Heat-shrink tubing (or, commonly, heat shrink or heatshrink) is a shrinkable plastic tube used to insulate wires and for a number of other purposes. As the name already indicates the diameter of the tube shrinks when heat is applied.

Made from Nylon or Polyolefin, 2:1 shrink ratios are most commonly available. 3:1 and even 4:1 is also available, as well as versions with glue backing to make connections completely water proof, all in various colours.

Heatshrink tubing can be used to bundle or isolate cables, and for 1001 other purposes. Electrical insulation, colour marking, strain relief, anti-kinking protection or protection against moisture are several examples.

Heating heat shrink tubing can be done with the shaft of a soldering iron, hot air gun, or simply with a lighter. Best results are obtained with hot air though. Evenly heating the tube makes sure shrinkage is similar over the whole length. Over-heating heat shrink tubing can cause a decrease of structural strength or even ruptures.

Most important specifications

  • Sleeve Diameter (mm)
  • Shrunk Diameter (mm) or Shrink Ratio