How to Make the Right Choice Between Viton and Silicone Rubber O-Rings - Hongju (2023)

What are Viton and Silicone Rubber O-Rings?

To keep things simple, we will only discuss the two most common types of O-rings; silicone rubber O-rings and Viton O-rings. Both common O-ring materials have their benefits and drawbacks. As a result, they are readily used in different industries to offer tight seals. Let’s learn about each in detail!

Silicone Rubber O-rings

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O-rings are frequently employed in outdoor applications such as plumbing systems. They come in a variety of hues, sizes, and shapes. They can resist extremes in temperature. Additionally, silicone O-rings work well in static situations.

On top of it, silicone o-rings also offer incredible resistance against acids, UV radiations, Ozone, heat, and water. While all of this is great, there is a drawback to pure silicone O-rings. Since silicone isn’t the best for resistance against physical damage and wear and tear, it is best suited for static applications.

Here are some common industries which regularly make use of silicone O-rings:

  • Life sciences
  • Food and beverage
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical
  • Semiconductor
  • Drinking Water

Viton O-rings

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Viton O-rings are used as an alternative in oil-based applications. This is because Viton has a high permeability resistance. Moreover, it offers similar temperature resistance to silicone. However, it can only provide resistance to such a high-temperature range for only a brief interval.

Moreover, Viton o-rings are great for oil processing facilities. Why do you ask? Viton o-rings offer incredible resistance against silicone, petroleum, and acid-based fluids.

Using Viton o-rings in oil processing facilities such as hydraulic fluids makes excellent sense. On top of it, Viton takes a good beating before it starts to wear out.

As a result, given the versatility of resistance that Viton o-rings offer, it has applications in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Oil and gas
  • Automotive brake fluids and fuel systems
  • Chemical processing
  • Aerospace
  • Hydraulic fluids

What are Viton and Silicone Rubber O-Rings Differences?

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Viton and silicone rubber O-rings can withstand low and high temperatures within the -30 to 205-degree celsius range. However, silicone performs better if we move past this range. This is true for both lower and higher temperatures outside the temperature range.

Note: Hongju Silicone offers a compound mix of o-ring material that helps expand the temperature range per the industry’s need and use.

Electrical Resistance

Moreover, silicone also performs better when it comes to electrical current resistance. As a result, silicone will be the right choice compared to Viton if you are working in the electrical industry.

Compression Set Resistance

Additionally, silicone and Viton o-rings perform poorly regarding compression set resistance. As a result, if you want a higher compression molded resistance, maybe opt for a third material.

Wear and Tear

Moreover, both silicone and Viton o-rings are equally poor regarding regular wear and tear. However, regardless of this, Viton has enough resistance for dynamic applications. Contrarily, silicone is only suitable for static applications, which puts it at a disadvantage.

Heating Stability

Even though both o-rings can withstand high temperatures, they can’t do it for long. As a result, silicone and Viton won’t last long if you work in an industry with temperatures outside the relevant ranges.

Short Term Resilience

Viton generally performs better than silicone when it comes to short-term resilience. However, that does not mean silicone will perform poorly. It just can’t function as great.

Permeating Resilience

This is another area where Viton stands out more as compared to silicone. However, silicone still performs great when keeping foreign materials out. As a result, both materials will offer permeating resilience. However, in cases where higher resilience is needed, such as in hydraulic fluids, Viton will be the better choice.

Resistance Against Materials Which Both Silicone and Viton O-ring Offer:

  • Ozone
  • Vegetable oils
  • Compression set
  • Brake fluids
  • Silicone fluids
  • Silicone oils
  • Greases

Viton O-Ring Specific Resistance

  • Solvents
  • Chemical
  • Common fuels
  • Aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons etc.

Silicone Specific Resistance

  • Animal oils
  • Weathering
  • Sunlight
  • Fungal growth
  • Dry heat
  • Odor
  • Ketones etc.

How do You Know Which Type of O-Ring to Choose for Your Application?

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O-rings have a wide range of applications. However, a good part of this wide range exists because O-rings are made from various materials. We will only look at Viton and silicone rubber O-rings in this case.

If you ask which type is better suited for your application, the answer lies with you. All you need to do is consider the right factors, which we will discuss in the next section.

The key to choosing the suitable o-ring material lies in understanding the material’s mechanical properties. For instance, in this article, you have learned about the mechanical properties of both Viton and silicone o-rings.

As a result, this sound knowledge will help you make an informed decision. More importantly, you must be aware of the sealing requirements. This depends on the industry and the type and material of the two solids you wish to seal.

Let’s dig deeper into each factor and determine how to choose the suitable o-ring material!

What Factors Should You Consider When Making Your Decision?

The Industry

This is a vital factor since Viton and silicone are suitable for different industries. Even though both o-ring materials have similar properties, they can’t perform similarly in similar conditions. One does better than the other, for instance, when it comes to dynamic applications. As a result, knowing the industry and its requirements is a must.

The Use

Where, when, and how the O-ring will be used is also essential. For instance, Viton is suitable for indoor uses for oil-based applications. Silicone is preferred for outdoor use in specific industries, such as weathering.

The Cost

Cost is another essential indicator for your final choice. Once you have established the industry and use, it is time to see what falls within budget. Viton is generally more expensive and challenging to produce as compared to silicone.

Temperature Range

Both o-ring materials handle extreme temperature ranges well. However, compared to the Viton o ring, you can push the wide temperature range further with the silicone o ring.

Static or Dynamic

Viton is the clear winner when it comes to dynamic applications. The material has more resistance against general wear and tear. On the contrary, silicone performs poorly in dynamic applications. It must only be used for static applications. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money.

Electrical Resistance

This is another essential factor to consider when choosing O-ring material. There are several materials out there that allow easy electrical flow, whereas others don’t. Before purchasing, you must research or ask your engineer for the requirements.

Chemical Compatibility

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Don’t forget to consider this at any cost. This is especially important when it comes to Viton vs. silicone O-ring material. Since Viton is better at handling oil-based chemicals, choosing a silicone O-ring will be the wrong choice.

Despite all the differences, Viton is costlier. But that is not a high cost to pay, given the benefits of Viton. It is not only more reliable but also provides greater operational efficiency. On top of it, Viton requires less maintenance. That is not to say silicone is heavy maintenance. It is not, but Viton is just a bit better.

Nevertheless, it all comes down to the industry and the type of application you require. In most scenarios, the cheaper option, i.e., silicone, will do the job fine. In systems where it can’t, Viton is always there for you.If neither works, you can always go for other o-ring types, including nitrile o-rings, PTFE o-rings, neoprene o-rings, fluorocarbon o-rings, etc.


To conclude, silicone is a good choice if you want an O-ring for high-temperature applications and exposure to foreign elements. However, it does lack behind in abrasion resistance and tears resistance. Hence, you can only use it for static applications. Nonetheless, those looking for a dynamic O-ring solution must opt for Viton. However, you would have to pay more for Viton O-rings than silicone O-rings.

At Hongju Silicone, our expert O-ring manufacturers are at your disposal. We have spent tremendous efforts, time, and investments to find the perfect solution for our customer base worldwide. What is stopping you from becoming one of them? Get your custom o-rings to order in process. Contact us today by calling the number!

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