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Heat-Shrink Tubing: The Versatile Tool for Maintenance and Repair

Authored on: Mar 1, 2009 by Lori Scorpio

Technical Paper

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The name heat-shrink tubing pretty much sums up what it is and does: a plastic tube that shrinks permanently when heat is applied. How much it shrinks is determined by its shrink ratio, commonly ranging from 2:1 to 6:1. Think of heat-shrink tubing as the duct tape for electrical wiring on the factory floor. Heat-shrink tubing is versatile, easy to use, and finds wide applicability in maintenance and repair. Heat-shrink tubing can be used for preventive maintenance to avoid problems, and it is a wonderful tool for making minor repairs to cables and connectors.

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sharps_eng Posted Nov 23, 2010

Not really a technical article, just a product introduction brochure. Didn't learn anything new, although the list of different types was impressive. Mind you, how ever did we manage before HS tubing?

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http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/poconoarmchairreview Posted Nov 23, 2010

Liquid tape works pretty well, too. But think about what these products may be outgassing. Or what they turn into when they get old and break down. Take precautions when using them. If you're heating up a bunch of these for hours on end, make sure you have proper ventilation. Wear a respirator as a precaution. In the 50s and 60s, you could buy cloth electrician's tape. I wonder what the comparative hazmat profiles of rubberized cloth, liquid tape, and heat shrink tubing look like.

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GPBobby Posted Nov 24, 2010

WOW! And to think that all I've ever done is to pick a size and color from a huge pigeon-hole cabinet at my local electronics store. My usual heat source is the side of an old Weller instant soldering iron held very close and parallel to the tube. Is ignorance bliss?

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