Read these 7 Heat Shrink Tubing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wire Management tips and hundreds of other topics.
Although black is the easiest and least expensive color of heat shrink tubing, it's a good idea to use many colors. There are many colors on the market, including red, yellow, green, white, gray, blue, purple and even clear heat shrink tubing. Color coded wires:
Heat shrink tubing is an inexpensive way to insulate, protect and color code wires and cords around the office and home. The tubing has a very diverse function and is used for many industries, including telecommunications, military, automotive and electronics. When purchased, heat shrink tubing is a flexible material that is then wrapped around a wire and shrunk to fit like a second skin. The shrinking occurs when heat is applied to it, either by a special heat-shrinking gun or an ignition torch. Special caution should be taken when applying heat to any wires. Never apply shrink tubing to a cord that has electricity currently moving through it.
When ordering heat shrink tubing, you should know both the expanded and recovered dimensions.
The expanded dimension is what the tubing measures when it is in its expanded state. The recovered dimension is what the tubing measures when it is heated and recovered on the rod.
Wondering what you should do if you do not have these dimensions? Measure the object you want to use heat shrink on for its outside diameter. Also, know if you want the heat shrink supplied in coils or straight lengths.
PVC heat shrink tubing is highly flame retardant and resists sunlight, fungus, moisture and most chemicals and oils. It is cheaper than polyolefin heat shrink tubing, which is a highly flexible all-purpose insulation. PVC heat shrink tubing can be used on wire harnesses and wire splices and insulating terminals.
Raychem heat shrink tubing offers both thin wall and dual wall options. Thin wall heat shrink tubing is used for insulation, strain relief and protection against mechanical damage and abrasion, while dual wall shrink tubing is used as a corrosion protector and sealant. Here are some product lines offered by Raychem, which can be found at www.raychem.com:
Why choose thin wall heat shrink tubing? Because thin wall tubing provides superior insulation and protection against mechanical damage and abrasion. The benefits of using thin wall heat shrink tubing include: its dimensions and physical properties are consistent; it meets industry standards and it is UL/CSA recognized. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are organizations that regulate the industry to make sure products are safe and of high quality.
Many rave about Teflon's strength and durability. And Teflon heat shrink tubing is indeed tough. But what exactly is Teflon? Teflon is a registered trademark of DuPont and refers to the three fluoropolymer resins PTFE, FEP and PFA, three plastics that share common properties such as lubricity, chemical resistance and high temperature resistance.There are slight differences between the three plastics. Here is a breakdown of the plastics, courtesy of cableorganizer.com:
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|