WesBell Electronics
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Posts tagged: heat shrink tubing

Twisting PVC and PTFE Lead Wire

Twisting PVC and PTFE Lead WireBuilding a wire harness or twisting lead wires is considered to be a value added service offered by companies. There can be other products also added on to the twisted wires such as solder and terminals. Some companies do offer these services to their customers to make things easier, however only a select few are ISO9001 certified and I suggest you find those companies. This makes things easier for customers because it almost becomes one stop shopping. The customer doesn’t have to twist the wires themselves or even go to another business to get this done.

Twisting Wires

Usually twisting hook up wire is only done for smaller wire harness jobs. These jobs include anywhere from two to four lead wires total. Companies will offer this value adding service to their customers for jobs where the wires are not connecting to the same spot and jacket protection isn’t necessary. However twisting lead wires does give the application a more neat and organized look. This is beneficial because the wires will hold their form together as one.

Cutting the Wire

There are two times when the wire can be cut to length. The wire can be cut before it twisted for shorter lengths, or there is the option of twisting the wires first and then rolling the wires onto a spool to be cut to length later on. Once the wire is cut it is then stripped of its insulation as well. And there is also the option of having the strands tin dipped to keep them together as one instead of them getting bumped and frayed.

Additional Cost

Customers need to be aware that there is an additional cost associated with getting PVC and PTFE lead wires twisted together for a wire harness. Some companies will also offer to include a layer of heat shrink tubing over the twisted wires for better protection and a cleaner look. But the addition of the heat shrink tubing would also cost the customer extra money because it’s an additional step. The added heat shrink tubing not only helps to make the twisted wires look better but it is there for added protection as well.

These value added services vary based on the company you place your order with. There are different types of insulation to be aware of because each type comes with a different cost. Some companies will give their customers the option to add solder to the end of wires to prevent fraying while they’re being shipped. These are all things that companies can offer as an added service for their valued customers.

Written by: WesBell Electronics Inc
Free Shipping Over $250

Wire Harness with Heat Shrink Tubing

Wire Harness with Heat Shrink TubingWe’re a wire, cable and tubing distributor that also manufactures wire harnesses and cable assemblies to specification. We’ve always distributed bulk wire and cable directly from the manufacture, but recently started building harnesses and assemblies when customers ask the question. As an ISO9001 certified company we’re trusted, without conducting previous business, by large customers such as GE and Parker Hannifin to get the job done right.

That being said, we don’t have engineering employees on staff for large board assemblies, however we’re prepared to handle large volume in harnesses and cable assemblies that require up to 10 steps. For instance, as you can see in the picture to the left, we specialize in cutting lead wire, stripping it, crimping terminals and adding heat shrink tubing.

Heat Shrink Tubing

There are three main reasons for including heat shrink tubing to your wire harness. The first is to bundle the lead wires tightly together for a clean and neat look once the assembly is attached to the application. The second reason is to include a customer part number or details about the assembly that might be important to the person installing it or replacing it later on. The customer will specify the exact ledger, color and length of the tubing to be used on their assembly.

Another reason for using heat shrink tubing is to increase the protection of the copper wires. The insulation over the copper has a temperature rating and voltage rating that shouldn’t be exceeded. If one of the wires get cut into accidentally, heat shrink tubing can be used as a splice kit to repair it back to normal. Just be sure to ask for the same temperature and voltage requirements so that the tubing and wire insulation match.

Alpha FIT® Heat Shrink Tubing Products

Alpha FIT® Heat Shrink Tubing is incredibly popular nowadays thanks to its many advantages. Especially made for wirings, the product is easy enough to use for DIY projects and is incredibly versatile. For those who want to find out if this product is best for them, following are some of the advantages of this tubing type.

Very Durable

This type of tubing is incredibly durable whether it’s exposed to extreme heat or moist surfaces. This makes it perfect for basement wirings, ensuring that homeowners wouldn’t have to worry about the tubing deteriorating due to the wetness. What’s even better is that this product doesn’t decay overtime and comes with an extra layer of tubing to protect against unpredicted pressure. Compared to traditional tubing methods, the heat shrinking type can last considerably longer, providing a very cheap cost per year. The tubing is also capable of resisting mold growth and even corrosion.

