Cable management refers to the management of electrical and optical cable within designated installations. With a variety of different products used across a number of industries, the capabilities are endless, from tidying up an entertainment system to bundling dozens of wires inside of a single sleeve. Today's blog, we'll be discussing the differences between 2 of the most popular types of cable management products, Tubing and Sleeving. 

Tubing and Sleeving are similar yet very different products. To distinguish what products excel most effectively in specific environments, we'll breakdown three various applications. In these applications, our team will choose the most effective cable management products from each category, and decide which products would provide the most cost-effective and optimal outcome.

  

General Overview of Each Category

Electrical Tubing

Non-shink tubing is used in diverse industries all over the world. Some of these non-shink tubing constructions include PVC, zipper, convoluted, corrugated, spiral and spaghetti (small diameter) tubing. Almost all of these constructions are available in an array of different materials, meaning that we can help you find the perfect product for your application. Not only are our non-shrink tubings easily installed, but they also offer tremendous dielectric strength. 

Electrical Sleeving

The sleeve is formed when the fibers are braided, twisted and arranged into a variety of constructions. Different constructions vary by material type and braid fabrication, which range from Polyester, Polypropylene, Flame Retardent, Flame resistant and Nylon. Sleeving is ideal for applications that require good dielectric strength and reliable flexibility. Being one of the most diverse cable management products, they're typically used in motors, appliances, transformers and generators. Sleeving also thrives in a wide range of industries, specifically aerospace, military, broadcasting, automotive, solar and the appliance market.

   


Now that we've given a general breakdown of each category let's examine some applications!

Garbage Truck Application Example

Application #1: This job requires 7, 22 AWG wire to be run inside of a garbage truck. Inside the vehicle, the wiring may be subject to certain chemicals like oil, moderate bending, 300 volts and periods of extreme heat. What product would provide the best solution?

   

Electrical Tubing Solution

Tubing is typically very resistant to most liquids and has multiple wall thicknesses that are perfect for light or heavy wall applications. Anythings from Polyethylene to PTFE Teflon would be more than an adequate solution for this application.

  

Electrical Sleeving Solution

In an application where the outer jacket is subject to liquids, from water to acid, the sleeve is often the worse choice. With an open sleeve, the outside will be 0 help zero stopping anything liquid. The most effective sleeve for this application would be Silicone sleeving, as it's able to withstand up to Class H or 200C.

  1. Silicone Fiberglass Sleeving (Class H 200°C)

  

1st Winner

Tubing simply because of its ability to stop liquids like moisture and oil, which makes it the more practical choice.


    

Office Wiring Management

Applications #2: Your wiring multiple office up with desktops lamps, personal printers, ETC. Each of these devices has various wire and cables going in every direction, creating not only an unorganized office space but also some potential hazards. Which category would provide the best solution?

   

Electrical Tubing Solution

Not having any major temperature or voltage requirements, cost-effectiveness will more than likely be the determining factor. The best tubing solution would be PVC non-shrink tubing because of its general-purpose capabilities and its low manufacturing costs.

  1. PVC Non-Shrink Tubing (105C)

   

Electrical Sleeving Solution

With multiple wires of various sizes all going in different directions, the best alternative would be expando or PVC sleeving. I gave two answers because of the PVC sleeve's low cost and expando sleeving's ability to fit different sized wires within a single sleeve consistently.

  1. Expando Sleeving (175C)

     

2nd Winner

For managing cables within an office space, the sleeving option would not only be the costs effective option but also be significantly easier to manage and setup. Out of the two options I listed above, Expando would be the most effective because of its ability to fit different amounts and types of cables per bundle. Instead of trying to find the right size, you could simply buy a single size and apply the amount of heat your size requires.


   

Building Design Layout

Applications #3: The final application is wiring a building. You are responsible for wiring a building, but there are some small issues. You have about ten wires that need to go through a high-temperature room, that can reach 175C, but also has to fit in tight locations, what category are you using?

    

Electrical Tubing Solution

Non-shrink tubing would do very well in this application because of a specialty product known as "PTFE Spaghetti Tubing." This type of PTFE tubing comes in 3 different sizes (light, Thin & Standard) and is typically relied on for its ability to be used in high-temperature environments and hard to reach locations. PTFE Spaghetti tubing is also mil-spec, UL and CSA approved, which means it can be used it basically every application within its temperature range:

  1. Light Wall PTFE Spaghetti Tubing
  2. Thin Wall PTFE Spaghetti Tubing
  3. Standard Wall PTFE Spaghetti Tubing

     

Electrical Sleeving Solution

In the context of this application, sleeving would require a Silicone sleeve again, because of the heat requirements but should be able to survive moderately longer than the first example because of the lack of liquids. 

   

In general, both sleeving and non-shrink tubing are very versatile products that are reliable solutions to many harsh and demanding jobs. This blog non-shrink electrical tubing was deemed a more reliable fit for the application examples, but in general, sleeving can often be a cost-effective alternative for a number of general-purpose applications.