Frequently asked questions about heat shrink tubing
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Heat shrink tubing, or a heat shrinkable tube, is a type of tube that shrinks when heated. Heat shrink tubing is often used to protect cables, but can also be used to mark of repair cables. Heat shrink tubing can offer mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical and / or environmental protection.
Heat shrink tubing is used for a broad range of applications, including the protection, repair and marking of cables and other objects. Heat shrink tubing is also used as an electrical insulator on solder- and shrink connections.
Heat shrink tubing is easy in use. Make sure that the piece of heat shrink tubing, before being heated and shrunk, fits around the cable, but is not too loose, so that the heat shrink tubing will fit tightly around the cable after shrinking. Cut the heat shrink tubing in the right length and heat it using a heat gun, lighter or hairdryer.
Most heat shrink tubing is made of cross-linked polyolefin. The cross-linked polyolefin is stretched out during production, and goes back to its original shape and size after being heated. The wall thickness changes during the stretching out and the shrinking.
Different types of heat shrink tubing have different shrink ratio’s. The most used type of heat shrink tubing is the H-2(Z). This type has a shrink ratio of 2:1. Other types of heat shrink tubing, such as the H-2(3X), have a shrink ratio of 3:1. There are also types of heat shrink tubing with shrink ratios of 1,5:1 / 2,5:1 / 4:1 and 6:1.
The best and safest way to heat and shrink heat shrink tubing, is by heating it with a heat pistol. If you do not have a heat pistol, a lighter, solder or hairdryer will do the trick as well.
Different types of heat shrink tubing have different temperatures at which they shrink. The H(2)-Z, the most used type of heat shrink tubing, requires a temperature of at least 70 °C to shrink. For a full shrink, a temperature of 100 °C is required.
Yes, it is possible to shrink heat shrink tubing using a lighter. For the best result, a heat pistol should be used – also because they are the safest in use. If a lighter or heat pistol is not available, you can also use a hairdryer.
The operating temperature of heat shrink tubing depends on the type of heat shrink tubing. The H(2)-Z, the most used type of heat shrink tubing, has an operating temperature ranging from -55 °C up to +125 °C. This type of heat shrink tubing is made of cross-linked polyolefin and has a shrink ratio of 2:1.
Heat shrink tubing has electrical insulation properties, protecting the cable on which the heat shrink tubing is applied. In addition, heat shrink tubing offers mechainal protection, due to the heat shrink tubing protecting the cable from damaging due to friction or impact. The degree of protection depends on the type of heat shrink tubing.
Heat shrink tubing is available in different types and sizes – thin-wall, medium-wall and – heavy wall, different shrink ratios and a broad range of operating temperatures. Which type of heat shrink tubing is best suited for your application, depends on the application and the desired properties.
Heat shrink tubing is not by default water resistant – therefore, when choosing a type of heat shrink tubing, ask yourself if water resistant properties are desired. Heat shrink tubing with adhesive lining is normally water resistant. These types of heat shrink tubing contain an adhesive lining which melts when the heat shrink tubing is heated and shrunk.
To get an overview of the different types of heat shrink tubing, you can best use our flowchart. Using this flowchart, you can easily decide which type and model of heat shrink tubing is best suited for your application.
Measure the diameter of the cable on which the heat shrink tubing will be used. Make sure that the piece of heat shrink tubing fits around the cable easily, but will fit tightly around the cable after shrinkage. Which type of heat shrink tubing you need, depends on the required properties.
Different types of heat shrink tubing have different shrink ratio’s, such as 2:1 or 4:1. Heat shrink tubing with a diameter of 2 millimetres will, with a 2:1 shrink ratio, shrink to a diameter of 1 millimetre. Always use heat shrink tubing that has a smaller after-shrink diameter than the cable, so that you are ensured of proper sealing of the heat shrink tubing – cable connection.
Measure the length of the cable on which the heat shrink tubing will be used, and make sure to cut off a piece of heat shrink tubing that is slightly longer – about 5 to 15%. Keep this in mind while cutting off heat shrink tubing, because in addition to the diameter shrinking, heat shrink tubing also shrinks in length.
Using a cutting machine, heat shrink tubing can be cut into specific lengths. These length pieces can be cut in every desired length. For an order which requires heat shrink tubing in specific lengths, we need the following information: type of heat shrink tubing, the desired length of the length pieces and the number of length pieces. The number of length pieces is adjusted to the number of rolls of heat shrink tubing.
Yes, we can cut heat shrink tubing into specific lengths for you. The heat shrink tubing will then, using a cutting machine, be cut into length pieces of a by you desired length. For this, we need to know the type of heat shrink tubing, the desired length of the length pieces and the number of length pieces.
