Gamma Electronics Blog

Why Cold Shrink is the Best Cable Weather Proofing Solution

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Cable Protection, RF Weatherproofing | 0 comments

It should go without saying that cables being used outdoors need some form of cable protection.  Even in the best of climates cables will be exposed to weather and need protection. No one wants to suddenly lose cell phone or internet service because a cable didn’t have proper weather proofing.  There are tons of cable protection options out there, (many of which are offered by Gamma Electronics), but Gamma Cold Shrink is the best.  So what is it?

Why Gamma Electronics cold shrink is the best cable protection

What is Cold Shrink Tubing?

A good way to think of Cold Shrink is to compare it to a rubber band, (since you’ve probably stretched out and fired a rubber band off before, perhaps at an unsuspecting co-worker).  Cold Shrink gets stretched out like the rubber band but is then held in that stretched position by an inner plastic tube.  Once it’s ready to be installed you remove the inner plastic tube and it shrinks back to its original state.

Check out the video below to see the Cold Shrink installation process in real-time.

You’re probably thinking, “but wait, rubber bands aren’t as strong after being stretched out”, and you are correct.  After being stretched out traditional rubber bands don’t quite have their original strength/elasticity, which is why Cold Shrink isn’t made from traditional rubber.

Cold Shrink is used as a form of cable protection/weather proofing and has an incredible shrink ratio of 3:1, meaning it shrinks to 3 times smaller than from where it started with the inner plastic core.

Most commonly Cold Shrink comes as a silicone rubber sleeve and the inner plastic core has a longer piece on one end, (which we call the rip cord), that you pull to remove the inner plastic core.  Cold Shrink gets its name from this shrinking process as it doesn’t require any heat, (like a heat gun or torch), in order to shrink.

What Makes Cold Shrink the Best form of Coax Weatherproofing?

  • IP68 Rating – no dust ingress and no water ingress after being submerged in water for a minimum of 30 minutes exceeding 1 meter deep
  • Incredibly easy to install, (no heat or glue required) and installs in about 1 minute
  • Can be installed in temperatures ranging from -15° Fahrenheit (-26° Celsius) up to 158° F (70° C)
  • Tear Resistant
  • Acid and Alkali Resistant (making it more resistant to corrosion)
  • Resistant to Ozone, Oxygen and UV

One of, if not the best reason to use Cold Shrink over other cable protection options is its incredible ability to withstand dust and water ingress.  Unlike tapes Cold Shrink is a single unit/piece making it near impossible for dust or water to work their way inside.  Correctly installed Cold Shrink provides optimal weather protection as it keeps dust and water out of your connections while also protecting against vibration as the Cold Shrink seals the connector to the unit it’s connected to.

To top things off Cold Shrink works in nearly all temperatures and can be installed at some of the lowest of lows, (-15° Fahrenheit, -26° Celsius) up to extraordinarily high temperatures, (158° F, 70° C).  It’s resistant to tearing, corrosion, ozone, oxygen, and UV.  Simply put, Cold Shrink is remarkable stuff.

Different Types of Cold Shrink Tubing

In addition to our silicone Cold Shrink we also offer an ethylene propylene diene monomer, (or EPDM), Cold Shrink. EPDM Cold Shrink has gained industry wide acceptance for its excellent ozone and chemical resistance properties. It is also compatible with many polar fluids that would adversely affect other elastomers, (i.e. silicone Cold Shrink).  Because of its unique properties EPDM is most typically used in industrial applications, while silicone cold shrink is what will be used on most cable/connection installs.

Silicone Cold Shrink comes in varying sizes with each size matched to work well with different sized connections.

Gamma Electronics EPDM cold shrink


Cold Shrink is the best and we’re particularly proud of it considering our team at Gamma Electronics was the first to manufacture silicone Cold Shrink.  We maintain that we manufacture the highest quality Cold Shrink on the market, providing incredible weather protection capabilities while being one of the easiest forms of cable protection to install.  These are the exact reasons that AT&T chose to go with Gamma Cold Shrink on the FirstNet deployment happening now throughout the United States, (more information here).

To meet your needs we make cold Shrink in connector specific sizes and can package cold shrink with cable to help you cut down on costs.

Gamma cold shrink and cable kits


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