinery around the world. That is why silicone o-rings are more and more often used, which have proven their resistance long ago and are still doing it. However, resistance to high temperatures alone is not enough. The trick is that silicone materials can withstand the presence of extreme temperatures to a much better or even better degree. The features listed here are only a part of what makes the silicone o-rings made of VMQ appreciated all over the world.

Type O-rings extend the limitations that the regular silicone versions had. In the VMQ edition, they are an extremely hygienic seal, and they are also used in the medical and food industry. The valuable thing is that they do not alter the smell and taste in the environment in which they are used so often.

What do the colors of the O-rings mean?

Colorful silicone O-rings, and not only, are due to the latest achievements in technological development and a very clever use of the newly acquired knowledge. It is thanks to this technology that it is possible to produce O-rings in any color, although world standards have created certain divisions.

So what are the colors of the O-rings? Here they are and their application:

  • Black O-rings – have a natural color that was originally known to all manufacturers of these gaskets. In this color you can find, among others gaskets made of the cheapest (and therefore the most popular) material, i.e. NBR. Rubber-type rings, which are a mixture of FKM / FPM / Viton, also come in the well-known black color. Where else is such a bardwa used? In cooling systems, where those used from Neoprene are used – a material resistant to oils, UV rays, ozone, etc.). The case of some of the best O-rings is no different. The silicone o-rings in the form of VMQ are also black in color. EPDM, i.e. a mixture of ethyne-propulene-diene rubber, is also the basis for black O-rings. Their use is advisable when there is a risk of exposure to solar radiation.
  • Red O-rings – in this color we can mainly meet silicone ones, whose red, clear color stands out from the others.
  • Ceglaste O-rings – in this type, silicone O-rings made of VMQ are created in the characteristic O-section. It is precisely these O-rings, the color of which is typically brick-red, that can be FDA certified. What does it mean? Simply that they can be used in the food industry, with machines that come into direct contact with food production and processing.
  • Green O-rings – this color of hope is encountered when using EPDM material, i.e. the material recommended for contact with water. Other materials that can be used to create a green variety of O-rings are FKM and Viton. Gaskets made of HNBR are also produced in green – they ensure high resistance to oils and abrasion, so they will prove themselves where there is frequent disassembly of machines and their parts.
  • White O-rings – this innocent color is identical to the type of PTFE, an extremely hard product made of Teflon. They can be manufactured in other colors – such as VMQ and MVQ rings, which does not change their properties by itself.
  • Silver seals – this type of seals is usually made of a fluorine mixture. Yes, these are the already mentioned FKM, FPM or Viton.
  • Blue O-rings – silicone gaskets are most often produced in this color. Optionally, an FKM blend can also be used, which will still be superior to basic NBR O-rings. The latter are characterized by lower chemical resistance and a lower temperature range.
  • Brown seals – this characteristic color can be found on NBR, which is synthetic rubber, and in OP rings made of Viton.
  • Graphite O-rings – has a circular cross-section and are usually made of FFKM. They are intended mainly for the space industry. In the case of brown O-rings made of FPM, it is recommended to use them in contact with mineral oils.
  • Orange O-rings – silicone o-rings are made of them, also such as VMQ or MVQ.
  • Transparent O-rings – these transparent seals are made of silicone. This material is so unique that it can be used to make gaskets that are not completely transparent to the human eye.
  • Yellow O-rings – they are usually made of silicone, although PTFE material may become the basis for these gaskets. This color is also used by EPDM, i.e. seals used in steam wheels, as well as compressors and where there is contact with ozone.
  • Violet o-rings – are made of EPDM and MVQ. Where will they find their application? Especially where liquid is applied. The odorless smell of the silicone variety makes the food line especially pleased with these O-rings.
  • Milk O-rings – the milky color of O-rings is quite common, but has two different variants of their use. First, it is used where there is contact with food. Then the milk color becomes the silicone mixture, i.e. rubber compound with the symbols VMQ or MVQ. In this variant, it is also used to seal places with very high temperature, up to 260 degrees Celsius. Varieties that accept even higher temperatures can withstand up to 300 degrees Celsius. Secondly, the milk color is used in technologically advanced places – there the FFKM mixture will be used.
  • Body O-rings – this color means mixtures for special tasks, incl. FFKM. It is dedicated to use in the pharmaceutical industry, as these O-rings are highly resistant to aggressive chemicals – this also translates into an extremely aggressive price.
  • Gray O-rings – in Poland, the gray color is assigned to OP rings and is most often found in FKM and FPM mixtures, so it is used in contact with mineral and synthetic oils. This color of seals is also present in mixtures of acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber, i.e. NBR.

Each color of the O-ring has its own meaning. Among the colors mentioned, a lot applies to silicone o-rings, clearly showing that this material has a multitude of applications, which can be seen, among others, on brick and milk O-rings.

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