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Understanding O-Rings

Most mechanical systems within the machine tool industry require seals. The O-Ring is one of the simplest, most common types of seal for a wide range of static and dynamic applications. Patented in 1896 by machinist Neils Chstiensen, the o-ring has played an important part in the machine tool industry over and over again.

O-Rings are produced using a variety of manufacturing techniques like extrusion, compression molding, injection molding, transfer molding or machining. Depending on the application, they can be made from a plethora of materials: Viton, nitrile rubber, silicone, polyurethane, neoprene, fluorocarbon as well as other elastomers.

O-Ring design considers quality, quantity, cost, application temperature, sealing pressure, chemical compatibility, movement, action, lubrication, and other requirements.

When finding the ring for your application, it is important to get the exact size, make and functionality. Your application can come to a halt or break if the incorrect ring is used. An example of an o-ring not being correctly used is the very unfortunate 1986 Challenger space shuttle launch. Field joints containing rubber o-rings were not properly tested for extreme cold temperatures which caused the ring to become stiff and not fully seal. To avoid such disasters, All World Machinery offers thousands of rings in a variety of sizes and materials to help you fully operate at maximum compacity.

Two common types of rings All World Machinery supplies include Buna-N and Viton o-rings.


Viton O-rings are used in areas where high temperatures and chemicals play an extreme role. They provide excellent resistance to oxygen, mineral oil, gaskets, synthetic fluid, and many organic chemicals.


Buna O-rings are commonly used with gasoline, crude oil, propane, petroleum oils, and water. Seals made with this material are usually found in gearboxes, pumps, shafts, and engines. These O-Rings often serve as a packing or toric joint, which is simply a mechanical gasket creating a seal at the interface.

Whether you’re looking for Japanese Standard (JIS), American Standard (AS568), one or 1 thousand o-rings, All World Machinery has you covered!


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