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How to Use Heat Shrink

The technique for high temperature heat sink tubing encases or covers wires or cables to seal the environment. Also, you may refer to it as the heat shrink sleeves. The procedure for heat shrinking isn’t as complex as so many people think. Here, you will need to have one, insert your wire and then heat this sleeve to prepare them for insulation. In addition, there are different shrinks inside the marketplace.

In this article, we will be discussing the use of heat shrinks, as well as the factors you need to consider during the heating, as well as the types available.

What Does Heat Shrink Tubing Mean?

This can be described as a rubber sleeve which shrinks its size whenever it comes in contact with heat most especially heat shrink temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 90 degrees Celsius. Immediately it shrinks, it remains shrunk in a bid to seal what it is covering permanently.

Why the Use of High Temperature Heat Shrink Tubing is Important

Heat shrink tubing features some benefits. Let’s consider them

  • Wire protection is adequate against abrasion, low impacts, as well as other hazards
  • Electrical and thermal insulation
  • Creates a form of defensive mechanism against water, acids, dust, oil, water, as well as other contaminants
  • Cables are bundled in complex networks to make sure that they are properly organized
  • Helps in creating greater strength in preventing strain on cables and wires
  • Creates an appealing appearance and smooth texture

Choosing the Right Heat Shrink

Ratio of shrinkage

This describes the ration between the supplied inner diameter and the inner diameter recovered. For instance, a 4:1 percentage indicates that this Tube could shrink into 25% of its initial size.

The shrink size having a high shrinkable ration could be highly effective in some objects like connectors. This could enclose the body of the connector and then shrink intro smaller diameters such as a wire.

Choosing the Internal Diameter

To choose the right internal diameter, you need to consider the object’s maximum and minimum diameter. We advise that you work with an inner diameter that falls between an allowance of 20% – 30%. This allows enough space so as to allow the merging of the shrink with the thing.

There are two major things you need to consider here

  • Recovered inner diameter: This is a small diameter that is obtained after heating the shrink
  • Supplied inner diameter: This is a nominal diameter even before you heat the shrink

The Tube’s thickness

The shrink tube’s length might reduce whenever you apply heat to it. This is why you have to make sure that it permits around 5% – 7% when heating it.

What are the Required Heat Shrink Tube Temperature and Materials?

Polyolefin can be described as the material most commonly used for any heat shrinking tube. This polyolefin is an extremely durable material having high temp heat shrink threshold that are useful in applications, which have a high heat shrink temperature for operation such as in industrial, mechanical, and manufacturing settings. Industries which usually make use of polyolefin are railway, aerospace, electronics and military.

Polyolefin material comes with different benefits. These include

  • High flexibility
  • Quick shrinking
  • Great durability

This heat shrink tube temperature of about 100 Degrees Celsius, but could withstand about 135 degrees Celsius


The shrinks are made up of Polyvinyl chloride. It can withstand about 105 degrees Celsius. The shrink is about 10% – 50 percent less expensive compared to Polyolefin shrink and comes in different colors. Asides from this, they feature a better abrasion strength and resistance.

Heat Shrinks that are Adhesive Lined

These heat shrinks feature two layers. These include the inner adhesive and outer polyolefin layers. Immediately they are heated, the inner layer melts then flows, therefore fling up the void and then creating an environmental seal

Heat Shrink PTFE Tubing

The tubing is great if you wish to have a strong protection against any high temp heat shrink (reaching 260 degrees Celsius) and any chemical resistance. This usually comes expanded and then shrinks immediately heat is applied, therefore creating a shield that is impenetrable.

FEP Heat Shrink Tube

The shrink tubes are made up of fluorinated ethylene propylene. This is very durable and has what it takes to withstand any high stretching. Furthermore, the heat shrink temperature of the tube is about 180 degrees Celsius; however it has the ability to withstand very consistent temperatures within 200 degrees Celsius and 205 degrees Celsius.

PVDF Heat Shrink Tube

This type of heat shrink tube is well known due to their great resistance to abrasion, cold flow, as well as impact. It is transparent, and the minimum heat shrink tube temperature it has is 175 degrees Celsius.

Elastomeric Heat Shrink Tube

The heat shrink tube is made up of elastomers. This is a group of polymers having both viscosity and elasticity (elastoviscosity). This material has what it takes to withstand high heat shrink tube temperature of around 150 degrees Celsius, and has a shrink ratio of 2:1.

Viton Heat Shrink Tubing

This Viton is included among the fluoropolymer class, which are resistant to possible chemical erosion. Asides from this, it has the ability to withstand 2000 degrees Celsius temperature with a shrink ratio average of 2:1.

Silicone Heat Shrink Tubing

The shrink tube has what it takes to stand against harsh heat conditions of around 175 degrees Celsius. It is also water-resistant and features an average shrink ratio of 4:1.

Will the Hair Dryer shrink the Heat Shrink Tubing?

It is possible. We have worked with blow/hair dryers for shrinking the heat shrink and it yielded mixed results. At times, this heat shrink will not shrink effectively as it should or the blow dryer would just take a longer time to get this heat shrink completely shrink.

Majority of hair dryers do not achieve this temperature. Like we mentioned earlier, majority would shrink at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the blow/hair dryers range between 80 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When you have a blow/hair dryer that can reach higher temperatures, then it may work on heat shrinks. However, this may take a longer time to shrink down compared to when using the heat gun, blow torch, or lighter.

From your imagination, these results could vary. This depends on your blow/hair dryer’s temperature as well as the heat shrink tubing type that you want to shrink. Several heat shrinks would shrink at varying temperatures and when your blow/hair dryer doesn’t attain that heat shrink tube temperature then you can never be sure that this would work.

What are the Differences Between the Cold Shrink vs Heat Shrink?

From the name, heat shrinks needs heat so as to be installed or shrink. This cold shrink doesn’t need any heat when installing it. This is one reason why cold shrink is referred to as “cold shrink” this is because it needs no heat.

Furthermore, beyond this method of installation, there are many other differences found between the cold shrink and heat shrink. Each has its own benefits and pitfalls. Here’s the short answer. Cold shrinks are better when using for outdoor purposes because its weather proofing abilities are better.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot make use of heat shrink when outdoors. There are UV resistant types of heat shrinks that form an important example of a heat shrink that you can utilize outdoors. However, majority of this cold shrink would outperform the heat shrink when in outdoor cases where weather has become a concern.

Related Questions

Can electrical tape be used rather than a heat shrink tube?

Yes, for several cases. Moreover, this heat shrink tube is very durable and much safer compared to electrical tapes. Therefore, you should do inspections regularly to make sure that electrical tapes are functioning properly.

How can I use the heat shrink tubing without the hot air gun?

In cases where there is no hot air gun for your heat sink, a reliable substitute is the blow dryer or lighter. This functions in a similar way. Therefore, you will have no issues when making use of it.

The process of installation is the same. The heat shrink should be rotated as the heat must be placed right close to it. This ensures that the heat isn’t held in a spot for long because it could bur through this heat shrink. Now, this becomes much more important when making use of a blow torch or lighter. You have to be extremely careful when using a blow torch or lighter to ensure the cable isn’t damaged.

Final Thoughts

In summary, a heat shrink tube is important if you wish to have great protection for cables and wires. Moreover, make sure you double-check its main features before you decide to buy one. Asides from this, there are different heat shrink tunes that you should consider. If you need more explanation on any of the aspects that we have covered, please reach out to us immediately. We are always happy to be of help.




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