When it comes to electrical and cable connections, a heat shrink tape can ensure tighter, more secure, and safer connections and installations than regular tapes or plastic tubes. For those who are not familiar with this material, the heat shrink electrical tape is similar to the common adhesive and electrical tapes used at home. The only difference comes on its ability to contract or shrink when heated. The tape is commonly used in electrical, wiring, and cable works. After it has been wrapped around the wire or cable, heat is applied to shrink or mold down the tape keeping it tightly sealed and secure.
Applications of the Heat Shrink Tape
- Cable and Wire Protective Sealant. The heat shrink tape is mainly used to create protective seals or covers wrapped around cables and wires where electric current passes. It is an alternative of the common electrical tapes that are easily removed by water, moisture, or ordinary wear and tear. When the shrink tape is heated and molded down in place, water, moisture, and other elements could not penetrate.
- Cable and Wire Heat Insulation. Electric wires and cables need utmost protection against over-heating, including temperature surges coming from the external environment. Aside from sealing wires and splices in place, the shrink tape is able to absorb extreme heat that should have gone directly into the wires and electrical current.
- Water Pipe and Tube Sealant. The heat shrink tape can also be used in water pipe or tube connections or installations. A newly installed water pipe line can be sealed with a blue or light colored 3M heat shrink tape. Heating the tape assures that water or even minute air leaks will not occur. After the tape is secured and molded in place, the home owner will be guaranteed of its security since water that will run on the pipes will generally be cold which will never affect the tape.
- General Surface Sealant or Patch. Aside from the applications mentioned above, the tape can generally be used as sealants or patches to damaged or broken surfaces whether it be the wall, the ceiling, or in any other areas. For these purposes, the clear heat shrink tape is recommended to minimize or prevent the patch or seal created from being noticed.
Advantages of Using a Heat Shrink Tape
Electricians and most home builders make use of the heat shrink tape in most of their electrical, plumbing, and general sealing needs because of the following benefits or advantages.
- They can be used and molded even in irregularly shaped connections or surfaces. The heat shrink tape is commonly made from polyolefin, the material which makes it flexible and allows it to contract when applied with heat. The tape can be wrapped around any shape and only needs to be heated to secure it in place. This is in contrast with ordinary tapes that bulges or those which creates protrusions.
- It provides more secure and safe seals. The heat shrink tape provides sturdier, compact, or more secure seals or patches. This is primarily important when it comes to electrical wire connections and outlets. The tape will never move out of place even when accidentally or forcefully gripped or pulled. This ensures the safety of all family members.
- The tape is good at insulating. Heat has an adverse effect on wires, cables, and cable coatings. But when these wires or cables are wrapped or coated with a heat shrink tape, the negative or risky effects of heat is averted. The tape can usually withstand high temperatures ranging up to 130 degrees Celsius, beyond the boiling point of water.
Whether you are repairing damaged walls or planning an insulating system for the cables in your new home, a heat shrink tape is the best remedy and solution. Contact your electrical engineer or architect when using these tapes for proper application.