‚Regular‘ heat shrink tubing is made of cross-linked polyolefin. Some types of heat shrink tubing, for more specialist applications, such as the H-5(3X)-F, are made of cross-linked polyolefin with adhesive through co-extrusion, cross-linked Fluor elastomer or modified tetrafluorethyleen.
Heat shrink tubing (the types without adhesive) can be removed by cutting the heat shrink tubing using a knife. Make sure to cut the heat shrink tubing along the full length. After, you can fold the heat shrink tubing open and pull out the cable. Make sure to not cut the cable when cutting the heat shrink tubing.
When heat shrink tubing is ‚adhesive lined‘, this means that the heat shrink tubing has a layer of adhesive on the inside of the tube. This layer of adhesive when the heat shrink tubing is heated – and therefore when it shrinks due to being heated.
Adhesive lined heat shrink tubing offers good sealing and insulting properties. Therefore, adhesive lined heat shrink tubing is perfectly suited for use in most environments. For simple insulation, mechanical protection and protection against dirt and grime, heat shrink tubing without adhesive is sufficient.
The added value that adhesive lined heat shrink tubing offers is the sealing (mostly against moisture) that the adhesive offers, between the tubve and the cable after the heat shrink tubing has been shrunk. Due to these specific properties, adhesive lined heat shrink tubing is mostly used in moist environments, such as outside or on ships.
Adhesive lined heat shrink tubing can be used for all applications for which heat shrink tubing without adhesive would also be used. The adhesive melts when the tube is heated.
Thin-wall heat shrink tubing is the most-used type of heat shrink tubing, and is used for a broad range of applications. Due to its low shrink temperature, the flexibility and the mechanical strength make the H-2(Z) a favourite in the communications, electronics and automotive industry.
Medium-wall heat shrink tubing has, after shrinking, a wall thickness between 1,4 mm and 4,2 mm. This type of heat shrink tubing is less flexible than thin-wall heat shrink tubing and is resistant to voltages of up to 25 kV.
Heavy-wall heat shrink tubing has, after shrinking, a wall thickness between 1,8 mm and 4,7 mm. Unlike thin-wall and medium-wall heat shrink tubing, heavy-wall heat shrink tubing is not flexible. Heavy-wall heat shrink tubing is resistant to up to 36 kV.
The heavy-wall HBTH busbar insulation tubing offers excellent electrical properties and creep currant resistance, is halogen free and weather- and UV resistant. Made of modified polyolefin. Available in the colour red.
Heavy-wall busbar insulation tubing is only available with a 2,5:1 shrink ratio and has a full shrink temperature of 120°C. This type of heat shrink tubing is available in two wall thicknesses.
Heat shrinkable moulded parts are pre-moulded for cable-ends, or are used for guiding cables. They are divided in cable end caps, cable breakouts and cable feed throughs.
The shrinkable cable end cap HSEC with adhesive ensures excellent sealing of cable ends. Suited for all low voltage applications, UV- and weather resistant. Meets the RoHS standard.
Heat shrinkable cable breakouts have 2, 3, 4 or 5 cores and are often used split cables into multiple cables, and the other way around. They offer excellent sealing properties and are perfect for use in low voltage applications.
The heat shrinkable cable feed through HCFT contains an adhesive layer, which guarantees excellent sealing properties. The HCFT shrinkable cable feed through is suited for low voltage applications. In addition, the HCFT is UV- and weather resistant and meets the RoHS standard.
Shrinkable cable feed throughs with adhesive are used for guiding cable, through a tub, into a building. Due to the adhesive lining, the cable feed through protects the cable against moisture and water.
A display for miniboxes can hold a maximum of six heat shrink tubing miniboxes. They also offer a good way to present these miniboxes, or to keep heat shrink tubing within reach in for example a workshop. Using the mounting holes, the display can easily be attached to a wall.
Yes, two types of heat shrink tubing can be printed: the H-2(Z) 2PF and the H-2(Z) 3PF, both types of thin-wall heat shrink tubing. The print can be done in black and white. The heat shrink tubing can have a maximum width of 50,8 mm. Both text and a logo can be printed on heat shrink tubing.
Heat shrink tubing was invented in the United States around the 1940’s / 1950’s. About ten years later, they found their way to Europe. They have now been used for over 60 years to protect and insulate cables.
Heat shrink tubing is available in most DIY stores. There are also several specialists in the market, including WKK Europe. Would you like more information? Contact one of our advisors through email@example.com.