Heat shrink tubing: product solutions and application tips

How to find the right heat shrink tubing to use

A comprehensive range of heat shrink tubing products

Heat shrink tubing by HellermannTyton

From coloured heat shrink tubing to adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing and heat shrink moulded shapes, HellermannTyton offers a comprehensive range of products in different heat shrink tubing sizes that meet the highest international standards.

We offer heat shrink tubing in different colours, sizes, wall thicknesses and materials (Fluoropolymers, Polyolefin, PTFE and many more).. We supply heat shrink tubing pre-cut and on reels. The portfolio also includes heat shrinkable end caps and heat shrink moulded shapes.

Product overview

What is heat shrink tubing?

Heat shrinking means: The process of applying heat, for example using an electric or gas heat gun, to shrink expanded plastic tubing or shapes down to its original size.  A distinction is made in this respect between recovered dimension (original size) and supplied dimension (expanded size). Heat shrinking is used in various industries and electrical applications – for instance to insulate and protect cables against heat, abrasion, chemicals or water. Watch this video with our heat shrink experts Barry and Mark to see how easy heat shrink tubing is to handle.

Heat shrink tubing for your application

Not sure if our heat shrink product fits your specific application? Enter the known dimensions in the HellermannTyton online heat shrink calculator. It will check the size. We recommend that the heat shrink tubing should shrink by at least 20 % and not more than 80 % of the supplied dimension.

Coloured heat shrink tubing

Different colours for visual identification

Coloured heat shrink tubing for visual identification

Besides black heat shrink tubing HellermannTyton offers a wide range of coloured tubes. These are perfect for colour coding different conductors or cables.

Demand for the colour orange is also growing.  This is a result of the increase in high-voltage power systems installed in vehicles. Sometimes, seeing through the heat shrink tubing is important. Transparent tubing is ideal for oversleeving labels applied to cable jackets.


HellermannTyton provides the following colours:

… and many more. See all HellermannTyton heat shrink tubing products here and select the right colour for your application.

Heat shrink tubing dispenser boxes

Dispenser boxes for HellermannTyton HIS heat shrink tubing proucts with 3:1 shrinking ratio

HIS Heat Shrink Tubes are available in various sizes, colors, and shrink ratios. Our handy dispenser boxes make insulating plugs, cables and other conduits easy:  Just cut off the length you need.

  • 2:1 Heat Shrink Tubing will allow quick and easy shrinking.
  • 3:1 Heat Shrink Tubing reduces the variants you need and fits more easily e.g. over bulky connectors.
  • 3:1 + Adhesive, inner glue, provides additional sealing against moisture and an even tighter grip to the application.

The HIS-Service Station is also available: offering space for a total of 5 HIS boxes.

Why clear/transparent heat shrink tubing?

Many cables are colour coded or have identification marks printed on them – for example in public buildings like airports and hospitals but also in tunnels and means of transport like rail vehicles, ships and planes. Transparent tubing is often used to insulate wire jackets whilst keeping identifying marks visible. This is known in the trade as oversleeving.

Learn more about clear/transparent heat shrink tubing in this video with our experts Barry and Mark.

Printable heat shrink tubing

Printable, thin wall heat shrink tubing in different colours and sizes

Printable, single wall TF21 tubing is used for clear identification of conductors, for example to mark live, neutral and earth. TF21 has a low shrink temperature and is available in many colours and sizes. It is also flame retardant and UL224 VW1 listed. Thanks to these characteristics, TF21 meets and exceeds lots of industry standards.

Another example of a thin-walled, flexible polyolefin hose is the flame-retardant TR27.

Waterproof heat shrink tubing for increased moisture protection and durability

Waterproof heat shrink tubing

The effectiveness of waterproofing with heat shrink tubing depends on proper application and integration with the device, raising the following practical questions:

  • Application: How reliably can the heat shrink tubing be applied to its counterpart? 
  • Protection: How effectively does it shield against specific water threats
  • Durability: How well does the applied tube withstand environmental factors such as temperature changes and exposure to chemicals

Adhesive plays a critical role in ensuring reliable waterproofing, particularly in applications like marine industries. A good adhesive bonds the tube securely to the device, sealing uneven surfaces by filling crevices, and can adhere strongly even to less-than-perfectly-clean surfaces while enduring compressive, tensile forces, and movement

Protection against water ingress is outlined in ingress protection (IP) standards, indicating levels of protection against solid particles and liquids. The first digit of an IP rating (ranging from 0 to 6) represents shielding against solid particles and air-intake, while the second digit (ranging from 0 to 9) denotes liquid resistance levels, from no protection to resistance against high-pressure water jets. Detailed information can be found in standards such as EN 60529. 

