How to Lubricate O-Rings

O-Rings are quite often parts that are taken for granted – until they malfunction. These little circles of elastomeric material are used to prevent leakage of a liquid or gas that may otherwise escape.

When an o-ring is compressed, there is no more clearance for it to move and it blocks the pathway of the liquid or gas you are trying to seal in place. However, they need a little help. O-ring materials are normally quite soft; this makes them susceptible to abrasion, scuffing, cuts and misalignment when tightening joints. O-ring integrity can also be affected by expansion/contraction and frequent movement.

The o-ring material can also degrade over time, especially when subjected to constant contact with the medium they are trying to seal. Therefore in most cases, lubrication of an o ring seal is advisable. Lubrication can help in many ways from preventing o-ring ‘nip’ on initial installation to long term protection of the o-ring material itself.

The correct lubricant can also provide an extra sealing function between the o-ring and a metal surface. But what to use as a lubricant? There are many areas to consider; o-ring material, temperature, food/water safety, the medium to be sealed etc. All aspects should be considered to ensure the correct product is used. However, in many cases, Molykote™️ 111 grease may be the answer.

Molykote™️ 111 is a silicone grease compound with many advantages for o ring lubrication.

These include:-

  • Wide temperature range (-40 to +200°C)
  • Compatible with many plastics and elastomers
  • Excellent water resistance
  • Meets several global standards for water contact including NSF 51, NSF 61 and WRAS

Due to its unique nature and properties, Molykote™️ 111 grease has many other uses such as:-

  • Tap and valve lubricant
  • Vacuum system sealant
  • Sealant for outdoor applications subject to frequent washdown and harsh environmental conditions
  • Prevents gaskets and seals sticking to metal enclosures

Molykote™️ 111 compound is available in a variety of pack sizes and can be purchased direct from our website here.  As exclusive distribution partners in the UK for Molykote we have access to their full range of market-leading lubricants  and welcome all lubrication enquiries.


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