Cold Shrink Article
Cold shrink tubing, like heat shrink tubing, is used to achieve a tight fit around cables and connectors as part of splices and terminations and for bundling cables together for strain relief or protection against the environment. Cold shrink tubing is easier to install than hot shrink tubing, without requiring any special tools or special training.
Essentially, a cold shrink tube is an open ended rubber sleeve, made primarily from rubber elastomers with high-performance physical properties, that has been factory expanded, or pre-stretched, and assembled onto a supporting removable plastic core. Cold shrink tubing shrinks upon removal of that supporting core during the installation process. The electrician slides the tube over the cable to be terminated and unwinds the core, causing the tube to collapse down, or contract, in place.
Once they are installed, cold shrink tubes create a dynamic, compressive environmental seal and electrical interface without sealants and adhesives. The tubes are always "attempting" to return to original size (smaller than the conductor it is on). The constant inward pressure means the cable can be flexed and the seal will not be broken.
Silicone cold shrink assemblies are inherently UV resistant, and with an additive, EPDM becomes UV resistant. Both are water resistant and good performers in a broad range of temperatures. Cold shrink technology is well suited to outdoor applications as well as to medium- and high-voltage splices and terminations.
Generally, cold shrink tubing is more flexible and pliable than heat shrink tubing. Those qualities allow the cold shrink products to move with the cable as it goes through thermal expansions and contractions.