A standout example of high-performance heat shrink tubing is the SA47-LA. This tubing features a powerful adhesive that adheres well to various materials, including slightly soiled surfaces. It shrinks uniformly, ensuring effective adhesive flow for optimum sealing. This prevents corrosion, even on copper-aluminium joints. Furthermore, it maintains its grip under challenging conditions like temperature variations and chemical exposure. Its transparency allows for visual inspection to confirm proper adhesive application. SA47-LA is ideal for industries like automotive and cooling technology that demand waterproof, durable, and robust protection against environmental elements. 

Adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing

For excellent environmental sealing and durability

Semi-rigid halogen free polyolefin heat shrink tubing with an inner liner of hot melt adhesive.

Adhesive-lined heatshrink tubing has an inner layer of flexible glue to seal the outer tubing and wire jacket against any water ingress. It also gives the electrical application extra mechanical strength.

Medium wall, glue-lined shrinkable tubing is perfect for use underground or around wires that are buried. HellermannTyton offers a wide range of adhesive-lined tubings with different shrink ratios and properties.

What is adhesive-lined tubing?

Adhesive-lined tubing is also known as dual-wall tubing. Because here you have a combination of a crosslinked outer jacket (Polyolefin) and an inner layer of adhesive. When heated, the inner adhesive wall melts and flows. This process creates an adhesion layer that ensures a tight fit to the wire, wire or connector. Glue-lined heat shrink tubing is ideal for producing strong, weather tight seals with extra mechanical strength and excellent protection against corrosion.

Watch this video to see dual-wall heat shrink tubing demonstrated by our experts Barry and Mark.

MA47 heat shrink tubing

Medium wall, adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing for cable applications above and below the ground

The medium wall, adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing MA47 with a 4:1 shrink ratio, it provides reliable insulation and moisture protection for low voltage cable joints and terminations.

The polyolefin based MA47 protects against humidity and other environmental impacts: for electrical applications above and below the ground.

Cable Repair Sleeve RMS

HellermannTyton heat shrinkable wrap-around sleeve RMS

RMS is a wrap around sleeving used for cable repair and splicing. The adhesive-lined wrap-around sleeve is a fast, labour-saving, tight-fitting and permanent cable repair and water sealing system.

It is ideal for repairing buried cables where it is difficult or impossible to install conventional heatshrink products.

Just wrap the pre-slit RMS repair sleeve around the damaged cable insulation and fix it in place using the supplied rail and channel closure. Apply heat with a gas torch to shrink it and melt the adhesive lining, which completes the environmental seal.

As a simple visual aid, the thermo-chromatic paint spots on the outside of the sleeve disappear when sufficient heat has been applied. Here you can find all adhesive-lined products from HellermannTyton at a glance.

Heat shrink tubing sizes

How do you choose the right heat shrink size?

Heat shrink tubing (6:1) in combination with a power plug.

Shrink tubing has different shrink rates. These describe the maximum size change during the shrink process. If, for example, the size of the shrink tubing is reduced to 50%, the shrink ratio is 2:1. Special applications, such as connector assembly, require a larger diameter of the shrink tubing with a high shrink rate. 

The wall thickness also plays an important role in finding the right product. In general, it can be said that the thicker the cable and the higher the mechanical load, the greater the wall thickness of the shrink tubing should be.

To find the right shrink tube for your application, the size calculator and the wall thickness calculator can help you.

Size calculator

HellermannTyton assembly kit for many differently sized heat shrink tubing requirements

Not sure if our heat shrink product fits your specific application? Enter the known dimensions in the HellermannTyton heat shrink calculator. It will check the size for you. We recommend that the sleeving should shrink by at least 20 % and not more than 80 % of the supplied dimension.

