Curiosity might have killed the cat, but from my personal experience with curiosity, it’s only made me wiser.  Curiosity is a catalyst of learning.  Genuine curiosity motivates the mind to learn.  And one can never learn enough.  There’s always something out there that you can educate yourself about.  And why not?  It’s not hard to learn, especially when you have a genuine curiosity.  You don’t have to master the subject, but you can become informed.

Recently, I was adjusting some wires behind my TV when I noticed a lot of wires were bundled by tubing that appeared warped.  And, I know “warped” can often have a negative connotation, but the tubing was warped in a way that enhanced the bundling.  Also, I know this isn’t some groundbreaking discovery—I’ve seen this type of Semi-Rigid Heat Shrink Tubing before.  But, for some reason, this sparked some curiosity.  I knew that somewhere in the world there was probably an entire industry dedicated to this one, miniscule product.  So, me being me, I decided to look it up. Basically, though, I found that what I had dubbed “that warped plastic thing” was actually called EPDM Cold Shrinkable Tube.

Most plastic doesn’t shrink down when you apply heat to it. What makes heat shrink tubing different is the process used to expand the plastic. This process is called cross-linking. Cross-linking exposes the polymers to radiation creating covalent bonds between atoms. This process is often referred to as giving the tube a “plastic memory”. When the cross-linking process is over, the tube will remain it an expanded shape until heat is applied which it will then shrink back down to its original shape. Each type of Heat Shrinkable Fiber Optic Splice Protector has a different shrink ratio that determines how small the tube diameter will shrink when heat is applied.