Lubricants are commonly used on O-rings and other elastomeric seals. Using a suitable grease or oil during assembly helps protect the O-ring from damage by abrasion, pinching, or cutting. It also helps to seat the O-ring properly, speeds up assembly operations, and makes automated assembly line procedures possible. An additional benefit is the protection that the lubricant provides as a surface film. Proper lubrication also helps protect some polymers from degradation by atmospheric elements such as ozone and its presence helps extend the service life of any O-ring. A lubricant is almost essential in pneumatic applications requiring dynamic service. In vacuum applications, appropriate lubricants help reduce the overall leak rate by filling the micro fine inclusions of the gland’s metal surfaces and lowering permeation rates of the elastomer.
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