Fluoropolymers have a number of convenient uses across a wide variety of trades from the steel industry to the chemical processing industry. The reason why fluoropolymers are so effective is because of their astounding ability to expand and shrink as needed. It’s almost as if fluoropolymers have a “memory,” and as a result, they are the ideal materials for products like heat shrink tubing. Fluoropolymers such as FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), and PFA (perfluoroalkoxy) might have long and confusing names, but their function is quite simple and immensely beneficial. These fluoropolymers will shrink and tighten to their initial state when they come into contact with the right amount of heat, which makes them perfect for an array of industrial uses. PFA, FEP, and PTFE tubing is extruded, heated, and expanded by the manufacturer before it is sent to a customer. Once the customer applies heat to the tubing, its memory function is activated, and the tubing tightens. Below are a few of the many uses for heat shrink tubing.
When wires need to be insulated from water and other potentially harmful elements, heat shrink tubing is the ideal solution. The tubing is simply placed around the wires and heated. Almost like magic, the tubing will tighten around the wiring, forming an impressive seal. With heat shrink tubing in place, wires remain insulated and efficient.
If there are critical components present that must be protected from damage, heat shrink tubing is an excellent choice. Wires and cables that are subjected to a lot of wear-and-tear can receive an additional layer of protection from abrasions when tubing is applied. The durability of fluoropolymers will provide an outstanding “shield” when heated and wrapped tightly around cables or wiring.
Protection for Connections
Even if the majority of a cable or wire doesn’t need protection, there’s a good chance that the connections, joints, and terminals could benefit from the added layer of protection that heat shrink tubing can provide. These crucial junctures must remain intact to ensure proper function, so having heat shrink tubing as a safety net in these areas is a big benefit.
Of course, there are many other functions for heat shrink tubing – including wire repair, cable and wire bundling, electrical protection, and mechanical and water protection – but these three functions are some of the more common uses. With the remarkable “memory” power of fluoropolymers, it’s no wonder that heat shrink tubing is such a popular industrial product.
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Samantha Wideman is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites.