Spring Energized Seal vs. O-Ring: Which is Better?

25 Nov.,2022


rubber oil seal

Spring Energized Polymer Seals and O-Rings are very different products, yet they can ultimately accomplish the same goal of sealing a system.

The humble O-Ring is, in simplest terms, a ring of rubber. A Spring Energized Seal consists of an engineered plastic jacket, usually a PTFE blend or UHMW-PE, and a metallic spring element. One is made in quantities of tens of thousands and then stocked on a shelf, one is machined and assembled per individual order. 

While both are seals, their commonality in design, intent, and functionality is limited. The applications where each is successfully employed can be very different.  

But is a Spring Energized Seal always better than an O-Ring? Below we’ll discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these seals and why some applications might benefit more from one than the other.