“How can we apply our knowledge of gaskets to tubular geometries?”


Pipes and tubes are some of the most ubiquitous materials used to transfer fluids. And since they often do it at such high pressures, safety must be a central focus of their design. We already know that gaskets can be utilized to ensure the secure transfer of fluids, so how can we take our knowledge of these parts and apply it to tubular machines? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to figure this out.


First of all, let us analyze the geometry that we are working with. This problem specifically has a uniform circular nature. So any fluid that might escape will do so in a direction perpendicular to the surface. So wouldn’t it be logical if we covered all critical points with a ring like material? Well, this is the operating principle behind an O-ring. O-rings can be found in all of sorts of applications, ranging from everyday uses such as car engines and even to extraordinary achievements of human through such as space shuttles! (in fact, the primary reason behind the infamous challenger failure was due to an O-ring failure)Since O-rings come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes for their diverse uses, these items are typically defined by the diameter of the inner circle and outer circle. All in all, O-rings are a salient example of how a simple part can have be utilized in far more complex ways.

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