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heatshrink tubing part2

In the first part of our guide to heat shrink tubing, we discussed some of the common materials available for heat shrink products. In this part, we will look more closely at these materials and their characteristics.


This is the most popular heat shrink tubing material. It is available in irradiated, flame-retardant, and semi-rigid variations to meet the needs of different applications.

  • Extremely flexible (semi-rigid tubing is less flexible, but ideal for strain relief)
  • Chemical and solvent resistant
  • Low shrink temperature
  • Fast recovery time
  • Available to meet M23053/5 or M23053/6

Elastomeric Polyolefin

Shrinkable tubing made with polyolefin elastomer is designed to provide excellent physical attributes that optimize processing and end-user results.

  • Rugged, very mechanically tough
  • Long-term resistance to high temperatures, fluids, and physical abuse
  • Low-temperature flexibility
  • Available to meet M23053/16

Adhesive Polyolefin

This special polyolefin tubing is designed with a layer of adhesive that melts and flows when the shrink tubing is heated to create a tight seal around components.

  • Excellent resistance to corrosion, abrasion, heat, and chemicals
  • Very flexible
  • Tight seal for superior moisture resistance
  • Great for strain relief
  • Available to meet M23053/4 or M23053/15


PTFE can be a good choice for applications requiring extreme chemical resistance and a wide temperature range.

  • Wide temperature range (-270ºC to 260ºC; -454ºC to 500ºC)
  • Unmatched chemical resistance
  • Excellent dielectric properties
  • Superior lubricity (PTFE tubing creates very little friction in its applications)
  • Chemically inert
  • Available to meet M23053/12

Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene(FEP)

This material has similar properties to PTFE, but with its own advantages and disadvantages. It offers transparency and the thinnest wall thickness available.

  • UV and chemical resistant
  • Low gas and vapor permeability, low solvent absorption
  • Chemically inert
  • Excellent dielectric properties
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Available to meet M23053/11


This rubber material offers great flexibility over a wide temperature range. It is also a good choice for aerospace and industrial applications as it resists acids, solvents, and fuel.

  • Thermally stable
  • Flexible at low and high temperatures
  • Abrasion and cut-through resistant
  • Resists fuels, acid, solvent, lubricants, and hydraulic fluids
  • Weather-resistant
  • Available to meet M23053/13

Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)

Sometimes listed as Kynar, this heat shrink tubing material is a common choice for automotive applications.

  • Superior mechanical properties maintained over a wide temperature range
  • Excellent tensile strength and impact resistance
  • Radiation resistant
  • Resists creep and fatigue
  • Available to meet M23053/18 or M23053/8

Polyvinyl Chloride(PVC)

PVC is another popular material option. It is available in standard and lay flat heat shrink tubing constructions, and may be used in a wide range of industries and applications.

  • Great mechanical strength (30% stronger than polyolefin)
  • Low shrink temperature
  • Economical
  • Available to meet M23053/2


Neoprene offers the ability to self-extinguish within fifteen seconds, making it a safe choice for high-temperature applications. It is also common in aerospace applications.

  • Flame retardant and self-extinguishing
  • Thermally stable
  • Resists fuel, solvent, and hydraulic fluid
  • Flexible at low temperatures
  • Available to meet M23053/1


Mylar may be used for mechanical protection, electrical insulation, or as a replacement for electrical tape. It is suitable for hand or machine applications.

  • High-temperature resistance
  • Electrical insulation
  • Tight, smooth fit
  • No shrinking machinery necessary
  • Available to meet M23053/7

Although this is not an all-inclusive list of heat shrink tubing materials, it should serve as a good overview of some of the most popular choices for shrinkable tubing. To learn more about shrinkable tubing and to view full product specifications, click on the material names listed above. Can’t get enough information on heat shrink tubing? Check out our Heat Shrink Tubing FAQs.