Working with PTFE heat shrink tubing is not difficult, as long as you have the proper tools available. First you need a ruler and razor blade or another tool to cut the tubing. It is important to understand how the tubing shrinks and melts, in order to cut the tubing to the correct length. Sometimes the tubing might increase in length as it shrinks in diameter. The main piece of equipment, which is also the most important you will need, is a heat gun. A heat gun is able to reach the required temperatures needed to shrink PTFE tubing. The minimum shrink temperature of PTFE is around 654 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat guns come in a variety of models and styles with various options. In situations where you work with multiple types of shrink tubing, you may want to consider a model able to accommodate all of your heat shrinking needs.
PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing Can Be Applied to a Variety of Metals
There are all types of metal materials, parts and components where you are able to apply PTFE heat shrink tubing. Some industries use heat shrink tubing as insulation on electrical wires. The tubing also is used in industries where exposure to moisture and chemicals are an issue. PTFE has both excellent insulation properties and is chemically inert. While the most common applications is to apply the tubing over a piece of wire, it can also be used as a protective coating over various materials, including screws and nuts that are left exposed after manufacturing processes.
Because PTFE heat shrink tubing has such a high shrink temperature, you need to make sure the underlying wire or cable is also able to withstand this level of heat. The minimum shrinkage temperature for the tubing ranges between 654 degrees Fahrenheit, to 670 degrees Fahrenheit. Metals which have melting points significantly greater than this temperature range include brass, copper, steel and stainless steel. The tubing also works well when it is applied over glass tubing, as glass has a much higher melting point than is needed to shrink the tubing. In situations where there is an existing layer of coating of PVC or other plastic over the wire or cable, it is better to strip away the existing coating before applying the PTFE, because the existing coating will melt.
There Are Benefits to Using PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing for Your Applications
Using PTFE heat shrink tubing in various industries provide benefits that work with several different applications and processes. A common application of heat shrink tubing is to use it as a coating over cables and wiring. PTFE has corrosion resistance and is chemically resistant, so it will not degrade if it is exposed to certain types of chemicals and other corrosive agents. PTFE also creates a barrier of protection against wetness and moisture. This kind of heat shrink tubing offers excellent insulation properties when used as a coating over electrical cables carrying high voltages. Another suitable application for PTFE shrink tubing is to supply protection to underlying materials any time they are used in extremely hot or cold environments.
You can help protect wires and cables from corrosion by applying PTFE heat shrink tubing to the outside. PTFE is chemically inert which means that it does not react or change properties when exposed to certain types of chemicals. Because your wires and cables are protected inside the tubing, they continue to provide the functionality required in chemically harsh environments.
Repair Exposed Electrical Wires with PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing
Anytime the protective coating comes off of electrical wires, it creates a hazard. If the bare wire were to be exposed to water, accidently touched by bare hands or come into contact with another metal object accidents will occur. While you could replace the entire length of wire with brand new wire, this is not the most cost effective manner. Instead, PTFE heat shrink tubing is commonly used to make repairs to the existing wire in the areas where protective coating is missing.
Deciding which size of PTFE heat shrink tubing will be suited for your applications may require some prior testing. By testing different sizes you are able to determine the ones that work best. You can often request small samples of various sizes in order to conduct your testing. Once your testing is completed you are able to order larger quantities of the desired size for your business.
You Can Order PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing in Standard and Custom Lengths
You can order PTFE heat shrink tubing for your business in standard four foot lengths whenever you cut your tubing to length yourself. Another option which will save you time is to order your heat shrink tubing already custom cut to the lengths you require. You are also able to use a combination of both of these ordering options in situations where you desire customized cuts and standard lengths for specific applications and purposes.
Bundling wires together can be accomplished by using PTFE heat shrink tubing. The process could involve cutting piece of tubing to size and first applying it to the individual wires. Once each wire has its own tubing on it, they are able to be held together and in place by using a larger piece of tubing and shrinking it around the group of wires.
