Heat Shrink Tubing- Versatile Tools for Cable Organization
Do you know cables can be hermetically sealed inside little pieces of shrinkable thermoplastic tubes? Let’s explore how this stuff even works in the first place.
Heat shrink tubes are commonly used to insulate and protect cables against heat, abrasion, chemicals, moisture or dust in electrical setups. Also known as heat shrink sleeves in the electrical trade, it involves the process of applying heat (with an electric heat gun) to shrink an expanded thermoplastic tube down to the size of the substrate beneath and create a protective encasing over a group of wires. A solid alternative to taping or moulding, this system presents an effective cable organization technique ensuring bundle wires are easy-to-handle and appear much neater.
Here are some of the beneficial properties, types and applications of heat shrink tubing:
– Binds, seals and provides enhanced strain relief to loose wires, back-end connectors, joints, splices and connector-to-cable transitions.
– Full encapsulation and protection of cables when exposed to UV exposure, oils, chemicals, fluids and other contaminants present in harsh environments.
– Reliable, flexible and water-tight solution to seal wires from moisture, corrosion, growth of fungus or mold.
– Thermal insulation properties minimize heat transfer, protecting the components and wiring within.
– Flame-retardant halogen-free tubing offers fire safety in toxic and underground environments.
– Repairs to damaged cable jackets are made easy without requiring removal of connectors due to the high-expansion capacity of tubes.
– Colour coded tubes not only help in easy assembling and bundling of wires together but also help in quick identification of wires.
The two common materials used in their construction are:
Polyolefin Tubing- This is the most popularly used synthetic polymer tubing. Its main advantage is its superior flame resistance property and ability to withstand high temperatures up to 125°C–135°C.
PVC Tubing- Made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), this tubing is less expensive than polyolefin tubing. They have a high tensile strength but are only suited for use in temperatures up to 105°C.
Based on varied requirements the following options are available:
Transparent tubing- Sometimes seeing through the heat shrink tubing is important where the cables have identification marks printed on them in tunnels, rail wagons, planes, ships and other public buildings. Transparent tubing insulates wire jackets and retains the visibility of identification marks.
Printable tubing- Single wall TF21 tubing is used for clear identification of conductors to mark live or neutral wires. Available in a variety of configurations, colours and sizes they are meant for high-performance applications due to their flame retardant properties and UL224 VW1 listing.
Adhesive-lined tubing- This dual-wall adhesive-lined tubing provides reliable insulation and protection for cable joints and terminations. The polyolefin based MA47 outer jacket with an inner adhesion layer ensures a snug fitting and protects wires against moisture, humidity, corrosion, and other environmental impacts when buried underground.
Due to their ability to provide excellent insulation and strain relief to wired connections and terminations, heat shrink tubing applications range from simple household indoor installations to heavy duty cable assemblies in public spaces like airports, hospitals, railway stations and in tunnels. They are also widely used in almost all sectors -Industrial, agriculture, data communications, aerospace, marine, military and automotive.
At Electric Way, top electrical cable suppliers in Dubai, we supply a range of heat shrink tubing either pre-cut and on reels, available in different colours, sizes, wall thicknesses and materials. The portfolio also includes heat shrinkable end caps and moulded shapes. For easing the application process, we supply electric powered heat guns with different sized nozzles.
Whether you’re building a cable assembly in an industrial setting or are simply trying to organize your cables at home, speak to our team on +971 4 817 0777 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for choosing the best quality tubing kits.
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