Safe to Use

As previously mentioned, the Alpha FIT® Heat Shrink Tubing comes with an extra layer of protection, significantly boosting its safety level. Specially made for insulation purposes, the product has incredibly high resistance against electrical impulses. This is perhaps why tubing is perfect for DIY projects. The extra level of protection makes it possible for inexperienced electricians to plan their own wirings without too much of a risk.

Perfect Fit

The biggest attraction of heat shrink tubing is the fact that it allows easy fitting on various components. The capacity of the tube to shrink provides an excellent sealant, ensuring that the tubing will cover all the important parts while sliding over the large objects.

How to Choose One

There are various considerations people must take into account when buying heat shrink tubing. Aside from the obvious requirements like voltage ratings and temperature capabilities, the product must have the perfect fit.

When determining the size, buyers must look closely at the shrink ratio. This refers to how small the tubing will be once it is exposed to heat. For example, a 6:1 ratio means that the tubing is 6 times larger than it would be once it starts to shrink. The ratios range from 6:1 to 2:1, allowing users to find the best size that is needed for their project.

Of course, also take note of the voltage and heat requirements mentioned above. Buyers should first consider exactly where they intend to install the tubing and the environmental factors in that situation. This way, they will be able to pick the best type that would fit their needs.

Alpha FIT® Heat Shrink Tubing is mostly used for wire insulation, protection against conductors, for water-proofing, for wire repair, covering against wires and cables as well as an abrasion resistance. Note that although it is incredibly easy to use, working with electricity still poses risks to the individual. This is why when it comes to complicated wirings, it is advised that people use the service of an electrician and utilize the heat shrink tubing for long-term protection against any problems.

Polyolefin Heat Shrink Tubing Products 2 to 1 Shrinkable Ratio

Polyolefin heat shrink products are very common in the wire and cable industry because they cover up wire splices, terminations and loose connections so that the conductors aren’t exposed. Each type of shrinkable tubing has specifications that match the type of wire and cable insulation so that they resist they same things when used together.

Polyolefin 2 to 1 shrink tubing is the most basic type of shrinkable tubing on the market. It’s like the hook up wire of the tubing industry because it can be used on a wide variety of applications for the cheapest cost. The “2 to 1” means that it can shrink down to half of its size which means you should get 1″ tubing if you have a 0.60″ wire diameter. It will be able to shrink as far down as 0.50″ for a nice snug fit over the wire or cable.

If you need shrink tubing for a wire with a terminal on the end then you’ll be better off getting a 3 to 1 heat shrink tubing. This type of tubing will shrink down onto the terminal and also shrink down onto the wire so that it’s a nice attractive finished look without any connection or conductor exposed.

For a more permanent application you might want to look at the adhesive lined polyolefin tubing. It has an adhesive glue on the inside wall so that when heated it melts and adheres to the wire or cable permanently. The adhesive tubing comes in 2 to 1, 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 if you have an uneven application.

Heat shrink tubing has many uses besides covering up connections and making the harness or assembly look nice. There is high temperature tubing, pvc non shrinkable tubing, thin wall tubing and much more to cover most all environments that tubing can be used in. Please call if you have any questions about our shrinkable tubing products as we have much more in stock than we have online. We offer free shipping over $250 and cut small lengths to help minimize costs.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Copper Electrical Cable Differences

Copper electrical cable is very expensive, but the real differences in price actually comes down to the insulation type more than the copper. Copper is the conductor of electricity in all copper electrical cables and the price of copper changes everyday. However, Romex 6/3® has the same amount of copper as UFB 6/3, so why is the price different?

A 6 awg wire is a 6 awg wire whether it’s in a Romex NMB® jacket or a tough underground PVC jacket. That means each 6 awg wire would be the same price if they were both stripped of all insulation. A UFB underground insulation was manufactured to be used without conduit. So the jacket needed extra protection in order to last as long as an electrical cable in conduit.

