It’s 5:37am, and 15°F outside. You hit your alarm many minutes ago, and it’s taken you this long to talk yourself into braving the inrush of cold air that comes every morning when you break the seal of those toasty blankets. You set a tentative foot on the icy floor, and tell yourself “You can do this! Just run to the bathroom, get a hot shower running, and everything will be okay!” But when you get there and turn the faucet, nothing. It turns out that all the warm water and steam that were supposed to come billowing out of the showerhead turned into a solid chunk of ice somewhere along the way. Frozen pipes suck.
Guess you should have had some Chromalox Thermwire® Wrap! Sound interesting? It is, especially if your plumbing is located in the Northern climes, where plunging temperatures have a way of stopping water in its tracks – especially when it’s in your pipes. Thermwire® is a pipe wrap that not only insulates your water lines, but also keeps them warm with two built-in heating wires. Rated for both residential and commercial properties, Thermwire® is a lifesaver for homeowners, landlords, and business owners alike, because it elimnates the need to run frantically to the rescue with hair dryer in hand. The water shall flow, whatever the weather.
And about the “whatever the weather” thing I just mentioned – Thermwire® wrap is self-regulating, so temperature fluctuations aren’t a problem. When the ambient air temperature increases, Thermwire® eases up on things. When the air temp takes a dive, Thermwire works a little harder. The important thing is, you don’t have to worry about adjustments.
Thermwire® pipe sleeving works on both metal and plastic pipes, and is UL-listed and CSA Approved.
We’ve been talking an awful lot about practical products lately, so I think that today we’ll take a little detour into a product I like just for it’s shininess and other decorative qualities. Far shinier and much lighter weight than stainless steel and aluminum braided sleevings, Mylar® braided sleeving gives custom cables a metallic sparkle, but for a lot less money than heavy duty metal braid. These particular attributes are due to the fact that Mylar is actually a polyester film that’s been metalized (it’s the same stuff that’s used to make helium balloons), so you can imagine how light it is when it’s made into filaments and braided.
Like I mentioned before, Mylar® sleeving is primarily used for decoration – don’t mistake it as an even exchange for ultra-protective stainless steel sleeving, because it’s really not going to make your cables any tougher. But it’s the perfect alternative when you want to dress up A/V cables that will never leave your home or be subjected to harsh elements. It’s great when used as an underlay or overlay with colored PET sleeving – you can create some really cool visual effects. And with Mylar® sleeving, you also have the benefit of choice, because unlike a lot of other metal-look braided sleevings, it’s not limited to silver – you can actually get it in gold, too.
Because of its cost-effectiveness, great looks and flexibility, Mylar® braid is also a perfect material for hobbies and crafts. As a matter of fact, it’s very popular with anglers who make their own flies and lures – it gives lures a life-like glint that mimics naturally iridescent fish scales, and helps to attract the attention of potential catches.
When you need to protect wiring and hoses from high temps and potential fire, leave the job to overlays like this Flame Retardant PET Wrap. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a material that’s pretty commonly used in braided sleeving, and with good reason: it’s strong, and has excellent resistance to cuts and abrasion. But in this case, it’s taken a step further with the addition of an organic flame inhibitor, which helps to ward off fire even when temperatures soar and nearby components ignite.
Unlike many other braided sleevings that are tubular and must be worked gradually over cables and components, this sleeving is wrap-style, which means that it’s slit along its length for super fast and easy installation. This is a really great feature when the wiring or hoses you need to protect are already in place and can’t be removed or disassembled for sleeving installation – just pull open the sleeving and slip it around from the side. Once it’s on, Flame Retardant PET wrap stays securely in place thanks to the hook-and-loop (“Velcro”) edging along the slit – just overlap the sides, press, and everything will stay in place.
Flame retardant PET sleeving is terrific for use in hot engine bays, as well on theater and nightclub lighting wires, which, due to their close proximity to high temperatures, are often put at risk for fire. Should they ever ignite, the flame retardant wrap can help inhibit the spread of flame to other nearby components.
Today’s featured product, Stainless Steel Braided Sleeving, is very popular with the custom car and motorcycle crowd. When slipped over hoses and wiring in your engine bay, this shiny, non-corrosive sleeving not only protects components from high temps and abrasion, but also helps to hold hoses together in the event of a rupture. And you can’t forget about its great looks — this is the DIY solution for a high-end looking custom vehicle. As a matter of fact, it will save you a bundle compared to the purchase price of custom-overbraided hoses, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
As I mentioned before, the sleeving is non-corrosive, meaning that it won’t rust or discolor. It’s also easy to cut with shears, which means you don’t have to worry about having a hot knife or any other special cutter on hand, as you would with most other braided sleevings.
In addition to the automotive uses, stainless steel sleeving is an excellent for protecting cables outdoors, where gnawing animals can wreak havoc on them. Just like chewing on a piece of foil (only harder), stainless steel braid repels rodents with the unpleasant sensation it creates against their teeth. It works so well, in fact, that several government agencies actually use this sleeving to protect critical communications cabling in the wilderness.