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Benefits and Limitations of Encapsulated O-rings

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


PTFE Encapsulated O-rings

Encapsulated O-rings are a type of sealing solution that consists of an O-ring that is completely encapsulated in a polymer or elastomer material. The most common type of encapsulated O-ring includes an elastomeric or metal energizer core that is fully encapsulated by a Teflon FEP or PFA jacket. This encapsulation provides an additional layer of protection to the O-ring, enhancing its resistance to wear, tear, and chemical exposure. In this blog, we will explore the benefits and applications of encapsulated O-rings.


Benefits of Encapsulated O-rings


Encapsulated O-rings offer several benefits over traditional O-rings, including:


  1. Enhanced Wear Resistance: The encapsulation provides an additional layer of protection, which enhances the O-ring's wear resistance, prolonging its life and reducing the need for frequent replacements. However, encapsulated O-rings are not recommended for intense dynamic applications or abrasive media applications.

  2. Improved Chemical Resistance: The encapsulation also protects the O-ring from exposure to chemicals, making it ideal for use in harsh chemical environments.

  3. Reduced Friction: The encapsulation can also reduce friction between the O-ring and the mating surfaces, reducing wear and tear and enhancing the O-ring's sealing capabilities.

  4. Compliance: Many encapsulated O-rings can be produced to be FDA compliant. USP Class VI blends exist as well.



Encapsulated O-rings


Limitations of Encapsulated O-rings


Like any type of technology, encapsulated o-rings also have their limitations. Some of these limitations include:


  1. Temperature limitations: Encapsulated o-rings have a limited temperature range within which they can operate effectively. Encapsulated O-rings are an assembly of two components: a jacket and a core. This means that the high and low temperature ratings of a specific combination of these components is limited by the least capable of the two materials. If exposed to temperatures outside of this range, the o-ring or jacket may experience thermal degradation, leading to cracking or other types of damage. If you would like to learn more about the temperature ranges of these different combinations, see our encapsulated O-rings page!

  2. Chemical compatibility: While the Teflon exterior of an encapsulated O-ring may have extreme chemical resistance, its elastomeric core may not. If the encapsulation were to crack, it’s possible for the elastomeric core to be exposed to chemicals that could cause degradation and potentially sealing failure. It is important to consider the chemical compatibility of the o-ring material when selecting an encapsulated o-ring for a specific application.

  3. Pressure limitations: Encapsulated o-rings have a limited pressure range within which they can operate effectively. If exposed to high pressures, the o-ring may become deformed, leading to leaks or other types of damage.

  4. Size limitations: Encapsulated o-rings are available in a range of sizes, but there may be limitations in terms of the size that is available for a specific application. This can limit the types of equipment or systems that can be sealed using an encapsulated o-ring. If you would like to see if a specific size is available, see our request a quote page.

  5. Cost: Encapsulated o-rings can be more expensive than other types of o-rings, which may limit their use in certain applications.

  6. Installation limitations: Encapsulated o-rings may require specialized equipment or tools for installation, which can limit their use in certain applications where such equipment or tools are not available.


Applications of Encapsulated O-rings


Encapsulated O-rings are used in various applications across different industries, including:


  1. Aerospace Industry: Encapsulated O-rings are used in the aerospace industry for sealing various components, including fuel lines, hydraulic systems, and landing gear.

  2. Automotive Industry: Encapsulated O-rings are used in the automotive industry for sealing various components, including fuel systems, transmissions, and brake systems.

  3. Chemical Industry: Encapsulated O-rings are used in the chemical industry for sealing various components, including pumps, valves, and reactors.

  4. Food and Beverage Industry: Encapsulated O-rings are used in the food and beverage industry for sealing various components, including processing equipment, that require high levels of cleanliness and hygiene.


Conclusion


Encapsulated O-rings offer numerous benefits over traditional O-rings, including enhanced wear resistance, improved chemical resistance, and reduced friction. They are widely used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, chemical, and food and beverage industries, for sealing various components that require high-performance sealing solutions. If you require a sealing solution that offers superior performance, encapsulated O-rings may be the right choice for your application.


Where can I get Encapsulated O-rings?


With the request a quote page, you can get directly in contact with our team of specialists who will help get you the parts you need.





Sources:


[1] Research, S. (2020, July 9). Encapsulated O-rings Market Size to Reach US$ 144.6 Million in 2025, Says Stratview Research. www.prnewswire.com. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/encapsulated-o-rings-market-size-to-reach-us-144-6-million-in-2025--says-stratview-research-301090801.html#:~:text=Encapsulated%20O,pharmaceutical%2C%20petrochemical%2C%20semiconductor%2C%20automotive%2C%20aerospace

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