O-rings provide flexible sealing support that helps machinery continue to work without leaking fluids. But o-rings aren't indestructible, and when one goes bad, the machinery needs to be stopped so that the ring can be replaced immediately. It's better to use o-rings that seal more effectively and are built to withstand the pressure that machinery can put them under. The invention of quad rings has helped bring o-ring usage closer to that ideal. While quad rings can still eventually age and fail, they are built to create two seals that promote longer life and better sealing.
More Seals and Less Pressure
When you look at the cross-section of a quad ring, you can see that the ring is a bit squarer with extended corners that make the cross-section look like a rounded X. When you fit the quad ring into the space for the o-ring, those corners do a better job of creating seals, so you practically get two seals on each side of the ring, rather than one seal created by a standard o-ring. Because the quad ring has these separate corners that work together to create a seal, the machinery needs to exert less pressure on the rings to make the seal work. Since the seal is under less pressure, the quad ring can last longer.
Built to Stay Stable
O-rings are made of rubber, specifically so that they can be a bit flexible and keep something sealed, even if there's movement. The problem with that is, when too much pressure is placed on the ring, it can buckle and eventually crack. Then a leak can start. With quad rings, the valley between the two corners on each side (the dip in the sides of the X) allows the ring to give a little more without breaking the seal or rolling up into itself.
Flash Lines Have Somewhere Else to Go
As with many other rubber products, o-rings have seams where the two edges of a sheet of rubber were joined to create the ring. In a quad ring, that seam or flash line can sit in the dip in the sides of the X and not harm anything. In a regular o-ring, those lines are often smashed against the very surface they're supposed to seal, making it harder for the ring to create a full seal (or at least making it easier to break a seal).
Not every o-ring space is going to be right for a quad ring, but in most cases, you can place a quad ring where any other o-ring might go. Their longer life spans and better performance under pressure make them a great choice whenever you have to ensure fluids don't leak out of the machinery.
Contact a local quad-ring supplier, such as Rothkopf, to learn more.Share