March 29, 2023 3 min read

Heat shrink tubing is one of the most popular tubing forms used in organizing and grouping electrical connections. However, considering that different connections tend to exist within the same electrical system, having a way to properly organize them is one of the most important things.

This is why colored heat shrink tubing has become more popular. In this article, we’ll look into the proper guide for cable organization and identification using colored shrinking tubes.

An Introduction to Colored Heat Shrinking Tubes

Heat shrink tubing is a thermoplastic tube that contracts whenever it comes in contact with heat. When placed around electrical components and wire arrays, the tubing collapses radially to properly fit the characteristics of the equipment in question. This creates an additional layer of protection and wire insulation.

The tube might cover parts of individual wires, or you could decide to bundle an entire wire array together and protect them. With heat shrink tubing, you can easily protect against things like dust, moisture, abrasion, and much more.

When creating coloured shrinking tubes, most manufacturers use extrusion to make a tube of thermoplastic material. Manufacturers have the choice of using different materials, with their choice usually varying based on the intended use and application. Once the plastic has been properly extruded, the material is heated and allowed to adjust - usually boosting the tube’s diameter. From there, the tube is allowed to cool and set when it hits room temperature.

After this, the expanded thermoplastic tube is placed around the wires or any other desired components and heated to a certain temperature. When using shrinking tubes, the heat allows the tube to soften and shrink back to its initial extruded size. This closes the wires or other components all within a tight layer of plastic that protects the entire system.

It goes without saying that the coloring here is primarily for cable identification. Essentially, different tubes come in different colors, which are used to wrap the wires and cables. With this, cable organization and identification become significantly easier. Colored shrinking tubes are also reliable for their resilience and durability, ensuring the efficiency of your entire electrical connection.

Benefits of Colored Heat Shrink Tubing

With optimal versatility and ease of use, you can find several impressive benefits of using colored heat shrinking tubes. Some of these include:

● Protection against abrasion, low impacts, and sharp cutting edges
● The tubes also provide a waterproof benefit, allowing you to protect against moisture, chemicals, and other potentially intrusive contaminants.
● The proper organization of cables and wires into discerning bundles
● Thermal and electrical insulation
● A more organized appearance and smoother texture
● Better structural support, thus creating less strain on wires and connectors
● Flexibility and compatibility

How to Use Heat Shrinking Tubes For Cable Identification


  1. Choose the color of the tubing that you want to use to identify each cable. You can use different colors to differentiate cables for different purposes.
  2. Cut a piece of heat shrink tubing that is slightly longer than the section of the cable you want to label. Make sure that the tubing is wide enough to fit over the cable.
  3. Slide the heat shrink tubing over the end of the cable that you want to label.
  4. Use a heat source, such as a heat gun, to shrink the tubing. Make sure that the heat source is not too close to the tubing or the cable, as this could damage them.
  5. Repeat this process for each cable that you want to label.
  6. Once the tubing has shrunk and cooled, you can use a label maker or a permanent marker to write on the tubing. Be sure to write legibly and use a color that contrasts with the color of the tubing.
  7. Finally, group the cables together and organize them in a way that makes sense for your needs.

By following these steps, you can easily use colored heat shrink tubing to identify and organize your cables.


How do I know what size shrink tube to get?

Generally, this will depend on the size of the cables themselves. There needs to be a match to ensure compatibility.

Can I use electrical tape instead of heat shrink?

Electrical tape could work as a replacement for heat shrink tubing, although it is worth noting that it might not provide the same level of protection against abrasion.

Can you use a hair dryer to shrink heat shrink tubing?

Yes, you can. Just hold the dryer as close to the tube as you can and crank it up to its hottest setting





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