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What Is an O-Ring Face Seal?

  • February 17, 2021
What is an O-ring face seal?

O-rings are commonly used in many different manufacturing applications. Also known as a toric joint, they consist of a donut-shaped piece of elastomer material. O-rings are designed to seal the surface between two joined parts. Even when exposed to pressure, the parts won’t leak fluids. There are different types of O-rings, however, one of which is a face seal. What is an O-ring face seal exactly?

Overview of O-Ring Face Seals

An O-ring face seal is a mechanical gasket that, like all other O-rings, consists of a donut-shaped piece of elastomer material. With that said, o-ring face seals are distinguished from other types of O-rings by the way in which they seal the surfaces of parts. They are still used to seal the mating surface between two parts. O-ring face seals simply seal in a plane that’s perpendicular to the axis.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a specification for O-ring face seals. The ISO 8343 defines the characteristics for O-ring face seals and how they should be designed. Regardless, all O-ring face seals sit perpendicular to the axis of the parts with which they are used.

How O-Ring Face Seals Work

O-ring face seals work like most other O-rings by creating a fluid- and air-tight connection between the two joined parts. Pipes and passages in machines, for example, often require an O-ring face seal. Manufacturing machines often contain fluids. Some of them contain oil, whereas others contain coolant. As these fluids heat up, they’ll expand while subsequently pressurizing the pipe or passage through which they flow.

When a pipe or passage becomes pressurized, the fluid flowing through it may leak. If a pipe connects to another pipe, for example, the mating surface between them may leak when pressurized. O-ring face seals are designed to protect against leakage such as this. Once installed, it will expand under pressure while sealing the respective mating surface so that fluids can’t leak out of it.

In Conclusion

There are several types of O-rings, one of the most common being face seals. O-ring face seals are defined by the way in which they sit against the joined parts. They are typically used to seal pipes and passages in machines. If fluid flows through a pipe or passage, an O-ring face seal can protect it from leaks. It will rest flat against the mating surface to provide a superior level of protection against leaks.

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