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will silicone lube swell o-rings?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by 79mongoose, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. 79mongoose


    Dec 14, 2004
    Just wondering what kind of lube destroys o -rings. I would think synthtic silicone lube would be safe. thanks for the help.
  2. johnniet


    Jul 12, 1999
    I'm also interested in this question. What kind of device are the o-rings in?

    By the way, this kind of question really should be posted in Gadgets and Gear--two forums below Community Center. Some moderator will move it pretty soon.
  3. MelancholyMutt

    MelancholyMutt Doggy Style

    Apr 13, 2002
    heat and cold effects the O rings...
    use the silicone grease you find at diving shops. Other silicone tubes may have petroleum distillates which may kill the rubber.
  4. Ken C.

    Ken C. Jack of all trades, master of none. Staff Member Super Mod

    Jun 14, 2000
    Moving to Gadgets & Gear. :rolleyes:
  5. TLM


    Jan 11, 2000
    The safest silicone lubricants are those used in vacum applications, they have no volatiles, not cheap though. Most serious silicone greases don't have any petrochemical volatiles because that kind of negates the whole point of using silicone.

  6. Cougar Allen

    Cougar Allen Buccaneer (ret.) Platinum Member

    Oct 9, 1998
    You can also get silicone grease at any auto parts store -- labeled "tune-up grease."
  7. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    O rings are typically made of neoprene, you could do a search to see what chemicals effect it. Pure silicone works fine .I have flashlights that twist to operate and use silicone oil or wax to lube them which is what the maker uses.
  8. SteelDriver


    Jan 28, 2002
    You can also get 100% silicone oil in different weights at some hobby stores. It's used as RC car shock oil.
  9. java


    Dec 29, 2001
    For Hi Vacuum and Ultra Hi Vac, most seals/orings are metal to metal gaskets made of materials like copper compressed between "knife edge" sealing surfaces. Most conventional orings are either Buna, silcone, or Viton and use little or no lubricants. Specific lubricants used in HV and UHV have low vapor pressures to reduce outgassing. Lubricants like Castrol's Braycote 600 run about $600 for a 6 oz. tube though. Crytox, Torr-lube, and others are a bit cheaper but not really needed for normal everyday uses.

    O-ring materials vary according to use and chemical compatabilties. Just a quick run down on oring materials. efunda.com has more info on their sites at http://www.efunda.com/designstandards/oring/oring_chemical.cfm?SC=none&SM=Buna-N%20(Nitrile)

    Buna-N a nitrile rubber is by far the most common type of seal material in the world.

    Viton has become one of the most widely used seal materials in the world because of its excellent chemical resistance and outstanding upper temperature limit.

    EP ( EPDM ) offers outstanding resistance to solvents like acetone, alcohols, and MEK. It is not compatible with petroleum oils and greases.

    Silicone is commonly used in medical devices and hot air applications. It uses a silicon-oxygen (siloxane) main backbone for excellent thermal stability. Mechanical properties are generally poor so it should not be used in dynamic applications.

    There are a few high performance materials such as Kalrez® or Chemrez® that can be made tailored to your individual needs and applications - for a small fee of course.

    You need to define your application and environment to recommend an oring and lube. For or day to day use as a certed rescue diver, silicone orings and the silcone based lubes like you find recommended above and purchased in dive shops works for my applications. Other apps may vary.......
    GigOne likes this.
  10. wwells20

    wwells20 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hi, new to gadgets & gear. i don't know where you can get this in your area, but Dow chemecals makes a valve lube #111. it is a silacone based lube. it will work on any o-ring you wil encounter on a product for sale to the public.
  11. 79mongoose


    Dec 14, 2004
    Thanks for all the great replys guys. I needed silicone lube for my surefire flashlight o rings. I just used some fishing reel silicone i had laying around , seemed to work fine.
  12. bimmer


    Dec 19, 2004
    <post deleted - question answered in another thread>
  13. uitlander


    Sep 8, 2004
    I am with wwells20
    we have the dow 111 stuff at work, I have been using it to seal Maglites etc. for a few years now with no damage noted to o-rings.

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