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4 Lesser-Known Uses for O-Rings in Different Industries


O-rings might be small, but their impact is indisputably huge. They prevent leaking of fluids and gases as well as keep vital machinery sealed.

You might already know that these donut-shaped tools are a common sight in automotive, manufacturing and medical settings, but have you ever thought about where else these small-yet-crucial devices are used? Here are four surprising uses for o-rings in different industries that no book or TV program will ever tell you.

1. Sealing Oxygen Tanks for Scuba Divers

If you thought o-rings hardly play a life-saving role in any industry, think again. Every scuba diving session begins with checking a rigorous safety checklist. Top of that checklist? O-rings. Each diver has to check whether the o-rings located on their oxygen tanks are functioning correctly. If not, they must be replaced before the dive can start.

A malfunctioning o-ring in an automotive setting will, at best, cause a vehicle to stop working, but in scuba diving, the stakes are much, much higher. A faulty oxygen tank can subject a diver to a torturous time underwater and possibly even death. Therefore, for players in this industry, it’s incredibly important to source quality o-rings from a trusted manufacturer. Sourcing with a trusted manufacturer to approve second source tooling or part production can save lead time, extra costs, quality insurance, and pretty much revamp your entire supply chain.

2. Reduce Noise for Pro Gamers

Pro gamers and noise are like oil and water — they simply don’t mix. If you’ve ever played a high-stakes computer game with your competitive best friend, you know what we’re talking about.

Small, almost invisible o-rings can be fitted within the keys of a computer while it’s being assembled. If placed correctly, they can greatly help minimize keyboard noise when typing. This is key for gamers who like minimal distraction when showcasing their skills.

3. Reinforce the Functionality of Air Conditioning Systems

Because of their low cost, ease of production, flexibility and resistance to pressure, o-rings have found their way into air conditioning systems. Now, if you are planning to buy an air conditioning system soon, you don’t need to worry much about the mechanics of getting these tiny-yet-powerful devices in there. Manufacturers have got you covered in that department. The important thing is to take great care when replacing your HVAC system’s used o-rings; only settle for quality ones that are approved by the original system manufacturer.

4. Reduce Vibrations for Tattoo Guns

Next to a reckless surgeon, a tattoo artist with a shaky hand is every human’s worst nightmare. Imagine sitting through an hour’s worth of tattoo work only to end up with a shoddily drawn piece of “art” that’s bound to remain on your skin forever.

So, to avoid such unfortunate occurrences, more and more tattooists are now opting for guns fitted with o-rings. These rubber devices are pretty great at absorbing vibrations. The end result of such a smooth process is a stunning piece of artwork that’s pleasing to all.

Always Opt for High-Quality O-Rings

While various industries use o-rings for the weirdest of purposes, one thing never changes; the need to source high-quality and durable ones. A missing o-ring in your gaming computer might simply slow down the game, in an HVAC system, it might mean a faulty machine, but in high-stakes industries like scuba diving, automotive or healthcare, it can have potentially life-threatening repercussions. So, if you’re tasked with sourcing these precious devices, be sure to do your due diligence from the get-go.