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Protecting Your Electrical Systems with Heat-Shrink Tubing

Posted by Kimball Midwest on February 27, 2019

Tags: Electrical, Insulation, weather-proof

It’s a cruel truth that even the most complex and heavy-duty machinery can be rendered useless because of a single damaged wire connection, and these connections serving as the energy-pumping arteries of your electrical systems are constantly under attack by high operating temperatures, corrosion, abrasion and many other stressors.
But there’s some good news: specially-designed heat-shrink tubing can defend your wiring and connections from the strenuous conditions of your day-to-day operations. Without it, your web of wiring is constantly vulnerable, but, with heat-shrink tubing, you can rely on the electrical systems in your machinery to get the job done dependably.

Let’s look at the uses and different grades of heat-shrink tubing.
When to use Heat-Shrink Tubing

Heat-shrink tubing is a perfect fit for your electrical system when it comes up against harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme and varying temperature, water or friction. This is thanks to the process of using heat to shrink the diameter of thermoplastic (i.e., nytrex, nylon or polyolefin) tubing, allowing it to wrap tightly around wires, cables and other surfaces, according to the 2014 Joint International Conference paper, “Automating a Heat Shrink Tubing Process,” to completely encapsulate and seal the connection area.

But that’s not the only time heat-shrink tubing should be used.

Additionally, this insulating tubing can be used to:
  • Guard from dust and other foreign materials.
  • Provide flame-resistant and waterproof qualities.
  • Relieve cables and wires from mechanical strain.
  • Allow for easy identification of wires via color coding.
  • Safely harness wires together.
  • Organize complicated wiring.
From the simple bundling of wires to the protection from temperatures climbing up to 275º F in some cases, this technology offers commonsense benefits in virtually all electrical work. That’s why heat-shrink tubing has “been widely used in automobiles, electronics, computers, communications, aircrafts, petroleum, aerospace, military” and other industries, according to a 2017 Scientific Reports article.

And with three grades to choose from, there’s a heat-shrink tubing to fit every need.

Three Grades of Heat-Shrink Tubing

Are you dealing with agricultural equipment requiring the maximum stress resistance? Or perhaps you’re simply looking to protect and insulate your wiring for light-duty applications.

Let’s look at the features and best applications for each of the three heat-shrink tubing grades: Single wall, dual wall and heavy dual wall.

Single Wall

As The most flexible of the bunch, single-wall heat-shrink tubing is also the most economical grade. Alongside good dielectric strength, the abrasion, chemical and solvent resistance offered by single-wall heat-shrink tubing makes this grade perfect for general use where stronger heavier duty protections aren’t isn’t necessary.

With a continuous operating range of -67º F to 230º F, single-wall heat-shrink tubing is an excellent choice for any application that doesn’t require weatherproof sealing, such as:

• Interior automotive wiring
• Industrial maintenance
• Interior Wire and harness bundling
• Wire marking

But if you need another level of protection, it’s time to move up to dual wall.

Dual Wall

Combining a heavier wall thickness with an inner-wall Therma-Flow sealant, dual-wall heat-shrink tubing provides an excellent all-around option for any application where heavy wall tubing isn’t a necessity. The sealant melts as the tubing is heated and shrinks, then sets upon cooling to bond the tubing to the wire insulation, which completely protects the connection against corrosion while providing vibration and strain relief.

With its weatherproof seal, this dual-wall heat-shrink tubing gives you the added qualities of being waterproof and resistant to oil, chemicals and hydraulic fluid. This grade of tubing comes in clear, color-coded, and clear color-coded variants for easy organization, identification and inspection.

Heavy Dual Wall
For heavy-duty equipment, such as over-the-road trucks or agricultural equipment, the maximum integrity of heavy dual-wall heat-shrink tubing gives you the resistance you need from vibrations, weather and other stressors.

With the heavy-duty Therma-Flow liner, this grade of heat-shrink tubing provides the watertight seal necessary to best maintain the electrical systems of heavy-duty equipment. The extra thick wall design of the heavy dual-wall option provides added resistance to those chemicals, solvents and harsh conditions. These exceptional physical properties allow for top-tier strain relief, so heavy dual-wall heat-shrink tubing offers ultimate protection for the electrical work system in any heavy-duty equipment.

So, if you’re ready to begin enjoying the many benefits of heat-shrink tubing and find the perfect fit for your needs, FIND A REP!
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