Heat-shrink tubing has been a staple in the electronics industry for more than 50 years. It is used for sealing, protecting, insulating, strain-relieving, and identifying wires and cables.
Heat-shrink tubing has many uses in electronics. Four of the main uses are:
- To insulate an electrical component
- To seal against moisture and other contaminants
- To provide strain relief, especially at terminations
- To protect against abrasion and other mechanical abuse
By cross linking polymers, you achieve a material that allows you to do things you cannot do with uncross-linked materials. For heat-shrink tubing, a tube of plastic, such as commonly used polyolefin, can be heated and expanded to several times its diameter. When cooled, it will remain in its expanded state. When the tubing is heated again, it will contract back to its original size. Because the tubing is shrunk over a substrate somewhat larger than its original size, the tubing fits tightly and securely against the substrate. Republished from Cable Assembly Supplier (June 2012)