Continual investment ensures TRP Polymer Solutions can meet the demands of the market

The classic ‘O’ ring has reigned supreme in the manufacturing industry for more than a century. Stunningly simple yet highly effective, this torus-shaped seal is as popular today as it ever has been. So much so, in fact, that TRP Polymer Solutions has recently invested in four new ‘O’ ring presses to uprate our capacity and shorten our lead times for the ultimate customer service.

The origins of ‘O’ rings

Rubber ‘O’ rings first came to market at the turn of the 20th century. How many other inventions of a similar vintage do we still use today? Not many. You could argue that the telephone, motor car and aeroplanes have stood the test of time. However, their designs have evolved dramatically. The Wright brothers would scarcely recognise their rickety bi-plane in the jet planes of today and Alexander Graham Bell’s landline is now an endangered species.

And yet, so perfect is the ‘O’ ring that its design has remained unchanged well over a century later. Of course, the materials we use to develop these wonderfully simple but effective components have certainly become more advanced over the decades. But the basic form and function remains the same. ‘O’ rings are the living embodiment of the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. As long as we need seals, the ‘O’ ring will continue to rule.

What are ‘O’ rings used for?

As their name suggests, ‘O’ rings are doughnut-shaped seals that create a leak-proof seal between two components to prevent the escape of gases or liquids. Where they differ from gaskets is that ‘O’ rings can withstand the type of high-pressure applications that would be beyond standard cork, paper and rubber gaskets. In practice, elastomer ‘O’ rings sit in a groove between the two components and are compressed to form a tight seal.

‘O’ rings are typically found in valves, pumps, cylinders and connectors in static, dynamic, hydraulic and pneumatic applications. This versatility has also cemented their popularity over the years. There are several variants of ‘O’ rings beyond the usual torus-shaped versions we know and love. They can differ in shape, with x-shaped and quad rings as an example, and function, like specialist high temperature ‘O’ rings for temperature extremes.

Where to buy ‘O’ rings

‘O’ rings are manufactured using a variety of processes, including compression, transfer and injection moulding. The preferred technique, and indeed the chosen material, depend on a range of factors. Among the typical considerations are the application environment (pressure, temperature, chemicals), volume, quality and cost. Our technical experts here at TRP Polymer Solutions can suggest the best possible combination for your requirements.

Underlining our constant pursuit of excellence, we have recently invested in four brand-new ‘O’ ring presses. This will enable us to manufacture higher volumes of ‘O’ rings with even shorter lead times. “For our customers, this represents a clear win-win”, said Peter Watts, Managing Director at TRP. “We are delighted to expand our capacity further with these state-of-the-art new presses to provide even greater convenience to our customers.”

For more information about our ‘O’ ring products and production processes, or to discuss your application in more detail, contact TRP Polymer Solutions today on +44 (0)1432 268899 or email sales@trp.co.uk.

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