Shrink tubing

DEFINITION: Shrink tubing

What is a heat shrink tube?

A heat shrink tubing is a tube that can be used to protect a cable. It shrinks when heated, for example with a lighter or a heat gun. In most cases, tubing consists of the following materials: polymer, PVC, rubber or plastic. Heat shrink tubing comes in numerous cross-sectional sizes and each in different colours.

What can you use a heat shrink tube for?

Heatshrink tubing is used for: wires, wiring harnesses, bundling and insulation. The heat shrink tubing protects against: corrosion, water, chemicals and abrasion. The degree of protection varies from one type of tubing to another. Tubing comes in different colours. Common colours are: red, yellow, transparent, black, white, green, brown, yellow-green (earth), grey, pink, and blue. In addition, these tubes can be printed with text or codes. This makes heat shrink tubing also suitable for identification of cables or wires.

Shrink tubing

At what temperature can a stocking shrink?

Not every heat shrink tubing shrinks at the same temperature. The range is between 100°C and 175°C. This depends on the raw material used and the thickness of the wall. It also depends on whether there is a double or single wall. A single wall melts sooner than a double wall.

five steps for the correct application of the heatshrink tubing

Step 1: Measure the length of the wires and take a length of heatshrink tubing that is slightly longer. The tubing usually shrinks from about 1 to 10% in length (keep this in mind when cutting to length)

Step 2: Cut the stocking to the desired length.

Step 3: Slide the sock over the cables.

Step 4: Use a hot air gun (If you don't have one, use a lighter or a hot dryer!) Move the hot air gun along the length of the sleeving, back and forth, so that the heat is not focused on one spot for too long. Continue to heat the sleeving until it is tight around the cable.

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