If you need to insulate electrical wires and cables, then heat shrink tubing is an option worth considering. How does this type of insulation work? Why should you consider using it?
What Is Heat Shrink Tubing?
Like any electrical tubing, shrink products provide a layer of vital insulation around wires and cables. However, you use a special process to apply this covering. This tubing is made from thermoplastic materials. At the start of the process, you make your tubing and then heat it. This heat makes the thermoplastic expand. Once it cools and sets, it becomes bigger than the actual size you need to coat the cable or wire.
You then place the tubing around its wire or cable. Once it is in place, you heat it again. This heat softens the plastic and makes it shrink back down to its original size. As the plastic shrinks, it creates a tight-fitting layer around its wire or cable. Once it cools and sets again, it becomes a hard yet flexible protective coating.
Why Use Heat Shrink Tubing?
Some cable and wire tubing leaves spaces around their internal wires or cables. This can cause problems when people start to use them. For example, if external substances get inside a coating, then they could damage wires and cables. Water or moisture could cause electrical shorts which affect performance and which could spark a fire.
Plus, if tubing is loose on a wire or cable, then it won't give optimum protection. The coating might puncture too easily, causing damage to its contents. If it is loose, then it doesn't give optimum support.
Heat shrink tubing is more robust. It provides effective electrical and thermal insulation along a wire or cable. Its tight customized fit gives complete and strong support and insulation. This puts less stress on wires and cables which are held firmly but flexibly in place. You are less likely to have problems with contamination or damage from external materials or substances.
Heat shrinking is also an ideal way to bundle multiple wires or cables together in one tube. While you can use larger regular coatings to hold multiple wires or cables, this isn't always an ideal solution. You might struggle to find a coating that is the exact dimensions for your setup. If you cram too many wires or cables in a coating that is too small, then they could get damaged. The coating might also break. If it is too big, then you lose some protection.
Every heat-shrunk product has an exact fit. When you heat the tubing it shrinks to hold its contents snugly. For more information on heat shrink tubing, contact a professional near you.
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