Don't take your O-rings for granted!

Posted on 6/18/2018 by SuperUser Account

Anytime you change your hose assemblies, make sure you change your O-rings, too.

O-rings used in fluid conveyanceO-rings are crucial to the performance of your fittings, yet for most people, they're somewhat of an afterthought. The fact is, any time you do any work on your hose assemblies whether you're replacing them or not, or repairing or replacing any other hydraulic component using O-rings, it makes sense to change out the O-rings before re-assembling.

The slightest nick or tear to the O-ring could potentially be responsible for causing leaks, damage to equipment or possibly lead to catastrophic hydraulic system failure. Comparing the small cost for replacement versus the potential cost for damage done and wasted man-hours/downtime lost, it simply doesn't make sense to continue to try and reuse the same O-ring on your adapters and/or hose ends.

It doesn't really matter what type of O-ring you're using, either. There are a variety of materials, ranging from Polyurethane or Styrene Butadiene which typically have a very short shelf-life to longer-lasting materials like silicone or fluoroelastomer (Viton™) or Buna-N (Nitrile) that have a virtually unlimited shelf-life. The problem is, once they're put into use, one material is as likely as the other to be inadvertently torn or damaged whenever repair work is being done.

There are a variety of fittings, adapters and hose ends where you should simply make it standard operating procedure that any time the seal is re-opened, that before it's closed again a new O-ring has been included.

Split flange, O-ring boss, flat face seals and German metric globe seal are four applications to make sure you change the O-ring whenever any type of work is being performed on them. Always lightly coat the O-ring with a compatible lubricant prior to re-assembly.

Look at it this way - you can pay a few extra cents by changing out those O-rings every time or face a major breakdown later that could lead to costly equipment downtime, possible catastrophic equipment failure and potential jobsite injuries. O-ring replacement is cheap insurance.

Just remember, if the O-ring fails, it means your entire hydraulic system may be next. And that's a breakdown that is simple to avoid.  

If you'd like an analysis of your O-ring usage, the experts at Milpaws can certainly help. We have a wide variety of O-ring and seal options available, along with custom stocked O-ring replacement kits and can advise you on the solution that works best for you.  We stock most sizes of materials and styles, including:

  • Buna O-Rings
  • Viton™ O-Rings
  • Split Flange O-Rings
  • Metric Bonded Seals
  • British Bonded Seals
  • Flare-O Buna-N O-Rings
  • Flare-O Viton™ O-Rings
  • Face Seal Buna O-Rings
  • Face Seal Viton™ O-Rings
  • Conical Seals
  • CAT Flange O-rings

Call Milpaws today at 314-503-5502