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O-Ring Material Temperature Range Chart

Selecting o-rings by temperature

As an engineer, you understand the importance of selecting the right seal for your specific application. However, the selection process can be challenging with so many options and factors to consider.

One way to simplify this process is to consider the temperature range first. Making this your first step can help you narrow down the options and guide you toward an O-ring that will perform best for your application.

To help you in your search, we have compiled some key factors to consider regarding temperature and its role in the seal selection process.


The Role of Temperature in the O-Ring Selection Process

Temperature plays a significant role in the performance and longevity of O-rings. It directly affects the elasticity and sealing performance of the material because every material is designed to function within a specific temperature range based on its unique chemical composition. Exceeding this range can lead to material degradation and seal failure.

Temperature range refers to the spectrum of temperatures at which an O-ring can effectively function. This range is largely dependent on the materials from which O-rings are manufactured. 

For example, nitrile O-rings, a commonly used material known as NBR or buna-N, have a general-purpose temperature range of -31ºF to 248ºF. Until you know the specifics of the media and your actual temperature range, nitrile is your baseline.

For more extreme temperatures, fluorocarbon, also known as Viton® O-rings, could be a better choice for you as they can withstand temperatures up to 400ºF. 

Other materials, like Teflon (PTFE) and silicone, are also common, depending on the needs of your application. Each material is designed for a specific function, so starting with the temperature range helps you narrow down your options and make selecting the right seal easier.


Quick Reference Chart

Here’s a quick reference chart for comparing O-ring materials and their approximate temperature ranges:

O-Ring Temperature Range

O-Ring Material

15ºF to 450ºF


- 75ºF to 250ºF


- 70ºF to 250ºF

Ethylene Propylene (EPDM)

- 15ºF to 400ºF

Fluorocarbon (Viton®, FKM)

- 100ºF to 350ºF

Fluorosilicone (FVMQ)

- 23ºF to 300ºF

Hydrogenated Nitrile (HNBR)

- 30ºF to 250ºF

Nitrile (NBR, Buna-N)

- 60ºF to 225ºF


- 15ºF to 608ºF

Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM)

- 5ºF to 350ºF


- 40ºF to 180ºF

Polyurethane (AU)

- 175ºF to 450ºF

Silicone (VMQ)

-425ºF to 450ºF

Teflon® (PTFE)

10ºF to 400ºF


10ºF to 500ºF



Other Key Factors in Your O-Ring Selection

While temperature is a critical factor, other elements such as media, application type (static or dynamic), and pressure also play a significant role in O-ring selection. These factors interact with temperature, influencing the selection of the right sealing solution.

Media. The fluid or gas (or media) that the seal will interact with can affect its performance at a given temperature. Different materials have different levels of compatibility with each media. When you understand the media in your application, you can narrow down your material choices rather quickly.

Application type. A static application, where the seal sits in a groove and doesn't move, has different requirements than a dynamic application, where the seal is in motion. By considering the application, you can anticipate wear and tear and eliminate more material options.

Pressure. The pressure conditions can also affect a seal's performance. High pressure can cause extrusion or deformation, while vacuum conditions can lead to gas permeation. Make sure you choose a seal that can handle the pressure conditions you need for your application.


Using Temperature to Simplify Your O-Ring Selection

After helping engineers find the right sealing solution for over 50 years, we recommend following these steps to make your selection process faster and easier, starting with temperature.

  1. Define your temperature range. Identify the minimum and maximum temperatures the seal will be exposed to narrow down your choices.
  2. Consider the media, application type, and pressure. Understand the conditions the seal will face and the required functions it will need to achieve maximum performance.
  3. Select your material. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can decide on your material based on price and preference.
  4. Verify your selection. To ensure you have the right sealing solution for your needs, it's important to test the material either through simulation or in its real environment.



Selecting the right sealing solution is a complex process that requires a holistic understanding of the application conditions and all its factors. 

Although temperature is important, it's not the only thing to consider. To get the best performance and longest lifespan from a seal, it's important to look at all of the relevant factors. By taking a comprehensive approach, you can find the right sealing solution for your needs.


If you need help navigating this process to find the right seal for your project, talk to a seal expert at Wyatt Seal. We’ve spent 50 years building relationships with seal manufacturers worldwide to offer you access to thousands of seals, gaskets, O-rings, and other specialty items for any application.



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