When looking for the right heat shrink tape, you will take many factors into consideration, including shrink percentage, shrink force, and cure temperature. While it may seem like a small detail, heat shrink tape thickness is another crucial consideration to make when determining the right shrink tape for you. So, why exactly does heat shrink tape thickness matter?

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Heat Shrink Tape Thickness Influences Compaction Strength

One of the primary reasons why heat shrink tape thickness is so important is its influence on the compaction strength of the tape. In fact, the thickness can be a determining factor in the compression strength of the heat shrink tape. The thicker the tape, the more compressive force is applied as it shrinks. Conversely, the thinner the tape, the less compressive force is applied as it shrinks.

For example, our 100 Series Hi-Shrink Tape has a thickness of 0.001” (0.025 mm) and a max shrink force 4.3 lbf. On the other hand, our 500 Series Hi-Shrink Tape has a thickness of 0.005” (0.125 mm) and a max shrink force of 21.6 lbf.

Different Heat Shrink Tape Thicknesses Are Better For Different Composites

In addition to its impact on compaction strength, different heat shrink tape thicknesses may be better depending on the size of your composite. When choosing a heat shrink tape, you should also take into account the size and thickness of your composite. For example, a larger composite that is thicker may need a thicker heat shrink tape while a small-diameter composite may require a thinner tape. Some larger composites include oil and gas tubing, which will require thicker tape, such as our 500 Series Hi-Shrink Tape. Sporting goods applications, such as automotive drive shafts and golf club shafts, are significantly smaller and require a much thinner tape. This will improve the overall compression of your composite and may ease the wrapping process.

What Are Your Heat Shrink Tape Thickness Options?

At Dunstone, we carry a wide range of our Hi-Shrink Tapes. We have numerous products with available thicknesses ranging from 0.001 inches (0.025 mm) to 0.005 inches (0.125 mm).

100 Series

The 100 Series Hi-Shrink Tape is among the thinnest on the market. With a thickness of just 0.001 inches (0.025 mm), this polyester film is ideal for thin-walled composite parts that require a low to moderate shrink force. Despite its thinness, the 100 Series Hi-Shrink Tape is suitable for cure temperatures of up to 330ºF or 165ºC. This series is commonly used for consolidating flexible ductwork, silicone, and rubber hoses during curing and vulcanization.

140 Series

Dunstone’s 140 Series Hi-Shrink Tape is just slightly thicker than the 100 Series with a thickness of 0.0014 inches (0.035 mm). The 140 Series is suitable for thin-walled composites and can handle cure temperatures up to 330ºF or 165ºC. Usually, this Hi-Shrink Tape is used for consolidating electrical coils.

200 Series

The 200 Series polyester film has a thickness of 0.002 inches (0.050 mm) and is able to handle cure temperatures up to 330ºF or 165ºC. Since this composite is still relatively thin, it is ideal for use on thin-walled composites. Our 200 Series is typically used to consolidate composite tubes, flexible ductwork, and silicone hoses.

300 Series

The 300 Series is a slightly thicker polyester film. With a thickness of 0.003 inches (0.075 mm), it is great for thicker-walled composites. Similar to the other tapes mentioned above, the 300 Series is suitable for cure temperatures up to 330ºF or 165ºC.

500 Series

The 500 Series is a 0.005” (0.125 mm) thick polyester film that is ideal for use on thicker-walled composites and parts that require a high compressive force. Generally, this series is used to consolidate large composite tubes and containment rings.

HT Series

The HT Series is a multilayer film, made with ETFE and Nylon. This film has a thickness of 0.002 inches (0.050 mm), is suitable for temperatures up to 356ºF or 180ºC, and is ideal for applications that require slightly higher temperatures and excellent release characteristics.

X Series

The X Series also has a thickness of 0.002 inches (0.050 mm), however, it is able to handle the highest temperature on the market. It supports mechanical use up to 752ºF or 400ºC. This tape is ideal for curing thermoplastics like PEEK and PPS.

Still Unsure What Heat Shrink Tape Thickness is Right for You? Dunstone is Here to Help

Since 1958, Dunstone has been providing our customers with high-quality heat Hi-Shrink tape that fits your exact specifications. Our team will work with you to understand the needs of your applications and help you determine which Hi-Shrink tape is best. And, if none of our off-the-shelf options work, we will happily create a solution for you.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.