In order of the amount of protection Romex® comes first, MC cable second and UFB cable third for electrical cables. Even though each of these cables have different levels of protection they all still have THHN THWN as the wire conductor insulation, so what changes the fact that some have more restrictions?

Romex® cable has a bare copper uninsulated ground wire, but lacks a strong enough jacket to protect it outdoors or in conduit. Moisture, gas, solvents and other fluids can puncture the jacket and hit the bare ground wire leaving it only available for wiring indoors.

MC cable is manufactured with all THHN wires and a THHN insulated green ground wire. That allows MC electrical cables to be used outdoors and in conduit because it resists all water, moisture oils and gases without an uninsulated ground wire in the way.

UFB cable is manufactured as an underground electrical cable which is also known as direct burial in the wire and cable industry. It still has an uninsulateed ground wire but the PVC jacket is engineered tough enough to protect all of the wires even when used directly underground.

In order to find the cheapest cable possible you’ll want to first speak to an electrician to let you know the awg size of the cable you need. This will prevent you from getting a size too big and paying more money than you need to. The second thing you want to do is make sure you’re not getting too much insulation that you may not need. Getting UFB cable when you’re using conduit anyways is a waste of money. You should get MC cable which is cheaper and manufactured for use in conduit.

We offer exact cut lengths on all of our electrical cables and THHN wire because in the contractors, engineers and installers like to have the exact length they need to avoid waste of small lengths at the end of each spool. We also offer free shipping on orders over $250 so that you don’t have to negociate deals with trucking companies to get spool of wire or cable.

Please call us if you need any type of wire, cable or heat shrink tubing as we’ve been a stocking distributor for over 25 years.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Welding Cable AMPS and Pricing

Welding cable comes in different gauge sizes which allow a certain amount of AMPS to carry on to the application. That means you’ll have to figure out which size of cable you’ll need in order to be sure your welder has enough AMPS in run. Buying a larger size will work but you’ll pay more money and there aren’t too many people that want to do that.

Your best plan will be to call a certified electrician to help you figure out the awg size you need based on the size of the welder and the length of cable you plan on having. There’s a calculation done that meets the standards of the NEC (National Electric Code) in order to be sure you have enough power and that your up to date with the town or state codes.

Welding cable starts as small as 6 awg and gets as large as 500 mcm. It’s manufactured with thin copper strands and a rubber insulation to increase the flexibility. The only difference between the 4 awg and the 2 awg is that the 2 awg will have more of the copper strands to make a larger awg and carry more power to the welder. They’re all very flexible cables so there’s no need to worry about a stiff cable around the shop during warm or cold weather.

THHN electrical wire is a similar type of single conductor copper cable but it comes much less flexible. Usually people who use welding cable wonder why anyone would want a wire as stiff as THHN wire. The stiffness helps keep the electrical wire straight when going through conduit. A welding cable would get bunched up as it’s being pushed through so a flexible cable is actually less helpful even though it’s more expensive.

Each larger gauge size will be slightly more expensive which means you want just enough to cover the amount of AMPS traveling throughout the cable so you don’t over spend. Talking to a certified electrician will tell you exact size you need to buy which means you can call a distributor with detailed information.

If you look on our website for pricing on welding cable you’ll see how expensive the larger cables actually get. The 6 awg goes for less than $1.00 per foot in the end of 2011 but the 500 mcm cable goes for about $16 per foot with 9 more choices in between.

We also offer an Super Vu Tron welding cable that comes in orange insulation only. It has 34 awg copper strands instead of 30 awg strands which makes it much more flexible. It’s also manufactured with a much stronger, more durable, insulation for outdoor protection. It’s most commonly used for industrial applications requiring use outdoors where the cable will be stepped on, run over by vehicles or dragged across the concrete where a standard welding cable insulation might get punctured.

Please call us if you’re looking for welding cable, electrical wire or even heat shrink tubing as we have been in business for over 20 years as a wire, cable and tubing distributor.

