Category Archives: O-rings

Read more about O-ring seals in this collection of articles, which covers a variety of topics related to O-ring sizes and size standards, seal materials, installation, and much more.

How To Install an O-Ring in any Application

O-Rings continue to be the most widely utilized sealing product.  While the ‘Donut’ shaped profile has by and large been kept intact since their inception, continued elastomeric development has pushed o-ring temperature and chemical compatibility to limits unimaginable several decades ago.

Typically, O-Rings fail due to adverse effects of a number of factors, from improper installation and lubrication to incorrect size and design.  The collection of videos below will help you minimize installation errors that may lead to failure (be sure to bookmark this page for future reference).


How To Install an O-Ring – Standard Male Gland


How to Install an O-Ring – Standard Female Gland


How to Install an O-Ring – Face Seal Gland


How to Install an O-Ring – Dovetail Grooves


How to Install an O-Ring – Hollow O-Rings

VIDEO: How to Lubricate an O-Ring

Lubrication of O-rings is extremely important. The greatest benefit of using a lubricant is typically obtained during installation.

Parker O-Lube - Lubricant for O-RingsUsing a lubricant is going to decrease the surface friction of the O-ring helping to prevent abrasion, pinching or cutting of the O-ring during installation.  Lubricating an O-ring can also help to seat the O-ring properly into the application, as well as aid and speed up automated assembly processes.

The proper method of applying a lubricant to an O-ring always seems to be an area of concern for many of our customers and there are many methods used in the marketplace. One is to apply the lubricant to the O-ring using your fingers, your hand or a brush. Another is to dip the O-ring into a container of the lubricant. A third method commonly used is to dispense the O-ring lubricant into the seal packaging and use what we call the “shake and bake” method.

The common goal of all of these different lubrication methods is to have a thin uniform film applied to the entire surface of the O-ring when completed. This will ease installation and provide best friction reduction.


Gallagher Fluid Seals is a Parker Authorized Distributor, with thousands of o-rings stocked at all times.  If you have any questions about o-rings, material compatibility, failure modes, etc, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Part Identification Technologies

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


Protect Your Seal Aftermarket with Part Identification Technologies

Protect Your Seal Aftermarket with Part Identification TechnologiesParker is revolutionizing part identification technology with a multitude of options. Customers are able to benefit from various identification methods such as non-permanent and permanent part markings by selecting their part number and company logo on the seal. For more advanced identification, a customer may opt to use the Parker Tracking System or utilize our RFID seals for tracking purposes. These identification methods ensure product authenticity and reduce seal installation errors by providing visual indicators for the assembly process.

Basic part marking – non-permanent identification

Non-permanent markings are applied to the surface of the seal and can be in the form of a company logo, unique part number, barcode, or other seal information. Non-permanent markings ensure Parker’s part origin, enables part level traceability and provides an easily visible cue to operators. This value-added feature helps reduce installation errors in addition to protecting customers against counterfeit seals.

Continue reading Part Identification Technologies

How to Read a Rubber Test Report

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


4 Most Common Rubber Test Report Misunderstandings

4 Most Common Rubber Test Report MisunderstandingsWe’ve all done it at least once: looked at a rubber test report, read the numbers on it, and come up with exactly the wrong conclusion. Pass / fail limits and results are printed right there, but for some reason, our brain just misinterprets the two. It’s a passing value, but for some reason, we think it shows a failure instead. Imagine a police officer writing a speeding ticket for driving 53 MPH on a road with a 55 MPH speed limit.

It’s not a problem with the test itself, it’s a problem of interpretation. That means the old carpenter’s adage, “measure once, cut twice; measure twice, cut once” doesn’t address the issue. The same issue of misunderstanding the values on a test report occurs in the rubber seal industry about once a month. Passing results are misinterpreted to be failing results, and good values are thought to be bad ones. Here are four of the most common rubber test report misunderstandings I’ve run into.

