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Electric vehicles (EVs) make up a rapidly-increasing segment of the automotive market. As green technology and environmentally friendly initiatives continue to influence the automotive industry, many large-scale original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are focusing more exclusively on EV production.

This massive market shift places critical importance on EV batteries. Electric vehicle batteries must be properly encapsulated and secured, using specialized materials that protect from environmental conditions while increasing dielectric strength and reducing flammability. This article will discuss how to heat shrink wrap an EV battery, and the benefits heat shrink tubing delivers.

Heat Shrink Tubing

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Heat shrink tubing is an effective method of sealing and protecting electric vehicle batteries. It not only provides protection from weather conditions but short circuits as well. To shrink wrap a battery, you must follow these steps:

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While many types of heat shrink are available, a large diameter, thin PVC heat shrink is an effective choice for EV battery applications.

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Heat shrink is available in rolls and is measured by its expanded inside Diameter (ID) and recovered ID. To calculate the size needed for a given application, the perimeter of the battery must be calculated. Most heat shrink has a shrink ratio of 2:1 and should be less than twice the battery’s size. It’s important to choose a size that will fit snugly on the battery.

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Heat shrink tubing delivers many significant benefits for electric vehicle batteries. For example, it provides reliable protection against many types of challenging environmental conditions. Without exposure to factors such as humidity, oils, grease, chemicals, and other substances, the battery along with its wiring and cables can perform optimally for much longer. Other benefits include:

  • Insulation. Heat shrink tubing provides an additional layer of non-conductive insulation between the battery and anything that might come into contact with it. Thicker insulation facilitates better energy transmission and adds an additional level of safety.
  • Cable stress reduction. Wiring and cables receive increased mechanical support and protection against exposure to environmental conditions when heat shrink tubing is used. Heat shrink also ensures cables aren’t stretched or confined to areas of insufficient space.
  • Corrosion resistance. While the metals used in cables and wiring can be made to be corrosion-resistant, insulating them with a reliable material is the only way to ensure they are fully protected from corrosion. Heat shrink tubing is highly effective at protecting batteries and wires from corrosion.

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National Plastics and Seals has over 30 years of experience delivering heat shrink tubing solutions. We offer a comprehensive selection of heat shrink tubing products, including a wide range of shrink ratios, materials, sizes, and colors.

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To meet the unique needs of each application, we offer several value-added services, including:

  • Cut to length. Utilizing state-of-the-art tube cutting machines, National Plastics and Seals cuts heat shrink tubing to any desired length from spools or 4 ft. sticks.
  • Printing and marking. Customer part numbers, serialization, and sequential numbering can be added using the latest heat shrink printing technology.
  • Customer requirements. We comply with PPAP, REACH, COC, RoHS, and other material certifications. We can also meet military and major commercial specifications.

National Plastics and Seals supplies heat shrink tubing with inside diameters that range from 3/64 in. to 6 in., and lengths ranging from 4 ft. to 1,000 ft. spools. Heat shrink solutions from National Plastics and Seals meet stringent international specifications and deliver high flexibility even in low-temperature conditions. Our products help protect against punctures, ultraviolet radiation, diesel, petrol, and many other chemicals, which is extremely important for EV batteries. Additionally, the broad selection of color options we carry allows for easy wire color-coding.

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Batteries used in electric vehicle applications are exposed to many challenging environmental conditions that can be highly damaging. Heat shrink tubing safeguards against these risks and helps ensure a longer and more reliable battery and wire lifespan. As an industry leader in precision fabricated plastic components, National Plastics and Seals delivers highly effective heat shrink tubing solutions that meet even the most stringent specifications. Learn more about our products and services by requesting a quote today.

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Precision machining is a controlled manufacturing process used to manufacture high-precision parts out of various materials, such as plastics. Precision machined plastic parts are found in nearly every industry, valued for their lightweight and versatile properties. Here we’ll discuss the most common materials used in precision plastic machining and their respective benefits.

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Precision machining, specifically computer numerical control (CNC) machining, is compatible with a wide range of plastics. CNC machining is an automated, computer-controlled manufacturing process. Here is an overview of the best types of plastics to use for precision machining.

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Acetal has a slippery surface and impressive wear resistance. It is common in valve components, bearings, and gears.

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Nylon is a type of low-friction engineering thermoplastic with excellent chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, and high impact strength.

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PEEK is a lightweight, durable thermoplastic valued for its unique combination of mechanical properties. It is resistant to wear, liquids, fatigue, creep, chemicals, and high temperatures up to 260 °C. 

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PC is a tough, lightweight plastic that can withstand high heat and has good electrical insulation properties. Polycarbonate sub-types include:

  • Abrasion-resistant PC
  • Glass-filled PC
  • Static dissipative PC
  • Bullet-resistant PC

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PTFE—also known as Teflon®—is a high-performance polymer with impressive physical and mechanical properties, including resistance to chemicals, water, UV, light, high temperatures, moisture, fatigue, and weathering. PTFE is also popular for its low coefficient of friction and corrosion resistance. 

