Depending on the material they are made of, O-rings can come in many different colors like black, brown, green, red and blue. Only a few, however, offer a transparent color.
Silicone, polyurethane and Teflon are able to produce a clear o-ring product. Without any color additives, these materials are semi-clear, not totally transparent in natural form. However, certain additives are able to produce ultra-clear silicone.
Clear O-rings are doughnut shaped, flat and thin. The positive characteristics of this mechanism, considered a seal or gasket, include flexibility, chemical inertness and odorlessness when in a solid state. As just one branch of the o-ring family, clear o-rings stand out because of their transparency. They are generally transparent in both UV light and visible light.
Clear o-rings are used in the medical, pharmaceutical, food processing, dairy and biotech industries, to name just a few. Like all o-rings, they are used for sealing and gasketing applications. O-rings create a seal when they are pressed between two or more parts of a product or system while it is being assembled. The product or system that needs sealing usually involves vacuums or piping.
O-rings are set up as a static seal or with dynamic joints. As a static seal, clear o-rings are permanently sealed in one spot, assuring that whatever substance within the system will not leak out. Dynamic joints refer to the part of o-rings in a fluid system like a hydraulic cylinder. In such a situation, an o-ring would need to be well- lubricated to protect is from the fast deterioration that comes from being in between moving parts.
Silicone is the most common material for producing clear O-rings. It is derived from quartz and mixed with methyl, phenyl and vinyl, which improve its rubber properties but won’t change its transparency. It is produced from fine silica instead of carbon, which makes other rubber materials black. Clear silicone may be easily colored yet retain its transparent properties.
They are always non-toxic, and therefore often the first choice in medical, pharmaceutical and food processing applications. Silicone exhibits high temperature resistance (between -58 and 302°F) and, because O-rings are generally thinner, they have good tensile and tear strength. Temperature resistance, size, color and flexibility are all characteristics that must be considered when choosing an o-ring.
There are a few varieties of o-ring ridges, developed because the various grips will suit certain applications better then others. Clear o-rings vary in this just like all o-rings. The most common o-ring ridge is the round cross-section, which is a simple clean circle sealing everyday objects like faucets and engines.
Clear O-Rings Informational Video