Dovetail Grooves are effective at retaining seals, however they come with a few challenges.
• The first is overfill from high volume caused by a very small gland. Situations causing overfill may be thermal expansion resulting from high heat, or O-ring swell due to the seal material absorbing some of the fluid.
• The second problem with dovetail grooves can be installation difficulties. The O-ring can be easily elongated or twisted during assembly. The O-ring can be placed unevenly in the groove (stretched on one section while bunched on the opposite side) or at worst case, having a loop. This requires the seal to be removed and reinstalled properly or immediately replaced. Re-installation may become complicated if the seal has been excessively stretched, and time must pass for the seal to retract back to its original size.
• A third challenge is the wear that may occur on the groove over time, especially in applications which have cycling and the seal gap is opened and closed during normal application. This type of cycling can result in the pinch location widening to the point the seal is not longer retained. When this happens the groove component must be reworked or removed from service.
The EZ-Lok seal primarily addresses the high volume fill challenges that accompany an O-ring in a dovetail groove. The narrow base reduces the volume of the seal, yet retention is not compromised because there are intermittent features, “bumps” placed around the ID and OD of the seal. These ribs are not pinched in the groove like an O-ring, so the seal will not stretch and excessively bunches around the groove as it is installed.