WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Posts tagged: heat shrinkable tubing

3 to 1 Adhesive Heat Shrink Tubing Protection

Man is able to come up with innovative ways to protect electrical wire and cables through the years. Aside from the usual plastic coating or flexible sheaths, technology has provided for the development of tubing that is not only reliable and durable, but waterproof as well. It is a well known fact that moisture (or in general, water) has adverse effects on wires and electronic cables. Water can bring about corrosion and unnecessary disintegration of the conductor which may lead to greater losses, be it in residential, commercial, or industrial applications. Hence, the need for a reliable protector created a demanded for more creativity and innovation on the part of developers of wire and cable.  

Take 3 to 1 Adhesive Shrinkable Tubing as an example. It is developed around the idea of having two distinct parts, namely: the inner wall and the outer wall. It is important to note that the materials of construction used for each wall are two different components or materials. This is due to the fact that they are bound to play different roles in the shrinkable tubing. The outer wall is made of Polyolefin and is referred to as the heat shrink. On the other hand, the inner wall is commonly made of adhesive that melts down when subjected to heat. Since the tubing is made of two walls, it is usually referred to as dual wall tubing.

What happens to the 3 to 1 Adhesive Shrinkable Tubing when it is subjected to heat? Something good is bound to occur once the shrinkable tubing is subjected to temperature slightly lower than the known temperature of activation of the heat shrink. Once the optimal temperature is achieved, inner layer begins to take the gel form in such a way that it is like a stream of glue. After undergoing the process of heating and after everything cools down to the normal temperature, there exists a layer of adhesion between the shrinkable tubing and the wire. Not only that the resulting system is water proof, it is also assured that the wire or the component inside the shrinkable tubing will not experience any unnecessary movement that may be detrimental to the entire purpose of the electrical wiring.

The “3 to 1” in the nomenclature of the shrinkable tubing is rooted from the fact that it shrinks to 1/3 of the original diameter after subjecting it to the process of heating and cooling down. In addition, there is an estimated 15 percent average shrinkage rate if we look into the wire’s longitudinal aspect. In terms of standards, 3 to 1 Adhesive Shrinkable Tubing complies to the benchmark set by AMS-DTL-23053/4. The tubing can operate at temperatures between -55 degrees Celsius and 110 degrees Celsius. The shrink temperature is estimated to be at 90 degrees Celsius. The upper bound temperature, beyond which the tubing is expected to disintegrate is around 135 degrees Celsius.

Aside from insulation, this tubing can be used in wire identification, bundling of connectors, wire strain and stress relief, and insulation of solders.

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