Polyolefin is a thermoplastic polymer used in many industrial applications including manufacturing of different types of heat shrink tubing. Polyolefin is the material we commonly see as shrink wrap that is used to wrap and protect food and other consumer goods. When it comes to tubing, the typical heat shrinkable polyolefin tubing is highly resistive to chemicals, grease, moisture, fungus, and sunlight. It shrinks at temperatures above 121 degrees Celsius without splitting.
However, there are different types of Polyolefin tubing with different properties, and hence, different applications. Here is an overview of some of the common ones found and used.
Thin Wall Heat Shrink Polyolefin Tubing
Thin wall heat shrink tubing shrinks up to 50 percent on temperature higher than 100 degrees. They are highly flexible and can be very effective from space saving point of view. It is mostly used for jacketing and identification of cables.
Semi-Rigid Heat Shrink Polyolefin Tubing
Unlike thin walled tubes, semi-rigid heat-shrink polyolefin tubing is tougher and less flexible. Due to its rigidity, it is also abrasion resistant. The tube diameter will shrink up to 50 percent when heated above 135 degrees. One factor that sets it apart from other heat shrink tubing is its flame-retardant quality.
Very Flexible Heat Shrink Polyolefin Tubing
Used in wire bundling in aerospace assemblies, this type of polyolefin rubbing has a lower shrink temperature and very high flexibility. Typically, the temperature is around 100 degrees. It is also highly flame retardant and therefore, it is used in applications where safety is extremely important.
Medical Grade Polyolefin Tubing
Medical Grade Polyolefin Tubing differs from other types due to its resistance to many chemicals used commonly in medicine, such as saline solutions, alcohol, and hexachlorophene. This tubing is flexible and also boasts an excellent dielectric property. It shrinks up to 50% on application on heat above 121 degrees.
Melt Wall Polyolefin Tubing
The purpose of melt wall polyolefin tubing is to protect the internal component against exposure to any harmful element such as moisture or chemical solvent. When heat above 135 degrees is applied to this tubing, the meltable wall inside the heat shrinkable jacket melts and flows in to fill up spaces around the inner surface. It solidifies as soon as temperature lowers and there remains no void for external elements to seep in and cause damage.
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