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Industrial Technologies
SterilTR Industrial Technologies

Heat-shrinkable products manufacturing

It’s very widely used in various fields. Heat-shrinkable tubing is used successfully in electronic, electrical, automotive, telecommunication, petrochemical, military branches etc.

Heat-shrinkable tube is one of the most common heat-shrinkable products.

 

It’s very widely used in various fields. Heat-shrinkable tubing is used successfully in electronic, electrical, automotive, telecommunication, petrochemical, military branches etc.

 

Heat-shrinkable tubes are used to insulate wires, providing abrasion resistance and environmental protection for stranded and solid wire conductors, connections, joints and terminals in electrical engineering. It can also be used to repair the insulation on wires or to bundle them together, to protect wires or small parts from minor abrasion, and to create cable entry seals, offering environmental sealing protection.

 

Manufacturing technology of heat-shrinkable tubes consists of 3 main stages: extrusion, radiation modification (crosslinking) and orientation.

Extrusion — a method of manufacturing shaped articles of plastics and rubber, which is a continuous extrusion through a die (profiling hole) softened material.

Then the resulting material is treated by electron beam or gamma irradiation. The first method is suitable for the production of thin-film materials. Materials treated with the second method have high shrink ratio, higher flexibility and lower temperature shrinkage.

The last stage of manufacturing of heat-shrinkable tubes — is the direction. The bottom line is that the modified preform is heated to the melting point, are stretched up to right sizes, and then fixed in this position by means of cooling.

 

Radiation crosslinking stabilizes the initial dimensions of products and imparts the so-called “memory effect». Crosslinking occurs mainly in the amorphous zones of polyethylene, but the crystalline zones determine the stiffness of the material. The crosslinked material becomes elastic when heated above the melting temperature of the crystalline zones, which is approximately 100 ºC. The product can then be expanded or stretched to several times from its original size. It maintains the larger dimension when cooled, but it contracts to its original size when heated again.

 

As a basis for heat-shrinkable tubes radiation-modified (crosslinked) polyolefin is mainly used. Polyolefins — a large group of organic compounds, synthetic polymers, the products of the polymerization of olefins. The most common polyolefins — polyethylene and polypropylene.

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