WesBell Electronics, Inc
(800) 334-8400

Alpha Wire FIT Fabric Heat Shrink Tubing

Alpha Wire has a new item in their heat shrink tubing products section called FIT Fabric heat shrinkable tubing. FIT® is the Alpha Wire brand name that they use to set their tubing apart from other manufacturers who try to compete with the quality of their tubing.

FIT Fabric has a superior abrasion resistance to temperature over a wide range from 67°C to 125°C which means that even in high or low temperatures this type of tubing will remain fully abrasion resistant. It’s a woven fabric tubing with a 2 to 1 shrink ratio and has excellent flexibility and durability.

Alpha Fabric tubing is extremely easy to install and resistant to harsh environments where other types of heat shrinkable tubing aren’t. It’s very soft, safe handling and can be easily cut with scissors. When shrunk, fabric tubing has a very type grip compared to standard polyolefin tubing (without adhesive) giving it a good hold on the application.

FIT Fabric tubing is most commonly used for mechanical abrasion protection and severe environment protection due to the quality manufacturing job done by Alpha Wire. They make sure, through testing, that their product will perform or even outperform the characteristics it states in their catalog.

Alpha’s woven fabric shrinkable tubing is also used for noise and rattle protection, halogen free environments and high flexing applications. The tight grip and woven fabric material keeps the noise and vibration low and gives it the clearance to be used in a halogen free environment.

Alpha recommends using their fabric tubing with their Xtra Guard 4 and Xtra Guard 5 electronic cables because the similar characteristics of both products will work together for maximum results.

There are about 10 different sizes available in Alpha’s catalog from 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inch. The 3 largest sizes (3/4″, 1 1/4″ and 2 3/4″) come in a 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 shrink ratio option for a wide range of applications that may need more than the standard 2 to 1 shrink ratio.

Alpha stocks a wide range of heat shrink tubing and non shrinkable tubing in their catalog. WesBell Electronics stocks their Xtra Guard cables and heat shrink tubing that work hand in hand to give applications the maximum protection and longest lasting life possible. They pride themselves by making a superior cable and have created a great name by doing just that.

Please call us if you need any type of electronic cable or shrinkable tubing by Alpha Wire.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Alpha FIT Heat Shrink Tubing Polyolefin and PVC

Alpha Wire engineers and manufactures heat shrink tubing to best fit their Xtra Guard electronic cables and many of their other products. Their brand name is FIT® shrinkable tubing which is a very advanced type of tubing compared to traditional polyolefin and PVC shrinkable tubing.

The most basic 2 to 1 polyolefin shrink tubing is Alpha’s part number FIT 221. It commonly used for general purpose repairs, wire and cable harnessing and cable and connector protection. The Alpha FIT 750 is a similar version with an adhesive inner lining to adhere much better to the application. The FIT 221 version also comes in a FIT 221V that makes it flame retardant to the UL VW-1 and CSA OFT flame retardancy approvals.

There are also a few options for 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 shrink ratios that allow the tubing to shrink down to different diameters for odd shapes that need tubing. Sometimes a cable is 1″ in diameter with a connector over it that’s 2″ in diameter which means it will need a tubing that can shrink down to 2″ and 1″ for a nice fit to both parts. An Alpha Wire FIT 321 tubing in 3″ will shrink as far down as 1″ giving the connector and cable a snug fit.

There are about 20 different types of FIT heat shrink tubing in Alpha’s catalog that offer water resistance, chemical resistance, protection and repair, splice protection, underground splice protection and temperature ratings reaching over 250°C.

The bulk of FIT tubing is irradiated polyolefin and PVC, but there’s also an FEP and TFE tubing available that offers shrink ratios of 1.2 to 1 and 1.5 to 1. This is high temperature shrink tubing in 200°C and 250°C which is commonly used for fiber optic applications, high temperature wire and cable, digital electronics and extremely caustic environments.

