O-rings are a common sight in manufacturing, automotive and medical settings. They help keep important machinery sealed and prevent liquids and gases from escaping. While some types of o-rings are more common than others, these small, yet vital tools are actually produced in thousands of different sizes and used in nearly every industry.
From scuba divers to video gamers, keep reading to learn several surprising areas where o-rings come in handy — or perhaps even help save a life.
Sealing Oxygen Tanks for Scuba Diving
Just as important as locking in important fluids flowing through medical equipment, o-rings also fill a life-saving role in the scuba diving industry.
Before a diver takes to the water, they will go through a detailed pre-dive safety checklist. One of the most important things on that checklist is checking the o-rings located in their oxygen tanks. If these o-rings are broken, deteriorating or worse, missing, they’ll need to be replaced before the dive can take place.
A broken o-ring in a manufacturing setting will, at best, cause a piece of machinery to stop working. But in your scuba diving gear, a broken o-ring could mean not having a tight seal on your oxygen tank. Much like a piece of machinery failing and harming an employee, a compromised oxygen tank can be life-threatening.
The other o-ring uses included on this list aren’t exactly life-or-death applications. While it’s still important to choose quality o-rings that will serve their function well and stand the test of time, when it comes to choosing rings for scuba equipment, investing in high-quality, dependable o-rings can literally save your life.
Reducing Vibration in Tattoo Guns
You wouldn’t want to hire a tattoo artist with a shaky hand to ink your skin with some new art. But what if their tattoo gun is the problem?
When a tattoo gun is experiencing too much vibration, your tattoo artist won’t be able to get the straight lines and smooth curves that are vital to creating the perfect design you’re dreaming of.
The surprising solution? O-rings. These handy rubber rings can be used to absorb vibrations so that your artist can focus on bringing your new art to life.
Lessening Key Noise for Gamers
Whether you spend hours typing away on your computer for work or after-hours while playing your favorite computer game, you know how annoying noisy keys can be. This has led many craft gamers and other computer-enthusiasts to turn to o-rings for a handy solution.
Tiny o-rings can be fitted within the keys of a keyboard before it is re-assembled. When sized and placed correctly, this can help dampen noise while typing without obstructing the movement of the keys.
Choosing the Right O-Rings for the Job
While many industries use o-rings for a variety of different purposes, one thing never changes; the need for a high-quality, functional and durable o-ring. With lower quality comes higher costs; you’ll find yourself replacing your o-rings more frequently, and dealing with more broken o-rings.
A broken ring in your keyboard might simply slow down your gaming. In a tattoo gun, it might mean one crooked line in an otherwise flawless design. But in an oxygen tank, on a medical device or in a piece of heavy machinery, opting for low-quality o-rings can have big, potentially dangerous consequences.