When you think about aspects of your life that have a considerable influence, you probably tend to think about the big picture. But it’s often the smaller, more intricate pieces that work behind the scenes to make up the much larger scenarios people fixate on.
The o-ring is an excellent example of a more intricate piece that can shift your day in a flash if you aren’t using high-quality materials. These seals are constantly used in manufacturing, restaurants and the medical field to ensure that equipment gets the job done. Oftentimes, an o-ring’s job is essential to the successful operation of the machine or appliance that it seals.
Let’s take a closer look at these unsung heroes.
The Importance of the O-Ring
O-rings are considered self-energized gaskets or seals with a round cross-section. They are used to prevent leaks of either gasses or fluids in all kinds of machinery or products. They are deceptively simple and inexpensive to produce, but we use them in some of the most intricate machinations, such as automobiles, airplanes and even rockets. They also come in many different sizes to fit the individual needs of the equipment they’re sealing.
How does that relate to your day-to-day life? Some of the more typical types of, and uses for, o-rings you might not have realized include:
This type of o-ring is commonly used for air conditioning systems, as it’s suitable for sealing in refrigerants and is no stranger to those in the HVAC industry. If you end up waking up to a scorching hot day, a neoprene o-ring can ensure that your A/C is working correctly to keep you nice and cool.
Silicone o-rings perform well with steam or water and can withstand incredibly high and low temperatures. A perhaps less-common application is in scuba gear, but it’s an incredibly important one, as it keeps the oxygen tanks sealed. If you’re working with water at any point in your day, you can thank a silicone o-ring for a leak-free life.
– Ethylene Propylene (EPDM)
This o-ring is perfect for medical, science, and food and beverage applications due to its ability to create a reliable watertight seal. Think about all of the times you head to a refrigerator or to your sink to fill up your water bottle. With these sorts of applications, it’s easy to see why EPDM o-rings are the homeowner’s gasket.
An Unexpected Upgrade
Just as cells and DNA come together to make up our bodies, o-rings and gaskets help make up the big picture of our machines, our equipment and our lives. Purchasing high-quality gaskets for your home or business ensures that you’ll continue to enjoy your day uninterrupted by the forces of an improperly sealed machine.
With the low-cost and high-reward purchase of an o-ring, you can keep your equipment from running into long-term issues. So no matter where your life might take you, you can focus on the big picture, knowing that the small but mighty bits are working hard to keep you on track.