Practical Advice Regarding Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat- shrink tubing protects electrical cables from weather, chemicals and abrasion. It also facilitates their identification. It is used in the electricity sector to prevent short circuits. It is a kind of plastic tube, which tightens under the action of heat. Its installation is far from complicated by following this guide.

How to install heat shrink tubing?

First of all, it is necessary to find the right size of the sheath. Information can be obtained from the heat-shrink tubing wholesaler. You can also check yourself that the diameter of the cable is larger than the diameter of the retracted sheath. When acquiring a sheath of the appropriate size, it is then advisable to carefully read the technical data sheet and the instructions for use. These manuals provide information on essential points to know, such as shrinkage temperature and shrinkage power. It is recommended to use specific tools to install the product. In particular, there are ovens and heat guns specially adapted for assembly. We can favor an ergonomic tool for the operation.

Knowing that the sheath shrinks by 5 to 7% once heated, it is necessary to provide a greater length than that of the cable. It is advisable to reserve 6.35 cm on either side of the length initially planned. Subsequently, the heat-shrink sheath can be cut and the electrical cable inserted into it. Position the sheath in the center before heating it. It is essential to respect the temperature indicated in the technical sheet, at the risk of burning the product. Excess heat does not provide good insulation either. To coat a long cable, start heating from one end working towards the other. This technique avoids the appearance of air bubbles inside the tube.

How to choose a heat shrink tubing?

Thin wall heat shrink tubing comes in a variety of colors. It is mainly used to identify the circuit, thanks to the color codes. We find among others sheaths in red, brown, orange, blue and green. They also ensure the mechanical and chemical protection of cables. They are made of flexible and adhesive material, making them perfectly waterproof. Generally, they are made of polyolefin and their shrinkage coefficient varies between 2: 1 and 4: 1. It will be necessary to choose according to the diameter of the cables that they will cover. The shrinkage temperature is around 100°C with a margin of -55°C and +135°C.

Medium and heavy wall heat shrink tubing is usually black. It ensures the electrical insulation of the cables, while protecting them from external risks. It is covered with a layer of resin, which guarantees its waterproofness. The shrink temperature is 120°C on average with an operating range of -55°C to +110°C. The minimum shrink power is 3:1. Medium wall heat shrink tubing is used for applications underground and aerial. Thick-walled ducts, on the other hand, are intended for harsh environments. There are industrial ducts specifically designed for professional applications.

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