Adhesive lined heat shrink tubing, commonly known as glue lined tubing, has all the advantages of traditional heat shrink but with one other important feature; a layer of thermoplastic adhesive. The tubing is made with a Polyolefin outer tubing coupled with a hot-melt adhesive inner lining. This layer of glue enables the tubing to offer a better seal and adhesion.
The different properties inherent in glue lined heat shrink tubing make it better suited to certain applications and environments than the standard tubing
Firstly, it is considerably thicker than normal heatshrink. Obviously this precludes it from being used in more precise applications, but means it offers a secure and more permanent method of insulating heavier cables.
Obviously this means it is far less flexible than the standard stuff, and because of this rigidity, it won’t coil with the wire like smaller standard heatshrink. Again, this reinforces its use in heavier electrical installations.
Glue lined heat shrink tubing lends itself well to certain environments and is widely used in marine applications. Because of its superior sealant properties, it is ideal for insulating and sealing electrical and mechanical components against water and moisture. It’s also ideal for effective moisture-resistant insulation of electrical connections and splices.
For instance, when repairing electrical equipment on a boat, a butt connector is often used. These connectors help maximise current flow and protect against corrosion but also use glue-lined tubing to seal out the water. And this sturdy tubing also has the added advantage of relieving some mechanical strain.
As well as the marine industry, adhesive lined heat shrink tubing is widely used in the automotive and electrical industries. Applications include general electrical insulation, mechanical protection and harness/cable bundling. The tubing can be supplied as a continuous product or can be cut into lengths and even printed.