Continue reading How to Read a Rubber Test Report

Using an O-Ring in Non-Circular Grooves

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.  Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


O-Ring Racetrack Groove

Can O-rings be used in rectangular or non-circular groove patterns? This question comes up weekly, and the answer is a resounding “Yes!” however there are definite guidelines we want to follow. A non-circular face seal footprint might also be called a racetrack groove, a wandering groove or a custom plan view. When using an O-ring, the main design consideration is the corner or smallest radius (shown “r” in diagram). The inside radius should be at least three times the O-ring cross sectional diameter. In a perfect world, six times greater is even better. What we want to avoid is over-stressing the O-ring around the bend, or causing a corner crease which increases likelihood of corner leakage. Designing the radius at six times the cross section will minimize the bending stress, resulting in increased service life.

Continue reading Using an O-Ring in Non-Circular Grooves

Static O-Ring Seal – Face Type Seal

The face seal design chart below explains the hardware dimensions to use for an O-ring seal when the groove is cut into a flat surface.

O-Ring Seal: Face Type Seals

Systems Which Contain Internal Pressure

For designing systems which contain internal pressure, like the example below, the groove’s outside diameter (OD) is primary, and the groove’s width then determines the inside diameter.

O-Ring Seal: Face Seal w/Internal Pressure     O-Ring Seal: Face Seal w/Internal Pressure

Continue reading Static O-Ring Seal – Face Type Seal

VIDEO: O-Ring Failure Modes: Elongation & Nibbling

O-Ring Extrusion & NibblingExtrusion and nibbling of the O-ring is a primary cause of seal failure in dynamic applications such as hydraulic rod and piston seals. This form of failure may also be found from time to time in static applications subject to high pressure pulsing which causes the clearance gap of the mating flanges to open and close, trapping the O-ring between the mating surfaces.

Watch the video below from Parker’s O-Ring eHandbook, showing how extrusion & nibbling can happen.


Continue reading VIDEO: O-Ring Failure Modes: Elongation & Nibbling

O-Ring Failure Modes: Compression Set

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.  Original content can be found on Parker’s Digital ORing Handbook.

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Probably the most common cause of O-ring failure is compression set. An effective O-ring seal requires a continuous “seal line” between the sealed surfaces. The establishment of this “seal line” is a function of gland design and seal cross section which determines the correct amount of squeeze (compression) on the O-ring to maintain seal integrity without excessive deformation of the seal element.

Continue reading O-Ring Failure Modes: Compression Set

VIDEO: How To Install an O-Ring – Hollow O-Rings

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.  Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.

This video provides instructions on how to properly install and uninstall a Parker TechSeal’s hollow O-ring. Although appearing simple, the installation process of a hollow O-ring requires a proper method in order to prevent overstretching the seal.

The best way to install a hollow O-ring is to start at one point and work your way around the groove, pushing the seal into the groove. Once the seal is installed, lightly slide your finger around the seal to make sure that the seal is positioned and aligned correctly. Replacement is also fast and simple; gently pull the old seal out of the groove and install a new one.

The incorrect method to install a hollow O-ring is to push the seal into the groove at one point and stretch the seal around the groove track. Stretching the seal will result in fitting issue, inadequate sealing and ultimately seal failure.

Parker’s TechSeal Division designs and manufactures hollow O-rings in standard series and friction-fit series. The friction-fit feature enables the seal to remain inside the groove without the need for adhesives, O-ring lubricants or mechanical fasteners. Parker TechSeal’s hollow O-ring is a low closure force sealing solution for enclosure applications and many other static applications. A hollow O-ring is mostly installed on the face of an application and therefore is called face seal or axial seal.

For more information on Parker hollow o-rings, or questions about how to install an o-ring, please contact us.  Our Customer Service team and our first-in-class Engineering Department can answer your toughest questions.

VIDEO: How to Install an O-Ring – Dovetail Grooves

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.  Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.

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.

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. 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.