How To Apply Heat Shrink Tubing

It is important that when applying heat shrink tubing that you proceed with caution and observe basic safety measures to avoid accidents or injuries.

  1. Begin by choosing the right size tubing, with the correct shrink ratio. It should comfortably cover the wire or components before it has been shrunk into place to ensure a tight fit post installation.
  2. If the components to be covered change in size after application, ensure that the tubing has sufficient expandability by comparing its diameter when shrunk, (called the ‘recovered’ diameter), with its size before shrinking, (called the ‘expanded’ diameter). Check the recommended heating temperature for the tube to avoid uneven shrinkage and/or insulation material burn.
  3. Cut a suitable length of tubing using scissors or side cutters and slide this over the target components. Align the heat shrink over the area to be covered and ensure that the area that needs to be heated is suspended and clear of surrounding objects that may be affected or damaged by the temperatures produced from your heat source.
  4. If you are using a heat gun, move the nozzle back and forth across the tubing evenly and avoid staying in one position for any length of time to minimise the risk of heat shrink burns, continue until the wrap has been tightly secured.
  5. Allow the heat shrink to cool naturally, be careful not to touch the tube during cooling down period, and also be aware that adhesive lined heat shrink tube will take a considerably longer time to cool over unlined tubing.

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