A Study of the Effect of Elastomeric Seals Exposed to Ozone
By Katrin Wallheinke, PhD, Wolfgang Paul, Jeffrey Sixsmith, Casey Williamson and Marty Burkhart
When considering an elastomeric seal, there is a list of process capability parameters surrounding the proper selection. Included are composition, sizing, expansion/contraction under use, elongation, chemical and thermal resistance, Shore Hardness and compression set, just to name a few. However, when looking at the big picture of a liquid distribution system, the elastomeric seal as a single point of failure or contamination is often overlooked for its importance. Focusing on one of the most common elastomeric seals, the invention and perfection of the O-ring is relatively new to the industrial world. Niels Christensen patented the O-ring in the late 1930s but it was not until World War II that its unique usage was fully understood by aircraft manufacturers (1). Even though this simple piece of sealing material has kept a low profile in importance, it remains a vital part of everyday industry and commerce.
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