Wall thickness calculator

Wall thickness calculator for Heat Shrink Tubing

When heatshrink tube shrinks, the diameter as well as the wall thickness will change. Our wall thickness calculator gives you an indication of the theoretical wall thickness for a given diameter.

ShrinKit 321 assortment boxes

HellermannTyton assembly kit for many differently sized heat shrink tubing requirements

HellermannTyton offers pre-cut, thin single wall heat shrink tubing in handy assembly kits. ShrinKit 321 is a family of five heat shrink tubing assortments.

With their 3:1 shrink ratio, they make ideal replacements for many differently sized tubing requirements.

Choosing the required tubing is easy as the content is clearly identified by size and length on the lid of the assortment box.

Material: Polyolefin

Heat shrink moulded shapes

Shapes with high dielectric strength, mechanical toughness and superior resistance

The HellermannTyton heat shrink moulded shapes family

From bottle-shaped boots and long outlet shapes, to 1-way shapes, 6-way shapes or angled shapes and T-shapes, HellermannTyton offers a huge variety of shrinkable moulded shapes in different sizes and materials. These shapes are used in diverse areas, e.g. for applications in the defence industry.

Straight heat shrink boot with rib

Heat shrink tubing connection for circular grooved adapters

The Helashrink 150 series is designed for connections with circular grooved adapters. The use of an additional inner lip guarantees increased strain relief.

In addition, the Helashrink 150 Series offers outstanding protection against environmental influences. This bottle shaped solution is used particularly in the aerospace industry.

See all HellermannTyton products here from the product group Bottle Shapes.

Right-Angle boot with rib

Right-Angle heat shrink tubing connection for circular grooved adapters

The Right-Angle Helashrink 1100 Series is used in conjunction with a circular grooved adaptor. It provides strain relief and an environmental seal.

In addition to the Right-Angle Shapes, HellermannTyton also offers many other shaped parts for various applications: e.g. 45° angle boots, Y-outlets, VG style shapes, T-shapes and many more.

See all HellermannTyton products here from the product group Right-Angle Shapes.

End caps

Heat shrink end caps with adhesive lining for sealing cable ends

The Helashrink 1600 Series is used to seal cable ends during storage and transportation. The adhesive lining provides an excellent environmental seal. Optionally, the HEK End Caps can be fitted with air valves for pressure cable applications.

Convoluted boots

Adhesive lined heat shrink tubing with adapter lip connection for circular grooved adapters

The Helashrink 313C Series provides strain relief and is used for circular grooved adapters. Thanks to the adhesive lining it provides excellent environmental sealing.

The convoluted design offers flexibility for different cable outlet angles. The Helashrink 313C Series is primarily used in military and general performance equipment.

See here all HellermannTyton products from the product group Low Profile Convolute Boots.


Did you know? HellermannTyton also offers a high performance two-component adhesive. It has enormous adhesive strength and a very good resistance to most chemicals and fuels.

The adhesive is particularly popular for use with moulded shapes and is available both as a single cartridge (V9500) and as a complete set. For this purpose a special applicator gun is additionally available.

Further information, a selection guide to find the correct moulded shape for your application and our complete product range can be found in our Shrinkable Moulded Shapes Product Guide (PDF).

These hot air guns does HellermannTyton offer


Cordless heat gun – gas powered

Hot air gun HG900 by HellermannTyton

For optimum shrink tubing processing HellermannTyton offers the gas powered Hot Heat Gun CHG900. The cordless heat gun allows autonomous operation without electrical power supply. Therefore it can be used anywhere, e.g. outdoors or in remote locations.

Popular areas of application are among many others maintenance and repair work in the fields of:

  • electrical installation
  • rail industry
  • offshore wind parks

Hot air gun CHG900 allows easy 360° working at all angles – even overhead operation is no problem. The Cordless Heat Gun also convinces in terms of user-friendliness. If malfunctions should occur with the piezo ignition or the gas nozzle, maintenance work can be done conveniently, independently and completely tool-free.

Hot air gun HG900 by HellermannTyton

The most important benefits at a glance:

  • Instant heat: no heating up time
  • 90 minutes operation time: 3-4 times longer compared to rechargeable battery powered tools
  • Environmental friendly: stainless steel gas cartridges once completely emptied are recyclable
  • 360° working: and hands-free operation due to integrated standing pod
  • Outdoor qualified: even for the harshest conditions down to -8°C
  • Lightweight: tool weighs only 440g tool and 555g with gas cartridge
  • Easy maintenance: tool-free and independently to reduce downtime


As an alternative to the gas-powered Cordless Heat Gun, you can also choose an electrically-powered tool.


