Elastomer Shelf Life Recommendation

Department of Defense Rubber Products: Recommended Shelf Life (MIL-HDBK-695E) was last issued on October 20, 2011.  Paragraph 1.2.2c provides the recommendation for the shelf life of O-Rings and other molded seals.

The information in the chart below is intended to be utilized by those organizations who do not already have specific recommendations for the control of elastomeric seals. It should be noted that the packaging of the elastomeric seals prior to assembly into a product is an integral part of of the controlled storage procedure. It provides a positive means of product identity from the time of manufacture, to the time of assembly.

MIL-HDBK-695 does not establish limitations for storage times in assembled components, nor does it in any way provide a guideline for the operating life span of a particular compound.

Elastomer FamilyASTM AbbreviationRecommended Shelf Life
Butyl Rubber, Isobutylene IsopreneIIRUnlimited
Chloroprene (Neoprene®)CR15 Years
Epichlorohydrin (Hydrin®)ECONA
Ethylene Acrylic (Vamac®)AEM15 Years
Ethylene Propylene, EPDM or EPEPUnlimited
Fluorocarbon (Viton®)FKMUnlimited
Hydrogenated Nitrile, HNBR or HSNHNBR15 Years
Nitrile (Buna-N or NBR)NBR15 Years
Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon®)PTFEN/A
PolyacrylateACM15 Years
Polyurethane (Polyester or Polyether)AU / EU5 Years
Styrene Butadiene (Buna-S)SBR3 Years