Heat shrink tubing protects and organises wires and electrical components such as connectors. Here, we look at adhesive heat shrink tubing, and discuss what it is used for and how to use it.
What is adhesive heat shrink tubing?
Heat shrink tubing, or electrical shrink tubing, is a thermo plastic tube that shrinks when a source of heat is applied to it. As its name implies, adhesive heat shrink tubing is heat shrink tubing that has an adhesive lining which provides additional protection and a more permanent casing for critical wiring. Where standard heat shrink tubing can be removed, adhesive heat shrink tubing cannot, as the lining literally adheres to the cable inside it.
What is adhesive heat shrink tubing used for?
Adhesive heat shrink tubing is best used wherever cables need protection and/or insulation, for example in outdoor installations or for underground cables, as the adhesive lining creates a super-efficient seal against dirt and humidity.
Industrial uses for adhesive heat shrink tubing
The versatility of adhesive heat shrink tubing makes it useful in a variety of industrial applications. In areas where malfunction or loose wires can cause high risk, such as the military, using adhesive heat shrink tubing is a sensible option. Manufactured from synthetic polymer, the shrink tubing is not only able to withstand extreme temperatures and chemical exposure but will shrink under reduced temperatures, making it ideal for heat sensitive applications like fibre-optics and electronics. It is also used in the automotive, rail and shipbuilding industries.
Benefits of heat shrink tubing
As adhesive heat shrink tubing is versatile and easy to apply, there are many benefits to using it. It will protect against moisture, dirt and chemicals and is ideal for outdoor use. It can be used for rapid repairs, and safeguards against low impacts, sharp edges and scratches.
How to use adhesive heat shrink tubing
Before applying the tubing, roughen the cable to create extra surface for the adhesive to grip, then clean the cabling to remove dirt and grease. Once the adhesive heat shrink tubing is in place, apply heat from a hot air gun, beginning at the middle and working out towards the ends. Doing this stops air being trapped and bubbles from forming. Always wear eye-protection plus gloves and a mask and open windows for ventilation when indoors.
Adhesive heat shrink tubing from cableties-online
At cableties-online, we stock rolls of adhesive lined heat shrink tubing that has a shrink ratio of 3:1. This means it will shrink down to one third of its pre-heated size and that the tubing, when supplied, is three times larger than it will be once shrunk. Our adhesive lined heat shrink tubing is available in rolls in a choice of widths and lengths. Note that tubing will shrink in length when heat is applied so this must be taken into account when calculating lengths required. To find out more about all types of heat shrink tubing, our complete guide has lots of information.