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PPS is a high-temperature engineering thermoplastic that can withstand up to 200 °C for extended periods of time. It is the best material choice for complex parts with tight tolerances because of its dimensional stability under temperature and humidity fluctuations.

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Each plastic type stands out for its distinct mechanical and physical properties. They each have applications for which they are best suited when precision manufacturing parts. Below are the benefits of these commonly used plastics.

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  • Wear resistance
  • Good stiffness
  • Dimensional stability
  • Heat resistance
  • Chemical resistance

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  • High impact strength
  • Chemical resistance
  • Abrasion resistance

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  • High resistance to chemicals, wear, fatigue, and high temperatures
  • Lightweight
  • Recyclable
  • Biocompatible
  • Insoluble in most solvents

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  • Lightweight
  • Clarity
  • Tough 
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Transparency; excellent light transmissivity

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  • Anti-adhesive
  • Chemical resistance
  • High-temperature resistance
  • Light and UV resistance
  • Wear resistance
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Water resistance 
  • Creep resistance  

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  • High-temperature resistance
  • Good electrical insulation
  • Dimensional stability
  • Chemical resistance
  • High tensile strength

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At National Plastics and Seals, we pride ourselves on our in-depth expertise with polymeric materials and high-precision machining. We work with a wide range of plastics, including nylon, PTFE, PEEK, polycarbonate, PPS, and acetal. We are uniquely equipped to partner with you on material selection based on your specifications. Contact us to discuss your project, or request more information to learn more about our products and services. 

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Heat shrink tubing provides added protection and is a common choice for securing wires and electrical connections. Choosing the right heat shrink tubing is the key to a smooth project. Some of the best ways to ensure you’re making the right choice is to:

  • Consider the application environment, such as temperatures, weather, potential contaminants, and more.
  • Ensure it meets the right certifications and standards for your industry.
  • Based on your application’s needs, decide the color, expanded ID, recovered ID, recovered wall thickness, and material.

In this guide, we’ll go over the various factors to keep in mind when choosing the best heat shrink tubing, as well as their common materials.

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Because heat shrink tubing protects wiring and electrical lines from the environment, it needs to be able to keep all potential environmental hazards at bay. The exact conditions can vary from location to location, so it’s important to keep these heat shrink tubing considerations in mind:

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Electrical lines and wiring will shift over time. Above-ground installations may be bumped, moved, or pushed against; even below-ground installations may encounter some flex as the ground expands and compresses in the weather. The right heat shrink tubing material will be able to handle the physical hazards in your intended application environment. 

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An arc flash occurs when an electric current leaves its path and travels through the air to the ground, or from one conductor to another. In this case, the proper heat shrink material would encase the wiring and provide sufficient resistance to ensure electrical current stays on course.

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Almost no locations are free from the risk of chemical contaminants. Assess the likely chemicals, including solvents, chemical salts, oils, and greases, present in your application environment. You may need specialized materials or multiple/thick layers of protection to ward away particularly caustic or pervasive substances.

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In outdoor or partially enclosed environments, protection against harsh temperatures isn’t enough. The material must also be strong enough to withstand rain, snow, abrasive winds, and direct or indirect UV exposure.

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Very cold or very hot climates present different risks to the effectiveness of heat shrink tubing. Even if the line is buried and out of direct exposure, temperatures can reach deep into the ground. Make sure you choose a heat shrink tubing material that can withstand extreme heat and cold, or large variations in temperature. 

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The heat shrink tubing you choose needs to both halt the spread of a fire and mitigate the risk of an external flame from reaching and damaging the wires; this is also referred to as flame-retardancy.

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Virtually every environment will have moisture, ranging from ambient humidity to rainfall or even proximity to marine spaces. Determine the amount of water, frequency of exposure, and duration of exposure the heat shrink material needs to be able to protect the wiring against.

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Now that you know what to look for, consider the properties of commonly used heat shrink materials to find the right fit for your needs. Common material options include:

  • Fluoroelastomers. This material is flexible, even at cold temperatures. It can also resist diesel and fluid damage.
  • Fluoropolymers (PTFE). PTFE has multiple grades, including a medical grade variation. This material can also operate reliably across hot and cold temperatures.
  • PET. Polyethylene terephthalate is strong, clear, and comes in food-safe options.
  • Polyolefins. This material is well-regarded for its insulative ability. It can be used in a wide range of manufacturing and industrial use cases.
  • PVC. PVC is flexible, easy to work with, and can handle physical impact without degrading. However, it does have a relatively low-temperature resistance.

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Choosing the right thickness, material, and characteristics of your heat shrink tubing can make all the difference for protecting electrical wiring long-term. At National Plastics & Seals, we specialize in formulating and producing high-quality heat shrink tubing that can work in a variety of conditions. We excel at customer service and meeting the needs of clients with custom projects and specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our products or request a quote to get started.