A question for all of you using heat-shrinkable tubings: What would you use for HS covering a small diameter wire over a longer span?
This question is specifically in regard to an upcoming project where a thin metal wire (tbd) will be covered with the HS tubing, then threaded through (and remain in contact with) silver beads on a piece of contemporary art. The beads are currently threaded with Tigertail wire which has caused some issue to the silver where they are in contact, so the artist is coming to replace it and is looking for a safe alternative.
Of course, I already use and love Benchmark's Polyolefin and Teflon HS tubings, but I am checking to see if there are other products you like/use/recommend (that have passed Oddy tests?) out there. I vaguely remember someone mentioning a heat-shrinkable silicone tubing from McMaster-Carr? Maybe I dreamed it.
Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
Hi Shelly, I don't know about any more heat shrinkable tubing, but I do remember that there are silicon tubings used in the medical field that are incredibly tiny, and would probably be small enough for you to thread through your beads. As to whether you could thread your wire through the tubing in the first place is, I guess, up to experimental research that only you can do. Do I remember where I saw these silicon tubings? Sorry. Is the necklace so heavy that you need the wire? Or might the silicon tubing be strong enough to support the necklace by itself? Another question that I have is whether the heat shrinkable tubing would diminish the flexibility of the wire you shrink it around?
In any case, good luck with your search and let us know the result.
Pamela Gaible 4/12/12
Shelly, We have a variety of tubings we use. Scientific Commodities, Inc carries micro medical tubing that we use with monofilaments and thin insect pins. The one that comes to mind is the following:
Web site is: phone 1 800 331 7724
SCI micro medical tubing - polyethylene clear - .023"ID and .039" OD or mm it would be .058mmID x .99mm OD. Cat.#BB31695-PE/3
This material was oddy tested here last summer and passed with flying colors.
From the same distributor we also tested Medical grade Platinum cured silicon micro tubing - nice material because it was tiny and reacted like a limp noodle. But results where a bit mixed. No reaction to silver and lead and slightly more tarnished than control for copper. Conservation said not approved for direct contact with objects made of copper or copper alloys. Also the material has a tacky surface attracting microscopic dust and dirt.
Hope this helps Pam