February 17, 2023 4 min read

Heat shrink tubing has always been a critical organizational and protective product that can work in different electrical arrays. Also known as electrical shrink tubing, this element works in different cable organization and electrical projects.

With heat shrink tubing you will be able to insulate your electrical components from different external factors - including, but not limited to, abrasion, dust, and moisture. Considering how dangerous these issues can be, heat shrink tubing ensures that you can prevent circuit failures and shorts. Just as well, their protective ability comes in handy in DIY cable insulation and organization projects.

In the past few years, heat shrink tubing has also become incredibly varied. Different manufacturers use colors to demarcate different types of heat shrink tubing, allowing users to easily draw lines between different tubing types and the projects or situations where they might work perfectly. In this article, we’ll look into how to use colored shrinking tubes for cable insulation.

Heat Shrink Tubing: What Is It?


Heat shrink tubing is a thermoplastic tube that contracts in size when it is exposed to heat. When placed close to electrical components and wire arrays, heat shrink tubing essentially collapses in order to fit the specifications and contours of the equipment in question.

This adaptability provides a protective layer around your electrical components. The layer can cover parts of individual wires or simply group arrays together. The end goal is optimal protection against things like moisture, abrasion, dust, and low-impact cuts.

In the creation process, most manufacturers of heat shrink tubing make use of extrusion to create a tube thermoplastic material. The material in questions an vary based on the intended application - so, a material that works for DIY cable organization might not necessarily be the same that will work for cable insulation tasks.

Once the desired plastic has been extruded, the material is heated - a process that forces it to expand significantly. By expanding, the tube’s diameter is increased, and the tubing is allowed to cool into room temperature.

From there, the expanded thermoplastic tube is placed around the wires or other component and heated to a particular temperature. With enough heat, the tube is allowed to soften and shrink back to its initial extruded size, covering the entire wires with a layer of protective plastic.

Heat Shrink Tubing: Color Options

When it comes to what shrink colors, one of the most significant questions is which colors are tubes available in. generally, products are available in different colors - some can be standard, while others can be bespoke.

Standard colors within the electronic industry are recognized in this manner:

 

Color

Abbreviation

Market Color Code

BLACK

BLK

0

BROWN

BRN

1

RED

RED

2

PINK

PNK

2L

ORANGE

ORN

3

YELLOW

YLW

4

GREEN/YELLOW STRIPES

GYS

45

GREEN

GRN

5

BLUE

BLU

6

VIOLET

VLT

7

GREY

GRY

8

WHITE

WHT

9

CLEAR

CLR

X

 

 

How To Use Colored Heat Shrink Tubing

No, let’s go into the DIY guide and explain cable insulation using colored shrinking tubes:

Step 1

Shrinkage occurs in the tubing once heat has been applied - we know this. However, it is also critical for you to choose the proper size of heat shrink tubing for your project.

In doing this, you want to keep two terms in mind - recovered diameter (which is the diameter following the shrinking) and expanded diameter) the diameter before the shrinking. To get the secure fit, ensure that the tubing’s recovered diameter is smaller than the diameter of the region you’re looking to insulate. That way, you get a tight fit a soon as it shrinks.

Just as well, the expanded diameter of the tubing needs to be large enough to fit over the insulated area - as well as any possible wire connectors that will be attached to it.

Step 2

Once you’ve found the right dimensions for your heat shrink, the next step will be to cut the heat shrink tubing to a functional length. Remember to allow for at least a ¼-inch overlap over any existing insulation or connectors.

You should also remember that tubing shrinks lengthwise - usually 5% to 7% during the overall shrinking process.

Step 3

Now that you’re done with the cutting and measurement, you can slide the cut tubing over the object you want to cover.

If you’d be spilling two cables together, simply slide the tubing over the splice’s center and allow for an equal overlap on both sides. This way, you ensure that the entire splice is covered properly.

Step 4

Before the actual shrinking, check the specifications of the tubing to find the recommended tubing temperature. Uncontrolled heat can cause significant unevenness in the shrinkage - as well as insulation failure and even physical damage. So, we won’t advise that you use open flame for the heating. A heat gun is a great choice - plus, it’s really not so costly.

Step 5

If you’d be covering a long cable length with the tubing, you can start shrinking at one end and work your way to the other.

Apply heat evenly over the length and around the tubing’s diameter until the entire structure has been shrunk evenly and can confirm to the cable’s shape. Once that is done, remove the heat source and let the tubing cool slowly before you add any physical force to it.

You should also remember to caution yourself against overheating. As a tip, you could use silicone lubricant over the cords or wires to guide heat shrink over them without causing an erosion over the heat shrink material.

