Protective Sleeving

Protective sleeving - sometimes also referred to as cable sleeving - is used to keep exposed wires and cables from being a danger. Our selection of protective sleeving is designed to meet vigorous safety standards.

Cromwell stocks a wide range of high-quality sleeving, available to suit all kinds of wires or cables in a number of colours and materials from our own brand Avon®.

What is protective sleeving?

Simply put, protective sleeving acts as a tough shield for hoses, wires or cables that need to be protected. It is available in a range of shapes, sizes, and materials to suit almost any type of wiring.

Why protective sleeving?

Without protection, wires and cables are easily damaged or interfered with. Exposed wiring is a major hazard, causing potentially huge damage to machinery and people alike. Modern cable sleeves boast excellent resistance properties and are easier than ever to install on any kind of cable.

When is protective sleeving used?

• Wire Protection - Putting the 'protective' in 'protective sleeving', the primary function of cable sleeves is to keep wires covered and secure.
• Wire Organisation - A benefit of sleeving is the ability to easily sort and arrange loose cables into a neat, tidy form. Available in a range of colours, sleeving allows for easy colour coding.
• Wire Insulation - Sleeving is a must have for electrical wires that can be dangerous when exposed. Sleeving keeps the electrical wire away from danger and greatly reduces the risk of fire or injury.

If you're looking for information on getting the protective sleeving for your job, ask our experts for specialised advice.

Types of protective sleeving

With a wide range of protective sleeving available, it can be hard to know which one is right for your application. The three most common types are:

• PET Sleeving - A common type of sleeving that is made from woven plastic. It tends to have a glossy finish, and its woven construction allows it to expand and protect multiple cables in one sleeve.
• Heat Shrink - Shrink tubing, as the name may suggest, can wrap around cables when heated. It's available in a wide range of colours and is typically used for colour coding.
• Braided Sleeving - Braided sleeving is highly flexible and lightweight. It is often used in tools, robotics, and other automated equipment where flexibility is essential.
• Spiral Wrap - Spiral wrap is unique in that it can be installed and uninstalled without having to disconnect any wiring. This makes it a great temporary solution or protection for wiring that is regularly changed or edited.
• Wire Loom - Wire looms are flexible tubes that have one open side. This opening allows cables to be inserted into the loom at any point, which can be great for grouping cables.

Considerations when choosing protective sleeving

The material of the sleeving determines its resistance properties. Besides the type of sleeving mentioned above, this is the most important consideration when buying.

• Rubber - Rubber sleeving offers excellent protection against abrasion, fluids, and chemicals.
• Polymers - This includes PVC, polyester, nylon, fibreglass and more. Polymer sleeving is known for flexibility and high resistance to pressure.
• Aluminium - Aluminium is highly resistant to oxidisation and has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity.
• Steel - Steel (or stainless steel) protection is resistant to chemicals and corrosion. It is known for durability.
• Brass - Used in situations where low magnetic permeability is important, brass protection also has great temperature resistance.

Protective sleeving jargon buster

Standards to look out for:

• MIL-I-3190 - Insulative properties
• UL 1441 & CSA C22.2 198.3 - Coated properties for electrical wiring
• IEC 60684 - Flexibility in insulative sleeving


What material sleeving is the best?

There is no one diffinitive "best" material. Sleeving comes in various materials and they all offer different strengths depending on your needs.