Before you purchase some Heat Shrink Tubing to use in your electronics work, you should research the materials that are available, and ensure that you pick the correct material for the job. For most consumer or hobbyist projects, some polyolefin tubing will likely be the best choice. If outdoor use is likely, or a glossy appearance is desired, the PVC should be considered.

For industrial use, it is likely that one of the more hardwearing materials may be needed. Silicone rubber is popular because of its toughness and flexibility.

Where hazardous materials are a concern, it would be wise to carefully investigate the specification sheets of the different fluoropolymers. Most of the fluoropolymers are resistant to a wide range of hazardous chemicals, however there are some chemicals – especially molten alkali ones, that can damage even a hardwearing PFTE Heat Shrink Tubing. Safety should be your primary concern, and as such, detailed research will be required before you put a new material of heat shrink tubing to use.

PTFE is one of the most hardwearing fluoropolymers, but it is expensive, and has a very high shrinking temperature. Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) is a low cost alternative to PTFE. FEP is a good insulator and has good chemical resistance. FEP is slightly less tolerant of extreme temperatures than PTFE, however it is still suitable for most applications.

Luminous and UV reactive Heat Shrink Tubing is available. These forms of tubing are mainly used where appearance is important, and are popular with the “modding” community – for example computer enthusiasts who make unusually shaped computer cases, and may want to use UV reactive heat shrink tubes to protect wires close to any sharp edges within the case.