The Advantages and Disadvantages of PTFE O-Rings

While most common O-Ring supplies are rubber or elastomeric compounds, sure operating conditions and hardware configurations merit the use of PTFE because the material.

PTFE gives many distinct advantages over elastomers. These advantages include corrosion resistance, huge temperature range capabilities, excellent electrical properties and an virtually unlimited shelf life, to name a few.

But some considerations should be taken under consideration earlier than making the switch to a PTFE O-Ring.

While PTFE gives some distinct advantages over elastomers, it also has some draw-backs that may negatively affect seal performance.

Eclipse presents totally customized PTFE O-Ring sizes out of our full range of PTFE blends that may help boost performance and longevity to your seals. However in some cases, an Eclipse Spring Energized seal is likely to be the best choice for optimal sealing performance.

Right here’s the way to determine whether a PTFE O-Ring or Spring Energized seal is the most effective to your application.

Advantages of PTFE O-Rings

Chemical compatibly is usually one of many first things checked when specifying an O-Ring material.

Corrosion resistance

Media that isn’t compatible with typical rubber compounds, or caustic or corrosive chemicals can make PTFE the only option of material.

PTFE is impervious to nearly all industrial chemical substances, making it one of the vital corrosion resistant supplies available all through all industries. And it the integrity of rubber compounds is being compromised by chemical attack, then PTFE might do the trick.

Long shelf-life

Applications requiring long-life or prolonged service intervals in corrosive environments may additionally merit using PTFE.

While some elastomers may survive for the brief time period or in intermittent exposure, degradation over time might end in problems years down the road, whereas PTFE’s resistance properties will stay indefinitely.

Vast temperature range capabilities

PTFE’s temperature range capability of -325°F to +500°F is also well past the range of most elastomers.

Applications in cryogenics or high temperature situations akin to ovens or combustion processes may also rule out any elastomer compound, again making PTFE the very best choice.

Extraordinarily low temperatures will cause most rubber compounds to harden to the point the place any elastomeric properties are no longer current in the material. This mixed with contraction of the material can mean it will now not operate effectively as a seal.

PTFE, on the other hand, retains flexural and pliability properties even at cryogenic temperatures.

Additional Benefits to PTFE O-Rings

PTFE has some additional advantages over rubber compounds as well:

Unlimited Shelf Life: PTFE doesn’t degrade with age and is unaffected by UV light, so age management is just not typically obligatory

PTFE doesn’t swell on account of moisture absorption

PTFE will not be susceptible to explosive decompression

Virgin PTFE is FDA Compliant

PTFE has excellent electrical properties akin to dielectric energy and electrical resistance

The Disadvantages of PTFE O-Rings

While chemical attack or extreme temperature may not depart any choice besides PTFE, there are some disadvantages to the material that would have an effect on your project.

Higher hardness

Virgin PTFE’s hardness is fifty five Shore D, which is much harder than a typical Nitrile O-Ring at 70 Shore A, which is a softer scale.

The higher hardness negatively impacts sealability, as the material doesn’t conform the mating hardware surfaces as easily.

Leakage rate

While rubber O-Rings might conform to “as machined” surfaces, PTFE may require submit-process surface finish improvements to control leakage to acceptable levels.

On the whole, under regular conditions, the leakage rate for a PTFE O-Ring will be higher than any elastomeric compound.

Using a PTFE O-Ring isn’t advisable for applications that don’t require extreme temperature or extreme chemical conditions.


PTFE’s nature as an inelastic materials means that reuse or multiple installations of the same seal will not be possible.

Unlike rubber compounds, PTFE will not return to it’s authentic shape and cross-part as soon as deformed throughout installation and use. Meaning PTFE O-Rings are typically only advisable for static face seal or flange type configurations that aren’t actively engaged and disengaged.

For instance, a PTFE O-Ring wouldn’t be really helpful for a chamber door seal that must be opened and closed ceaselessly, because the O-Ring would likely have to get replaced after every use.

A reused PTFE O-Ring may look and perform equally to a standard rubber O-Ring affected by extreme compression set. But unlike rubber, this compression set happens after only one use.

More usually, PTFE O-Rings are found in flange gasket type applications the place the seal will remain static and undisturbed until the following service interval.

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