An Introduction to PTFE O-Rings and How They Work

O-ring seals by Monroe

O-rings are one of the most common types of mechanical seals on the market. Like all mechanical seals, they are used to seal passages and protect against leaks. O-rings, however, are available in different materials, including polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 

What Are PTFE O-Rings?

PTFE O-rings are ring-shaped mechanical seals made of PTFE material. PTFE is available in the following grades: FEP and PFA. PTFE is a polymer of tetrafluoroethylene. It consists of carbon or fluorine. Jargon aside, PTFE is a synthetic material that’s used to make PTFE O-rings.

You can find PTFE O-rings in different sizes. They are all ring-shaped, but some of them are bigger than others. The size, of course, will determine the parts with which a PTFE O-ring can be used.

How PTFE O-Rings Work

PTFE O-rings work like most other O-rings by sealing the mating surface where two parts meet. They are commonly used around hoses, pipes and other fluid-carrying passages. With their ring-shaped design, O-rings can easily slip over cylindrical passages such as these.

Many hoses and pipes even feature a groove at the end that’s designed specifically for O-rings. The groove will help to secure an O-ring in place. Even as the passage becomes pressurized with heated gas or liquid, it won’t leak. The O-ring will expand while subsequently preventing gas or liquid from leaking out of the passage.

Benefits of PTFE O-Rings

While most O-rings can withstand at least some heat, PTFE O-rings offer excellent heat resistance. They can typically handle temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit without any loss of performance.

PTFE O-rings also generate very little friction. PTFE is a soft and elastic material. You can use it around hoses and pipes without fear of it damaging them. PTFE is prized for its low-friction properties. As a result, PTFE O-rings won’t damage hoses and pipes.

For low-pressure and medium-pressure sealing applications, look no further than PTFE O-rings. PTFE O-rings are ideal for nearly all low-pressure and medium-pressure sealing applications. Pressure, of course, increases as gas or liquid heats up. The warmer the gas or liquid inside of a passage becomes, the more pressure it will generate. PTFE O-rings can handle low and medium pressure without leaking.

In Conclusion

PTFE O-rings are mechanical seals made of PTFE. They are soft and elastic, yet they are also durable and heat-resistant. If you’re looking for O-rings to use in a low-pressure or medium-pressure application, you can’t go wrong with PTFE.

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