Whether you’re a hobbyist who’s into case modding or automotive customization, or you just want to lend some extra strength and insulation to cables and hoses, heat shrink tubing is an easy and affordable way to get the job done. If you’re not familiar with heat shrink, it’s a flexible plastic tubing that fits over wires, cables, splices, hoses — anything generally cylindrical in shape — and shrinks snugly to the object it’s covering when heat is applied. This happens because the plastic used in heat shrink tubing is “crosslinked” (exposed to radiation) so that it’s physical properties change and it shrinks propotionately when exposed to heat.
As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of the post, heat shrink tubing is a great way to add extra support and insulation to cables, wire splices and hoses without adding extra bulk. Even though it only forms a thin skin over things, that “skin” greatly increases resistance to chemicals and fluids, provides strain relief for cable connectors, and just plain looks good. That’s right — many people use heat shrink for no reason other than the fact that it gives cables a custom, cosmetically-enhanced look. Heat shrink is also terrific for color-coding cables that need to be easily identifiable.
Our heat shrink tubing comes in a 2:1 shrink ratio, which means that its original, unshrunk state is twice the diameter of the smallest shrunken diameter it can achieve. Shrink ratio and diameter measurements are very important to keep in mind when you order heat shrink, so know the diameter of the object you want to cover, as well as how snugly you need the heat shrink to fit. For example, if you need 2:1 heat shrink to fit tightly around a cord with a ⅛” diameter, you wouldn’t want to use tubing that has a diameter more than ¼”.