If you work in electrical equipment repair or wire assembly manufacturing, chances are you’ve come in contact with heat shrink tubing before.
As the name suggests, heat shrink tubing is a shrinkable plastic covering that can be used to insulate and protect wires, conductors, and terminals from moisture, wear and tear, and abrasion. As a critical component of any electrical setup, heat shrink protects the wiring from shorts and failures and can eliminate fire hazards.
Heat shrink tubing is very versatile. In addition to being used for electrical wires, it can also be used in other applications, such as for equipment manufacturing, cabling, harness manufacturing, and more.
How Does Heat Shrink Tubing Work?
Using extrusion, heat shrink tubing is typically made from a thermoplastic material. The thermoplastic is heated to the desired shape and expanded to a larger diameter. Once it is cooled at room temperature, it is set and ready to use. Heat shrink is available in various sizes depending on the required use. Generally, the sizing of the shrink tubing is classified by the shrink ratio. For example, a 2-1 ratio means the heat shrink will shrink to two times its diameter.
This expanded thermoplastic tubing can be placed on wire conductors, joints, connections, and terminals. When heated to the relative temperature, the tube softens and shrinks to its intended size to cover the wiring or components as a protective layer.
Heat shrink is commonly used to bundle wires or repair wire insulation coverings. By using color-coded heat shrink tubing or custom-printed heat shrink tubing, you can also label wiring for easy identification and include your company logo.
Different Types of Heat Shrink Tubing Materials
Created in the 1950s, heat shrink tubing can be produced by an assortment of thermoplastic materials such as adhesive-lined polyolefin, neoprene, polyvinyl chloride, polytetrafluoroethylene, and fluorinated ethylene propylene.
The choice of material depends highly on the environmental conditions as well as the required reinforcement of the equipment. The most popular and user-friendly tube material, however, is polyolefin. Is also important to ensure that the tubing selected has the required electrical authority approvals such as UL or CSA.
Polyolefin is a nontoxic, break-resistant material favored for use with medical supplies. This odorless form of durable material is used in the manufacturing of storage containers and toys, in addition to electrical components.
Polyolefin is the preferred choice for heat shrink due to its thermal endurance as it can tolerate temperatures up to 135°C or 275°F. This heat resistance is prime for users in the industrial, mechanical, and manufacturing fields.
Buy High-Quality Custom-Printed Heat Shrink Tubing from ShrinkShop
If you are in the market for quality heat shrink tubing, contact the knowledgeable team at ShrinkShop. We specialize in single and double wall polyolefin tubing along with custom-cut and printed heat shrink tubing and wire accessories. Choose your color, size, and special details and we will do the rest!
We provide services for custom heat shrink labels and custom heat shrink sleeves with text, images, or markings. For more than 30 years, our friendly staff has provided the latest technology and custom-made products to solve your electrical demands.
Contact us today to find out how heat shrink tubing can help you brand or identify your wires.