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Home » Heatshrink tubing

What is Heatshrink Tubing?

Heatshrink tubing is a flexible, pre-stretched tube, engineered from a wide range of polymers, that will shrink to a fixed diameter when sufficient heat is applied. Its diameter and thickness can vary, and it is rated by its expansion ratio, a comparative of the differences in expansion and recovery rate.
Heatshrink tubing is the ideal way to create a tight, professional finish on any wire, hose or cable management project. Once shrunk, the tubing will hold its reduced state, even in elevated temperatures. Typical applications for the heatshrink tubing include: electrical insulation, termination, splicing, cable bundling, color coding, strain relief, wire marking, identification, mechanical protection, corrosion protection, abrasion protection and moisture and weather sealing.

What does shrink ratio (2:1, 3:1, 4:1, etc.) mean?

The shrink ratio is the approximate maximum amount that heatshrink tubing will shrink relative to the unshrunk diameter. For example, a piece of 3/4" heatshrink tubing with a 3:1 shrink ratio will shrink down to a maximum diameter of approximately 1/4" when fully shrunk. All heatshrink tubing on our site is specified in it's UNSHRUNK diameter, so consider the shrink ratio and the unshrunk diameter when ordering heatshrink tubing. Heatshrink tubing with a larger shrink ratio will be more forgiving when fitting the tubing over plugs or connectors, but will have a bit thicker wall thickness and slightly less flexibility when shrunk then a lower ratio product.
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