What is Shrink Tubing?
heat shrink tubing is a type of plastic tubing that shrinks when heated, hence the name "heat shrink." It is commonly used for electrical insulation, protection, and bundling of wires, cables, and other components. The tubing is typically made from materials like polyolefin, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or fluoropolymers. It is available in various sizes and colours to accommodate different applications. When heat is applied to the tubing, either through a heat gun or an oven, it undergoes a shrinking process. The tubing's diameter reduces, and it conforms tightly to the shape of the object it is covering. This provides an effective barrier against moisture, dust, chemicals, and physical damage.
What are the benefits of heat shrink Tubing?
- Electrical insulation: It creates a protective barrier around wires, preventing short circuits and electrical hazards.
- Strain relief: By shrinking around the wires or cables, it helps relieve stress on the connection points and prevents the wires from bending or breaking.
- Environmental protection: The tubing provides resistance to moisture, chemicals, abrasion, and UV radiation.
- Organization and bundling: It can be used to group and organize wires or cables, making installations neater and more manageable.
- Identification and colour coding: Heat shrink tubing is available in various colours, allowing for easy identification and colour coding of different wires or cables.
What are the materials and types of heat shrink tubing?
- Polyolefin (PO): Polyolefin tubing is the most widely used and versatile type of heat shrink tubing.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): PVC heat shrink tubing is known for its flexibility, durability, and flame-retardant properties. It is commonly used in applications where resistance to oils, fuels, and chemicals.
- Fluoropolymer (e.g., Teflon): Fluoropolymer heat shrink tubing offers exceptional resistance to high temperatures, chemicals, and solvents.
- Neoprene: Neoprene heat shrink tubing provides good resistance to oils, fuels, and chemicals.
- Dual-Wall Heat Shrink Tubing: Dual-wall tubing consists of an inner layer of adhesive and an outer layer of heat-shrinkable material. When heated, the tubing shrinks, and the inner adhesive layer melts and creates a moisture-resistant seal.
- Specialty Heat Shrink Tubing: There are various specialty heat shrink tubing options available for specific applications.
For more information on heat Shrink tubing please see our complete guide here.
For accessories that are used with Heat Shrink Tubing please see:
Heat Shrink Connectors https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/connectors/wire-terminals-splices/splice-connectors/
Heat Guns https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/power-tools-soldering-welding/power-tools