bisco industries Blog

What is Heat Shrink Tubing?

Heat Shrink Tubing Description

Heat shrink tubing (heatshrink) is plastic tubing used to protect cables and wires from harsh environments. When heat is applied to the tubing, it shrinks in diameter and length causing the tubing to tightly wrap around the inserted wire(s).

Heat Shrink Tubing Animation

Heat Shrink Uses

While the primary function of heat shrink tubing is to protect wires from harmful elements like oil and dust there are several other functions and benefits. Heat shrink tubing is also utilizied to insulate wires, bundle wires together, color-code wires for organization, relieve strain and stress on cables and neatly terminate the ends of braided sleeving.

Heat Shrink Sizing

Heat shrink tubing is available in many sizing options. Depending on the manufacturer, the shrink rate may be stated as a ratio or percentage. For example heat shrink tubing with a shrink ratio of 3 to 1 will shrink to one third of the original diameter. The expanded (original) diameter of the heat shrink should be 20-30% larger than thickest portion of of the application.

Heat Shrink Tubing Manufacturers

Heat shrink tubing was first invented in the late 1950’s by Raychem Corporation founder, Paul Cook. Today there are countless options available from many different manufacturers. Leading manufacturers include:

  • 3M
  • HellermannTyton
  • Alpha Wire
  • Panduit
  • Dunbar
  • Essentra (formerly Richco)
  • Thomas & Betts
  • Molex
  • TE Connectivity (Raychem)
  • Qualtek

Learn More About Heat Shrink

Selecting heat shrink tubing can be an overwhelming process but there are many resources available help guide users to the right solution. These resourses include Alpha Wire’s heat shrink tubing brochure and Panduit’s heat shrink selection guide . bisco industries’ team of product specialist are also standing by to assist you with any quesitons you may have. Email us here or call 1-800-323-1232.

3 Ways to Manage & Protect Cables

Wiring is a necessary evil of electronic devices. Think about that space behind (or under) your desk. If you’re anything like me there’s a tangled mess of wires waiting for you the next time you unplug a device.  This type of chaos doesn’t just affect the space behind your desk. The fact is, most industrial and electronic applications face the same challenge of managing wires and cables.  But there’s hope…

1. Wiring Duct

Panduit Wiring Duct

Wiring duct protects and manages cables by enclosing cables in a plastic runway and routing them to the desired location. Wires are placed in the “U” shaped trough of the wiring duct and then secured in place using a snap-on cover.  Wiring duct can be solid or slotted to allow cables to rout to different locations. It is also available in a variety of materials including polypropylene (PP) and rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In addition many wiring ducts are UL rated to meet stringent application requirements. To find the right wiring duct for your application view the Panduit wiring duct product selection guide.

2. Cable Ties

Panduit Cable Ties

Cable ties are an extremely economical and simple way to manage wires and protect them from damage. Cables ties are thin notched strips of durable material (usually plastic) with a locking loop at one end. Cable ties can be secured in place by wrapping the tie around the wires and pulling the flat end through the locking loop. The teeth in the locking loop secure the tie in place. Some cable ties also offer additional features such as ID labels (flag ties) and mounting brackets (clamp ties). Find a complete list of cable tie styles and sizes at

3. Heat Shrink

Panduit Heat Shrink

Heat shrink is another effective way of protecting wiring. Heat shrink is flexible plastic tubing through which cables and wires are inserted. Once the wiring is inside the heat shrink is heated causing the plastic tubing to shrink. Once heated the heat shrink securely holds cables together while protecting them from the outside environment. Heat shrink comes in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and colors to meet diverse application requirements. Learn more by reviewing the handy heat shrink selection guide from Panduit.


Helping You Find the Right Cable Management Solution

With so many options when it comes to cable management it’s important to find the solution that’s best for your application. Whether you’re an engineer specing out a project or a supply chain manager looking for a new source, bisco industries can find the right solution for you. bisco industries boasts an online library of cable management products from Panduit as well as an experienced sales staff to answer your questions. We also offer extensive stock and online pricing and ordering so you can get your products fast. Don’t get lost in that mess of cables, visit today!

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