Hot air gun – electric powered

Electrical powered heat shrink tubing Tool H6100 by HellermannTyton

The electric powered Hot Air Tool H6100 is designed for applying thin to medium wall heat shrink tubing, end caps and moulded shapes. For the best possible result of the shrinking process, the tool is equipped with 3 different push-on nozzles.

  • Powerful 1600W motor
  • Ceramic heating element enables temperatures up to +700°C
  • Safe use on the workbench thanks to non-slip rubber ring
  • Integrated air filter, easy to clean

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your top tips for using heat shrink tubing?

Tip 1: When shrinking heat shrink tubing it is advisable to start the shrinking process in the middle section of the tubing and then gradually proceed to one end and then from the middle again to the opposite end. This helps you avoid trapping air under the tubing.

Tip 2: Tubes also shrinks longitudinally i.e. along its length. You should factor in this shrinkage when cutting the tubing into lengths. 

Tip 3: It is possible to minimise the longitudinal shrink by shrinking the ends first and then the middle section. However, if you do this, air can get trapped, which will prevent the middle section from shrinking. Alternatively, you can shrink the tubing by starting at the most critical end and then shrinking down slowly towards the other end.

Tip 4: If the object to be covered is metal or heat conductive, care must be taken to ensure the object is pre-heated to avoid “cold spots” or “chill marks”. This ensures a tight and smooth fit of the tubing.

Tip 5: When cutting heat shrink tubing and wrap-around sleeves to the desired length, take special care to ensure that the ends are cut smoothly. Poorly cut and irregular edges can cause heat shrink tubing and sleeves to split during shrinkage.

Tip 6: When choosing the tubing size it is important to consider the 80:20 rule. This means the tubing size should be chosen to allow minimum shrinkage of 20 % and a maximum of 80 %. Detailed examples of how to select the right heat shrink tube are available in the insulation product section of our catalogue.

Tip 7: During shrinking you should always make sure that the workplace is well ventilated and that you wear personal protective equipment like gloves and safety glasses.

Which are the most important parameters for correct heat shrink tubing?

Wall thickness: 
The material thickness should be indicated in mm after complete shrinking. "Nominal" defines dimensions without any tolerances. Generally, you can distinguish between thin wall, medium wall and thick wall. Heat shrinkable tubing is also available with an adhesive liner. This is also called dual wall tubing

For thin wall tubing with a shrink ratio of 2:1 (standard tubing) the diameter is usually in inch sizes; 25.4 mm equals 1 inch. 

Shrink ratio: 
Depending on the material compound used and wall thickness, heatshrink tubing can be extruded to a different degree. The shrink ratio indicates the rate that the product shrinks to (i.e. the supplied diameter in relation to the recovered diameter). It varies from 2:1 to 6:1. The higher the ratio, the greater the object diameter the tubing can cover. Thus, fewer sizes of tubes are needed, which helps to reduce stock levels. 

Longitudinal shrinking: 
Heat shrink tubing does not only shrink in diameter, but also in length. This longitudinal change after shrinking is indicated in a percentage.  

Minimum shrinkage temperature: 
Not all tubes shrink at the same temperature. It strongly depends on the type of compound they are made from and also the wall thickness.

Operating Temperature: 
The operating temperature varies per tubing type. This is dependent on the compound used for the tubing type. When selecting the correct size, it is recommended to follow the 80:20 rule outlined above.

Heat shrink tubing is used in cable harness assembly in general. This includes insulationidentification, and mechanical protection against abrasion as well aesthetical design.

What hot air guns does HellermannTyton offer?

Hot air gun HG900 by HellermannTyton

Hot air guns are suitable for processing a wide variety of heat shrink tubing and heat shrink wire markers as well as molded shapes or heat shrink boots, transition shapes, end caps and cable repair sleeves.

At HellermannTyton you have the choice between the following heat guns:

  • CHG900: cordless heat gun, gas powered
  • H6100electrical hot air tool

Find more details about these tools here on this website.