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Storage & Elastomer Shelf Life of Compounds

Storage life varies with resistance of each synthetic elastomer to normal storage conditions. Use this reference chart as a guideline as to how long an O-ring can be stored.

To more realistically meet the needs of the sealing industry in 1998 SAE (Society of Aerospace Engineers) developed ARP 5316 to provide a basis for establishing elastomer shelf life. The table below summarizes the recommended shelf life for the most common elastomers:

Shelf Life Elastomer Groups
5 Years: Polyurethane
15 Years: Nitrile, Neoprene, SBR, HNBR, Polyacrylate
Unlimited: Ethylene Propylene, Fluorocarbon, Perfluorinated Elastomer, Butyl, Silicone, Tetrafluoroethylene Propylene (Aflas®), Fluorosilicone.


This table and the complete ARP 5316 standard take into account the most recent technological advancements in polymer formulation and thus more accurately reflect the shelf life that should be expected from elastomeric o-rings.

Where non-age sensitive elastomers mentioned in 15 year and unlimited categories are involved, considerable storage life without detectable damage is common even under adverse conditions. For materials mentioned in the 5 year category, which are subject to deterioration, the following conditions are suggested for maximum life:

  1. Ambient temperature not exceeding 120°F (49°C)
  2. Exclusion of air (oxygen)
  3. Exclusion of contamination
  4. Exclusion of light (particularly sunlight)
  5. Exclusion of ozone generating electrical devices
  6. Exclusion of radiation


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