 

 


Catalog

View All
  • SolderStick Waterproof Solder Wire Connector Kit - SolderStick
    Secured and Waterproof Wiring Connections in Literally Seconds! SolderStick eliminates the hassle and allows you to focus on rewiring done the right way.
  • 300pcs SolderStick Ring/Eyelets Connector Set - solderstick
    Thick copper barrel ensures strong secure crimping every time, providing minimal voltage drop, high current flow, and less heat. These will prevent short circuits and problematic wiring that inferior connectors are known for. Insulation tubing has unique dual-walled design. High quality 3:1 shrinkage tubing has a heat-activated sealant lining to provide a 360-degree secure seal. It's flame-retardant, waterproof, and can be used underground Package includes: Total 300 PCS Heat Shrink Ring Connectors. Wire range: 22-18 ( red ) / 16-14 ( blue ) / 12-10 ( yellow ) A.W.G.  Copper barrel is an excellent conductor of electricity, corrosion resistant and has a very high melting point. These salient features will generate minimal heat while maintaining a high current flow with minimal voltage drop. COMPLIANT WITH ALL ELECTRICAL STANDARDS – SolderStick heat shrink connectors are compliant with ROHS, ISO 9001:2008, SGS and CE standards. Total: 300pcs100pcs Red(M5#10: 25pcs, M6 1/4”: 25pcs, M8 5/16”: 25pcs, M10 3/8”: 25pcs)100pcs Blue((M5#10: 25pcs M6 1/4”: 25pcs, M8 5/16”: 25pcs,M10 3/8”: 25pcs)100pcs Yellow ((M5#10: 25pcs, M6 1/4”: 25pcs, M8 5/16”: 25pcs, M10 3/8”: 25pcs) Specifications 100 RedWire range: 0.5~1.5mm², A.W.G.:22~18, Maximum current = 19A100 BlueWire range: 1.5~2.5mm², A.W.G.:16~14, Maximum current = 27A100 YellowWire range: 4~6mm², A.W.G.:12~10, Maximum current = 48A  
  • 400pcs Spade Connectors Kit - solderstick
    Thick brass in the wire connectors ensures strong secure crimping every time, providing small voltage drop, high current flow, and less heat. These will prevent short circuits and problematic wiring that inferior knockoff connectors are known for. How To Use        
  • T-Tap Wire Connectors - solderstick
    Tap into any wire with ease using our T-Type Quickconnection terminals! T-Tap Connectors are used to tap into an existing wire. Closing the quick slide connector makes a connection to the wire that can be accessed using a push-on terminal. T-Tap Wire Terminals allow you to tap an existing wire with another wire with ONE crimp and no additional connections. No wire stripping is necessary. Simply clip part over the primary wire and close with a pair of pliers No special tools are required  Taps are insulated, color coded by wire size All taps meet or exceed UL and SA standards   HOW TO USE: Simply insert both wires into the splice, squeeze down on the metal insert with pliers, and close the cap. SPECIFICATIONS: Quantity: 120 PCS Material: Nylon, Copper, Tin Maximum Operating Temperature: 221 °F Maximum Recommended Voltage Rating: 600 V Box Size: 20cm x 15cm x 5cm Package Weight: 0.35 kg PACKAGE INCLUDES: 20 x Red Connectors 20 x Blue Connectors 20 x Yellow Connectors 20 x Red T-Tap Wire Terminals 20 x Blue T-Tap Wire Terminals 20 x Yellow T-Tap Wire Terminals  
  • 164pcs Color-Coded Heat Shrink Tubing - solderstick
    ✔️ EASY AND FAST PROCESS All-in-one step solder and seal process. Shrink quickly, durable and evenly with our 2:1 shrink ratio polyolefin tubing to create a tight bond with connecting wires. ✔️ STAY ORGANIZED Our connectors come within a storage box, easy to store and carry. You can throw the heat shrink tubing kit in your toolbox and not have to worry about size getting mixed together. ✔️ ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY AND SAFE Made of polyolefin, soft and flexible, acid and alkali resistance, anti-aging. This ensures that wires are tightly connected and prevents wires slipping out of the terminal. ✔️ WIDE APPLICATIONS Provide a barrier between cables and corrosive chemicals, insulate cables and wires against extreme heat in aircraft, boats, and military-grade vehicles. Suitable for electrical insulation, strain relief, cable bonding, color-coding, and identification. Specification: 60pcs 1.0 x 40mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 30pcs 2.0 x 40mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 20pcs 3.0 x 40mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 16pcs 4.0 x 40mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 12pcs 6.0 x 40mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 10pcs 8.0 x 80mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 8pcs 10.0 x 80mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set 8pcs 14.0 x 80mm Heat Shrink Tubing Set  
  • SolderStick Bullet Wire Connector Kit - SolderStick
    Key Features: Quick Connect-Disconnect: Ideal for applications requiring frequent wire connections. High Conductivity: Ensures a reliable electrical connection every time. Multipurpose Use: Great for automotive, household, and industrial wiring needs. Durable Materials: Crafted from corrosion-resistant metals for longevity. Safety Standards: Complies with all relevant industry safety benchmarks. Assorted Sizes: Choose from a variety of sizes to match your specific wire gauges, the box comes with 250 pieces divided in 3 sizes. Warranty: 30 day warranty for peace of mind.
  • SolderStick Butt Wire Connector - SolderStick
    Tinned Copper Core: butt connectors kit use a heavy-duty copper core, strong crimp, higher conductivity. Waterproof Durable: Insert the wires to be connected, crimp both sides with crimping pliers, and then heat with a heat gun, wire connectors kit is very strong. 3:1 Shrink Ratio: Marine grade waterproof wire connectors provide high tensile strength and enough hot melt adhesive inside the tubing to ensure waterproof performance, your wires will never slip out of the wire connectors. Wide Application: Wire Connectors are durable, stable, waterproof, and corrosion resistant and are used in the automotive, marine, electrical, and electronic industries. Package Includes: 180 pieces heat shrink butt connectors kit (30 pieces yellow butt connectors, 60 pieces blue wire connectors, 90 pieces red butt connectors)