WesBell Electronics has had a great relationship with Alpha Wire for over 20 years which gives us very competitive pricing and quick answers when you need your wire, cable or tubing “yesterday”. Please call if you have any questions about our standard polyolefin tubing or Alpha Wire brand name FIT heat shrinkable tubing.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

XTRA Guard 2 Multiconductor Electronic Cable

XTRA Guard 2® is manufactured by Alpha Wire as a strongly resistant electronic cable to oils, fuels, solvents and water due to its extra rugged polyurethane jacket. Alpha Wire makes sure their cables are superior to similar cables because they want to stand out in the wire and cable industry.

XTRA Guard 2® is a trade mark name because Alpha designed and created every piece of it down to the over-the-top supra shield. The Alpha supra shield has an aluminum polyester aluminum foil shield with an overall braid shield for the maximum protection. There is also a standard foil shield and an unshielded option for everyday applications.

The conductors in the XTRA Guard 2® series are made with tinned copper strands and a color coded premium PVC insulation. The jacket is a specially formulated polyurethane material manufactured extra rugged for added protection and resistance to the oils, fuels and solvents it comes in contact with.

It features a 90°C temperature rating, unmatched resistance to oils, fuels, solvents, fungus and water, twice the tensile strength of PVC cables, three times the tear and abrasion resistance of PVC and ultraviolet light stability. It also passed a VW-1 and CSA FT1 flame test.

Common applications for XTRA Guard 2® electronic cables are CNC machine centers, automotive assembly plant operations, military ground support systems, packaging machinery, petrochemical plant operations and geophysical exploartion equipment. A standard PVC cable won’t last as long in these applications without the extra rugged jacket and added protection against moisture and solvents.

The standard options Alpha offers for XTRA Guard 2® are unshielded, shielded, 300 volt, 600 volt, multiconductor, multi pair and the supra shield. It comes in awg sizes 24 through 14 with as many copper conductors as 70 in some of the cables. 

Alpha Wire also manufactures XTRA Guard® in premium PVC jacket, direct burial, high / low temperature TPE jacket, chemical resistant FEP jacket and a flexible cable for critical flexible applications. They’re all approved by UL and CSA to assure the specifications will do what Alpha says they can.

Please call us if you need a quote on any Alpha Wire product including their XTRA Guard® cables, heat shrink tubing and hook up wire. We’ve been doing business with Alpha for over 20 years and have developed a great relationship along the way.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Information and Facts on Power Cable

Power cable comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can look complicated to the layman. These cables can be single-conductor, multi-conductor, as well as industrial strength or for personal use. Each type of power cable has its own advantages, which make them suitable for certain types of applications.

A power cable is categorized in three classes, 1) high voltage (for applications requiring load greater than 40,000V), 2) medium voltage (for applications requiring load between 6000V and 36,000V) and 3) low voltage (for applications requiring load below 1000V). These cables are used for feeders and other heavy machinery, along with branch circuits in electrical utility, commercial and industrial applications.

Single-conductor power cable is used in various applications such as stage lighting, locomotives, DLO and for welding purposes. Each single-conductor cable, depending upon its use, has a different rating for amps, voltage, flexibility and insulation, each having a different price-level.  

There are many multi-conductor cables; extensions cords, Type G-GC, Type W, SOOW and portable cords, each encased a rubber jacket for insulation. These cables are safe and flexible and when additional flexibility is required, there is a multi-conductor cable available for this need. The SOOW multi-conductor cable is similar to the extension cord (before the plugs are attached) and is generally used to supply power generators and tools in industries.

The least-expensive power cable of this group is the welding cable. Welding cable has a rubber jacket and flexible copper fibers and is rated to 600V. DLO cable also has the rubber jacket, is rated to 2000V and has tinned copper fibers. The DLO can carry more power and therefore has a higher corresponding price.

Remember, when installing power cable, it is recommended that you consult with your electrician. And when it is time to purchase your cable, some helpful hints include knowing the operating temperature, amperage, voltage, outer diameter (cable diameter + insulation jacket). Please call WesBell at 800-334-8400 for all your cable needs.