Shrink Tubing

Last update: Dec. 25, 2000

©By: Craig Smith
Formatted for the Morgan Web page by John T. Blair

It's time to put in prospective the subject of shrink tubing use and types. There are many types of "tubing":

  • Irradiated Polyolefin
  • Teflon
  • Neoprene
  • Kynar
  • Viton
  • PVC
Tubing has different shrink ratios per the product, 2:1 is a norm up to 4:1 as a high. PVC is what the average person will see in Radio Shack and other like consumer outlets, to get the original OEM products you need to do a little research and ask about the applications for the use.

Each has it's own properties that lends itself to the specific application and needs.

It is available in shrink ratios of 2:1 and shrinks at 121c. It is also available with shrink rations of 3:1, 4:1 and in most colors. In the electronics OEM world, Irradiated Poly is the norm, not saying that this is an absolute, some manufactures use a variety of different products for a variety of different applications.

In the automotive world the use of Irradiated Poly is widely accepted, some applications call for the addition of an intermelt liner. The intermelt linner consists of a meltable inner wall that when heated in excess of 135c softens and forces by the shrinking of the poly makes a weather tight seal. This is a great seal, but the cost for this product is 4 times the price of a standard poly.

It is available in shrink ratios of 2:1 and 4:1. Colors available at a premium. It is rated at 250c. Used mostly in Aerospace, Electronics, Chemical, Medical, Nuclear, and other extreme applications. The tubing requires 650f (350c) to start to shrink.

It is available in shrink ratio of 2:1 and shrinks at 135c. It comes in Black only. It is rated at 120c, very expensive, used in tough flexible applications.

It is available in shrink ratio of 2:1 and shrinks at 150c. It comes in Clear only and is a derivative of Teflon. A tough thin wall tubing with outstanding cut - through and abrasion resistance. Used almost exclusively by the military and other manufacturers of extreme exposure applications.

It is available in shrink ratio of 2:1 and shrinks at 200c. Black is the standard color. Fluoroelstomeric tubing able to withstand a wide variety of fuels, lubricants, acids, and highly corrosive fluids at temperatures up to 200c.

It is available in shrink ratio of 2:1 and shrinks at121c. It's also avaiable in a 4:1 shrink ratio and shrinks at 121c. Any color! Low cost, non irradiated tubing that is available at just about any electronics supplier in the world.

As mentioned earlier, there is a mired of product types to choose from. As a fellow English Car enthusiast, I wouldn't want to use an inferior product because I didn't know the difference.

So now you know, Knowledge is POWER.

Craig Smith
Greenville, SC 29615

(Ed. If you'd like to order some heat shrink tubing, you can call Greg at work at: 800/692-2323 ext. 2105, fax him at 864/234-1020, or e-mail him.)

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