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How To: Brother HSe Heat Shrink Tubing Calculator

Brother’s heat shrink tubing has been around for over a year now, but has caused a little confusion about the sizes that are available, and for what size cable they’ll fit.
Here I shall briefly go over the sizes and how to work out which one you will need for what size cable. This guide isn’t limited to just Brother’s heat shrink tubing; it can be used to help decide on the correct size for Dymo, Brady, and LabelStation tubing too.

If you’re confused on cable sizing or are using the US measurements, it might be worth having a look at our cable sizing chart.

What you see is what you get

Let’s have a look at the HSe-221. It has a shrink ratio of 2:1 which means it will half in size. It’s rated at a size of 8.8mm, but what does that actually mean?

When flat, the tubing is 8.8mm in width. To work out the diameter of the tube when round, you need to times it by two and that will give you the circumference. Then divide that number by pi.

Width of tubing while flat: 8.8mm
Circumference of tubing while round: 8.8 x 2 = 17.6mm
Diameter of tubing while round: 17.6 ÷ pi = 5.6mm
Diameter at a 2:1 shrink ratio after shrinking: 5.6 ÷ 2 = 2.8mm

So if you have a HSe-221 cassette, this tubing will be suitable for a cables with a cross-section of 2.8mm to 5.6mm.
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Heat Shrink & Brother HSe Video


Video not playing? Click here!

Marking cables using heat shrink tubing is probably the most effective, reliable and professional looking solution there is. The video above is an example using a Brother P-Touch E550W and a heat gun. Producing these types of labels really is as fast as it looks in the video.

Other printers that can print heat shrink tubing includes the most Labelstations, Dymo XTL & Rhino Pro, most Brady and the Brother E300 & E550W.

Coloured heat shrink can help identify groups of cables while printing on the tubing can identify individual cables.

Using heat shrink instead of cable flag labels improves identification as it is less cluttered improves and airflow for enclosed areas such as server racks.

Using the heat shrink tubing instead of cable wraps improves identification from as wraps can accumulate mucky adhesive. Cables wraps, much like flag labels, require more effort to apply than heat shrink tubing.

The only down side to heat shrink tubing is that it can only be applied to cables that do not already have a bulky plug on the end. As you can see from the video it is best for this type of cable marking to be applied to cables that haven’t yet been terminated.

Sizing Chart For Easy Cable Labelling

Buying cables and buying labels can be an easy task on their own but getting the right label for your cable may require a little more thought.

This day in age we’re constantly battling between the metric and imperial system of metres and miles, litres and gallons. So to make things in the world of cable labelling easy, here is a USA to European cable size chart.

USA Standard Cable Size Equivalent Cross-Section Nearest Available Cable Size
20 AWG 0.519 mm2 0.5 mm2 – 0.75 mm2
18 AWG 0.823 mm2 1 mm2
16 AWG 1.31 mm2 1.5 mm2
14 AWG 2.08 mm2 2.5 mm2
12 AWG 3.31 mm2 4 mm2
10 AWG 5.26 mm2 6mm2
8 AWG 8.37 mm2 10 mm2
6 AWG 13.3 mm2 16 mm2
4 AWG 21.15 mm2 25 mm2
2 AWG 33.62 mm2 35 mm2
1 AWG 42.41 mm2 50 mm2
1/0 AWG 53.49 mm2 70 mm2
2/0 AWG 67.23 mm2 70 mm2
3/0 AWG 85.01 mm2 95 mm2
4/0 AWG 107.2 mm2 120 mm2
250 MCM 126.7 mm2 120 mm2 – 150 mm2
300 MCM 152 mm2 150 mm2
350 MCM 177.3 mm2 185 mm2
400 MCM 202.7 mm2 185 mm2
450 MCM 228 mm2 185 mm2 – 240 mm2
500 MCM 253.4 mm2 240 mm2
550 MCM 278.7 mm2 240 mm2 – 300 mm2
600 MCM 304 mm2 300 mm2
650 MCM 329.4 mm2 300 mm2
700 MCM 354.7 mm2 300 mm2 – 400 mm2
750 MCM 380 mm2 400 mm2
800 MCM 405.4 mm2 400 mm2
850 MCM 430.7 mm2 400 mm2
900 MCM 456 mm2 400 mm2
950 MCM 481.4 mm2 400 mm2
1000 MCM 506.7 mm2 400 mm2 – 630 mm2
1250 MCM 633.4 mm2 630 mm2
1500 MCM 760 mm2 800 mm2
1750 MCM 886.7 mm2 800 mm2 – 1000 mm2
2000 MCM 1013.4 mm2 1000 mm2

This chart is correct to our knowledge and we cannot be held responsible for any errors. If however you do spot a misprint please contact us.