Dovetail grooves are a great mechanism for holding O-rings in place. The retention feature makes having an upside-down or vertical face seal groove much easier. However, installing an O-ring into these grooves can be tricky without proper technique.
The most important variable for installing an O-ring into a dovetail gland is making sure the seal is sized properly. Refer to the O-Ring Handbook or consult a Parker applications engineer for assistance in sizing O-rings to dovetail glands.
Start the installation by directly aligning the O-ring with the gland.
Proceed by pushing the O-ring into the gland at points that are 180° apart from one another.
Once one section is inserted, move to the midpoint of the uninstalled area and once again, pushing at points 180° apart from one another, insert the next section.
Failure to size the O-ring properly for the gland or install a properly sized O-ring incorrectly can cause the O-ring to loop or buckle in one section. This loop can be the cause of mechanical damage or a trouble area for leaks.
Last, when bolting or clamping the mating faces together, make sure to use a star pattern in order to achieve equal compression on all points of the seal.
It's what you don't see that makes it a Parker O-ring. Be sure and bookmark our always-up-to-date online interactive O-Ring eHandbook.
Or visit us online at Parker O-Ring Division - www.parkerorings.com.
Related sealing fundamental articles: