Certain plastics shrink when heat is applied, making them ideal for packaging. Heat shrink comes in many shapes and forms, including tubes, tape and wrap. Using them requires a heat source, and one of the most convenient and safest ways to warm up these types of materials is a heat gun.
Once you have the right tools, use these guidelines to apply your heat shrink:
How to use heat shrink tubing
Heat shrink tubing is commonly used to join two wires together. To do this, place both ends of the wire inside the tube. Make sure the wires are positioned or connected exactly how you need them to be before you shrink the tube. Once placed correctly, use your heat gun to slowly shrink the tubing. Keep your heat gun moving to prevent uneven shrinkage or burns. After the tubing reaches the desired size, let the tubing cool completely before touching or moving it.
How to use heat shrink tape
Heat shrink tape offers a powerful hold to ensure your items stay together. Before you apply heat shrink tape, clean the surface so no debris impacts the tape’s adhesive. Peel away the end of the tape and place it where needed.
Once placed, use scissors to cut the tape. Don’t pull or tear it, as this can reduce the adhesion. Use a piece of masking tape to hold the heat shrink tape in place until you’re done. Use your heat gun to shrink the tape to size. As it gets smaller, the tape’s hold will strengthen. Don’t touch the tape until it’s fully cooled.
How to use shrink wrap
Shrink wrap has many common uses, such as protecting a boat during the off season or packaging items. Shrink film can be found by the roll or in bags, and is often made of polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC.
To use shrink wrap, cover the items you want to be wrapped. If you’re using bags, place the items in the bag and use a heat sealer to close it. Then use a heat gun or heat tunnel to shrink the wrapping to size. As in the other applications, always keep the heat gun moving to prevent burning. You can purchase a heat tunnel or use a Masterflow heat blower to construct one yourself.
Find the right heat gun for your projects at Master Appliance.