Braided sleeving is a 200 million dollar business. Braided sleeves are used in many places in our everyday lives: Cars, electronics, electrical appliances, motors, wire management, toys. Called by many names including Nylon braided sleeving, sheathing, wire mesh, Expando, skuff jacket, snakeskin. Expandable braided sleeving resembles "Chinese Finger Cuffs". When you push the end back it expands to go over wires easily, and then when you let go, the sleeving comes back to its original diameter (or the diameter of your wire harness or bundle, whichever is larger).
The braiding process in itself is actually very simple. It gets tricky when one needs to control the properties of the final braid. Spindles of yarn (or monofilaments) are placed on what's called a carrier. The carrier rotates on a circular braiding machine in a "zig-zag" fashion, while the yarn is pulled off the spindle. On a braiding machine, half the carriers move in the clockwise direction, while the other half move in the counter-clockwise direction. This, combined with the alternating movement of the carriers causes a braided sleeve to come out of the machine.
Braiding machines range in size from 8 to 144 carriers. Generally*, the size of the braided sleeve is determined by the braider (i.e. the number of carriers) it is made on. Expandability of the braid is controlled by two factors: type of yarn used, and braid angle. The type of yarn directly controls the expandability: A monofilament PET (a single strand) will result in a much more expandable braid than a multifilament Nylon will. Also, the braid angle is equally important. A tighter braid angle will result is a much less expandable braided sleeve. Such a braid is called a "tightweave". A looser braid angle may result in the same nominal diameter as a standard braid, but the expandability will be much higher.
Another factor that controls the properties of the braid is the number of ends per carrier. For example: a 96 carrier braid with 1 end per carrier will be much more see through than a 96 carrier braid with 3 end per carrier. The 96-3 will also be more abrasion resistant.
At BuyHeatShrink.com, we can handle all of your sleeving needs. Our people have many years experience in braiding, wire harness design and manufacture, monofilament design and manufacture, etc. Whether you need Electrical Insulation (coated braided fiberglass), Abrasion Resistance (Polyester PET, Flame Retardant PET, Nylon braided sleeving, Nomex®, Kevlar®, Halar® and cotton), Thermal Protection (metallized products, T-Glass sleevings, Ceramic, Quartz and Silica braided sleevings ), EMI/RFI shielding (tin coated copper, silver coated copper braid - QQB575), or extreme Chemical Resistance (Ryton PPS, Teflon PFA, Halar E-CTFE), we can supply it all to you. Does your assembly require the use of only Plenum rated materials? Our Halar braided sleeving is the perfect solution.
Capitalizing on our relationships with the largest manufacturers in the world, we can even braid your custom yarns. Do you have a yarn that you want braided? Do you have a specific resin that you want coated or impregnated onto E Glass? Do you need Nomex braided over a special wire? We can do it all for you. Are animals chewing on outside electrical or network lines? We can help.
Our braids meet the toughest industry standards. Our products are UL listed, CSA listed, and our flame retardant products meet the UL VW-1 and UL 94V0 standards. also, where noted, our products are Mil spec compliant (e.g. AMS-DTL 23053 formerly MIL-I-23053). We have recently rotated our stock, carrying only RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) compliant materials. This standard bans the use of various materials in manufactured products. Such products include: lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl esters, CFCs, PCBs and PCTs.* the information posted on this website is meant to give the reader a general understanding of the braiding process, and how the properties of braided sleeving can be influenced. This is by no means a "tell-all" tutorial. If you would like specific information on custom braided sleeves, please feel free to contact us