by Denise Sullivan Denise Sullivan No Comments

Unveiling the Power of Polymer Backup Rings: Use and Applications

In the world of industrial sealing solutions, reliability, and durability are paramount. Among the many components that ensure effective sealing, polymer backup rings play a crucial role. These versatile rings are essential in preventing extrusion and maintaining the integrity of seals under high-pressure conditions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of backup rings, their various applications, and the benefits they bring to different industries. Join us as we delve into the world of anti-extrusion rings and uncover how they contribute to the reliability and longevity of sealing systems.

polymer backup rings

What are Polymer Backup Rings?

Polymer backup or anti-extrusion rings are critical components used with O-rings, seals, and gaskets to enhance their performance in high-pressure environments. These rings are typically made from durable polymer materials such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), PEEK (polyether ether ketone), and other high-performance plastics. They are designed to fit into the gland or groove alongside the primary seal, supporting and preventing the seal from being extruded under pressure.

Critical Benefits of Backup Rings

  1. Extrusion Prevention: One of the primary functions of polymer backup rings is to prevent extrusion of the primary seal. Under high-pressure conditions, seals can deform and be forced into the clearance gap between the mating surfaces, leading to seal failure. Backup rings provide a physical barrier that supports the seal and prevents extrusion, ensuring reliable performance.
  2. Enhanced Seal Life: Polymer backup rings significantly extend the service life of seals by preventing extrusion and reducing the risk of seal damage. This results in reduced maintenance requirements and lower operational costs for industrial equipment.
  3. Temperature and Chemical Resistance: Polymer materials used in backup rings are known for their excellent temperature and chemical resistance. This makes them suitable for various applications involving aggressive chemicals and extreme temperatures.
  4. Versatility: Anti-extrusion rings are available in various sizes, shapes, and materials, making them versatile and adaptable to sealing requirements. They can be customized to fit specific applications, ensuring optimal performance.

Applications of Backup Rings

  1. Hydraulic Systems: In hydraulic systems, where high pressures are typical, backup rings are essential for maintaining the integrity of seals in cylinders, pumps, and valves. They prevent seal extrusion and ensure leak-free operation, even under extreme pressure fluctuations.
  2. Aerospace Industry: The aerospace industry demands high-performance sealing solutions that withstand harsh environments and extreme conditions. Backup rings are used in aircraft hydraulic systems, landing gear, and fuel systems to provide reliable sealing and prevent failures that could compromise safety.
  3. Oil and Gas: Oil and gas industry equipment is often exposed to high pressures, temperatures, and corrosive substances. Polymer backup rings are used in drilling equipment, valves, and pipelines to ensure adequate sealing and prevent leaks in challenging environments.
  4. Automotive Industry: In automotive applications, backup rings enhance the performance and longevity of seals in engine components, transmissions, and braking systems. They help maintain the efficiency and reliability of critical vehicle systems.
  5. Industrial Machinery: Polymer backup rings are widely used in various industrial machinery, including pumps, compressors, and gearboxes. They support seals, prevent extrusion, and ensure the smooth operation of equipment under demanding conditions.

Polymer backup rings are indispensable in modern sealing solutions, providing critical support to seals in high-pressure environments. Their ability to prevent extrusion, enhance seal life, and withstand extreme conditions makes them valuable assets in numerous industries. From hydraulic systems to aerospace, oil and gas, automotive, and industrial machinery, anti-extrusion rings contribute to sealing systems’ reliability, efficiency, and longevity. As industries continue to push the boundaries of performance and durability, backup rings will remain essential in ensuring the success and reliability of critical applications.