Sealing Shielding

Proper Installation of an O-Ring: Full and Half Dovetails

Full and Half Dovetail InstallationDovetail 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.


Installation steps

  1. Start the installation by directly aligning the O-ring with the gland.

  2. Proceed by pushing the O-ring into the gland at points that are 180° apart from one another.

  3. 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.

  4. Do this until the O-ring is completely seated into the gland.

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.

For more information refer to the Parker O-Ring Handbook. You can also visit our Mobile inPHorm which is an engineering resource for material selection and gland design for O-ring applications.

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 -


Related sealing fundamental articles:

Press-in-Place Seals Solve Problems for Automotive Applications

O-Ring Squeeze - More is Not Always Better

Selecting the Right O-Ring Seal Squeeze Ratio

Proper Installation of an O-Ring: Face Seal Gland

Proper Installation of an O-Ring: Standard Female Gland 

Diagnosing a Damaged O-Ring

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