How Long Do Sealing Elements Last Anyway?

Have you ever received an envelope in the mail that was on the back instead of sealed? Perhaps the contents of the envelope arrived damaged or simply fell out in transit without this extra layer of protection.

While the sealing element of a fitting may look very different from an envelope, the thought process is the same. Fittings need both mechanical strength and a way to prevent fluid leakage. The sealing element ensures that no media (whether water, air, etc.) passes through the pipe connection. This makes it a critical part of installing any mechanically connected fittings.

(While sealing elements are very similar to O-rings, there is one major difference: O-rings are replaceable while sealing elements are permanent once pressed.)

Depending on your application, there are many types of sealing elements that may be beneficial. The three most common are EPDM, HNBR, and FKM. as providers of these three types, we will break down what each option means.

Introduction to the three types of sealing elements.

Sealing ComponentsCDType Sealing Components

What is EPDM?

Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) is a synthetic, cured, general-purpose elastomer known for its excellent resistance to chemicals and other harsh environmental conditions, as well as its shiny black color. EPDM sealing elements have an operating temperature range from 0°F to 250°F and are suitable for any type of water application (including hot water), as well as compressed air and ketones.

What is HNBR?

Yellow hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) is a special-purpose elastomer with high strength and retention in the face of heat, oil and chemical exposure. HNBR sealing elements are primarily geared for gas applications, from natural and propane to mixed and manufactured gases, as well as oils and lubricants.

What is FKM?

Fluoroelastomer (FKM) is a special-purpose elastomer with a dark black appearance. Combined with excellent resistance to chemicals and environmental influences, FKM also features resistance to extreme temperature peaks (up to 356°F) for 24 hours or less. These qualities make FKM sealing elements suitable for industrial environments with harsh, corrosive conditions.

D Type Sealing Components

D Type Sealing Components

How long do seals last?

There is a tendency to think that sealing elements will wear out and need to be replaced. This is a myth we want to debunk. Unlike O-rings, seal elements last significantly longer – the timeline depends in part on their unique application.

The life of a seal element is highly dependent on the dynamics of its operating parameters. Essentially, it runs on an exponential curve. A seal element operating at the peak of its range is likely to have a shorter life than one operating under more moderate conditions.

At Jianke Huifeng Science, we are as confident in the quality of our sealing elements as we are in our fittings. That’s because we combine quality design and manufacturing processes with accelerated aging testing to ensure that seal elements will perform as expected in the future.

Operating under our approved conditions, our seal elements are warranted for the same period of time as the product line in which they are installed. We stand behind the ability of our sealing elements to meet these same requirements.

Have additional questions about Jianke Huifeng Science sealing elements or press-fit accessories? Contact our sales team for more information.