Make Sure to Fully Shrink PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing on All Sides
A heat gun is commonly used to provide the necessary heat required to shrink PTFE heat shrink tubing. You need to make sure to evenly apply the heat by moving the gun back and forth to all sides of the tubing in the location where the tubing is placed. If the tubing is not shrunk correctly there could be sections of the tubing which do not seal fully. In situations where the tubing needs to be applied in tight locations you will want to remove the wire or cable, apply the tubing and then reattach it.
PTFE heat shrink tubing can be used to add support and strength to wiring and cabling when it is used in high temperature locations. PTFE has a high shrink temperature, so once it is fully attached it will remain in place, unless temperatures become extremely hot and melt the tubing. In order to actually melt the tubing off it would need to be exposed to very high and constant heat levels beyond the shrink temperature range.
Keep a Supply of PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing on Hand
In manufacturing and production industries, you should keep a supply of PTFE heat shrink tubing on hand. This type of tubing can be used to make a variety of repairs to machinery and equipment. Whenever there is a production issue, you can avoid having to shut down an entire line because you lack the right parts to make the repair. Instead, you can make the repair using this kind of tubing to get your line back up and running.
PTFE heat shrink tubing has several different properties which makes it suited for a variety of applications and purposes. This type of tubing is resistant to heat, provides corrosion protection, provides electrical insulation, and has a low friction coefficient. Several of these properties help protect wiring, cabling and other types of metal parts. The tubing can also be used as a protective barrier around other materials which are used to transfer chemicals and fluids.
Dual Layer FEP and PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing Can Withstand Stresses from Vibrations and Pulling
You may be looking for a solution, which can withstand the stresses of vibrations and pulling, to use around your cabling or wiring. One option is to use PTFE heat shrink tubing with an inner layer of FEP shrink tubing. When heat is applied to the dual layer tubing, the FEP layer melts to create an almost solid encapsulation around the wiring or cabling. The exterior PTFE layer shrinks to create an outer layer of protection around the FEP layer.
One mistake to avoid when using PTFE heat shrink tubing is attempting to apply it in locations which cannot withstand high temperatures. You can cause damage to other areas of the application or component, when you apply this tubing. You should always make sure to perform prior testing to check temperature stresses before directly applying this type of shrink tubing.
Apply PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing Externally for Components Sensitive to High Temperatures
Even in areas which are heat sensitive, you may still be able to use this type of tubing, by first removing the cable or wire. This will allow you to make repairs to the component or application, but avoid damaging it. Once the cable or wire has been removed, then you can apply the PTFE heat shrink tubing, externally. After the tubing is secure and cooled, then you can rerun the cable or wire back through the device or component.
When selecting PTFE heat shrink tubing, you will need to know what size you require. Sizes are often given in the pre-shrunk state of the tubing. This will let you know how big of a wire or cable the tube can easily slide over. However, you will also need to know what size the tubing should be after it is shrunk. The amount the tubing will actually shrink is related to the ratio, such as 2 to 1, which means the tubing will shrink to about half of its original size, if it is fully shrunk.
Use the Shrink Ratio to Match PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing to Where It Will Be Applied
The location where you apply PTFE heat shrink tubing should be used to help pick out the right shrink ratio. When you need to fit the tubing over oddly-shaped components, like plug connectors, you will want to use a larger shrink ratio. Larger shrink ratios provide a slightly thicker wall, to protect the connector, than tubing with a lower shrink ratio.
In certain situations you may need to use a light wall of PTFE heat shrink tubing. A light wall is the same thing as a thin wall. The only difference between regular shrink tubing and this type is the size of the recovered wall size after shrinkage. In light wall tubing, the recovered wall size is slightly smaller. This can help provide a tighter fit in situations where regular wall tubing will not fully seal.
You Need the Right Equipment in Order to Use PTFE Heat Shrink Tubing
You will need certain types of equipment in order to use PTFE heat shrink tubing. You will need a heat gun, designed to create the required temperatures to shrink the tubing. You should also have a pair of heat resistant gloves to protect your hands. The minimum shrink temperature is approximately 654 to 670 degrees Fahrenheit.