5 Surprising Uses for O-Rings in Different Industries

Rubber o-ring seals are part of most mechanical systems and required across a variety of industries, from engineering to automotive to industrial applications and more. As a crucial component of many precision engineered devices, they block paths where gas or liquids could escape, and are made primarily of elastomers designed to withstand varying temperatures and potentially corrosive chemicals.

However, there are some surprising uses for o-rings, prompting suppliers to maintain a large inventory of them to meet B2B supply chain demands. Let’s take a look at a few.

Dental Implants

O-rings are used in many of the medical devices and machines present in dental offices, but they are also used in dental implants such as overdentures. An overdenture is similar to a denture. The difference is that an overdenture is secured by screwing it over titanium with ball attachments. Specifically, the implant uses silicone o-rings to ensure that liquid doesn’t reach inside the implant and cause infection.

Aircraft Engines

When an engineer is building an aircraft engine, Fluorocarbon o-ring seals are perfect for high-temperature, low-compression situations that include chemical exposure. Since airplane engines are exposed to multiple factors such as ozone, high-octane fuels and solvents, the unique properties of Fluorocarbon offers superior performance under extreme temperatures and compression.

Since a poorly built aircraft engine runs the risk of causing dangerous situations, especially while in mid-air, the companies building them focus on purchasing the highest quality o-rings available. In most situations, a faulty o-ring could result in downtime or extra repairs. In the case of aircraft engines, it’s a component that could mean the difference between safety or danger for an aircraft’s passengers.

Tattoo Guns

If there’s one thing you don’t want happening while getting a tattoo, it’s for the gun used to rattle excessively, causing the artist to draw unsteady lines. That’s where o-rings come in for the tattoo industry.

The tattoo gun is fitted with an o-ring to minimize vibration, which makes it easier for the artist to draw smoother, straighter lines. This simple o-ring application is a necessary part of the tattoo gun and a small piece of the machinery that makes a significant difference in its operation.

Scuba Gear

It is standard practice for any conscientious scuba diver to check the o-rings in their gear. In many cases, particularly if the gear is rented, the o-ring is replaced often to ensure that potential damage from salt water, UV rays and ozone doesn’t turn a fun scuba diving adventure into a dangerous one.

Paintball Guns and Kits

Paintball guns come with o-rings to seal off spaces where liquid or airflow could cause faulty operation. In many situations, paintball enthusiasts will carry extra o-rings with them to ensure that the game isn’t over too early due to a damaged o-ring. The o-ring seals are so important in this application that it is common practice to examine the integrity or the o-ring when cleaning a paintball gun after each use.

The Many Uses of O-Rings

It’s hard to believe that something as small and simple as an o-ring can be so necessary across a variety of industries and applications. Due to the expansive use of o-rings in so many types of machinery, it’s no wonder that the best o-ring suppliers maintain a large inventory to meet the needs of their B2B customers looking for a specific o-ring for a specific job.