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Master Distributors for Covalence Heat Shrink Sleeves
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Friday, June 28, 2013

WCSM 24/6-1200-S IN STOCK 6/28/13

     I understand that through some kind of unlikely chain of events, the plant is currently unable to supply WCSM 24/6-1200-S for 5-6 weeks.  I can also understand what a huge problem this can be for many customers out there.

     We currently have this part available and ready to ship.  Actually, we have the previous size (WCSM 20/6-1200-S) available to ship (I think I have ~1800 pieces - all 4 feet long; so 7200 feet of material).

     The only difference between the WCSM 24/6 and the WCSM 20/6 is that the 20/6 is supplied with a 4mm smaller ID.  It will still work exactly the same and shrink down to the same wire sizes.  WCSM 20/6 was the standard part for many, many years until Tyco decided to supply the tube a little larger a few months back.  So - call us today - 936/321-3333 for a quote.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How do I Splice a Medium Voltage Cable?

     How Do I Splice a Medium Voltage Cable?

     Boy, you would really think this was a simple question to answer.  It's not.  The first problem is that there are a number of different types of 'medium voltage' cable; and each can have different components (and thus different splicing requirements).  Let's look through a few of those.

  1. Cable can be 'jacketed' or 'non-jacketed' (explanation here).
  2. Cable can be 1/C or 3/C (explanation here).
  3. Cable can be Armored (or not - explanation here).
  4. Cable can contain 'concentric neutral cables' or 'copper tape shield' (explanation here).
  5. Cable can be designed for anything between 5kV and 35kV.
     There may even be other different cable configurations.  The key though, is that when making a cable splice, the goal is to recreate the structure of the cable in the splice.  So, if your cable is 3/C Armored - then you need to be sure you are purchasing a splice kit which will be able to splice three conductors and be armored.

     As an example here in this post, I will look at the installation steps for splicing a 1/C, jacketed, concentric neutral cable at 25 kV. 

  1. Make sure the HVS Medium Voltage Splice Kit you've purchased is correctly sized for your cable!
  2. Remove the cable jacket to the dimensions shown on the installation sheet.
  3. Fold back the neutral wires on 'side 1' and trim the neutral wires on the other side.
  4. Use a tie wrap to keep unneeded concentric wires out of the way (to avoid damaging them)
  5. Abrade insulation (abrading the PE improves the bond of the HVS)
  6. Place heat shrink tube over cable and then install connector.
  7. Apply SRM at semi conductor cutback (Stress Relief Material)
  8. Apply SRM over connector
  9. Apply Silicone Grease (SG)
  10. Put black stress control tube in place and shrink with a gas torch.
  11. Apply red sealant butted up against the black stress control tube on the semi-con.
  12. Position black/red triple layer tube in place and shrink.  Begin shrinking in the middle and move toward one end of tube.  Then come back to middle and work toward other end.
  13. Connect and splice neutral wires and bend them to splice.
  14. Install shielding mesh by spiral wrapping.
  15. Position the wrap around shrink sleeve and secure the channel (to hold it in place).
  16. Shrink the sleeve.
  17. Congratulations, you've done it! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is Copper Tape Shield Cable?

     Most medium voltage cable is shielded some how.  One of the methods for shielding the cable is to utilize a copper table (can also be aluminum). As I've said elsewhere, if a cable has a copper tape shield, then it is beyond important that any splice simulate a copper shield as well.  You do not want to 'lose' hundreds of feet of wire because one foot splice wasn't properly completed!

Monday, June 24, 2013

What is Concentric Neutral Cable?

Question:  What is Concentric Neutral Cable?

neutral cable
The "concentric neutral" is the right most wires in this photo.
Answer:  In concentric neutral cable, the concentric neutral wires primarily serve two purposes:

1.  They act as the neutral (shocking revelation!)
2.  They  act as the ground; disbursing the current throughout the length of the cable if needed. 

Why is this important when selecting a medium voltage splice?  Because the splice area needs to have this same concentric neutral set up that the cable itself (as manufactured) has.  If the concentric neutral isn't recreated in the splice area then it can lead to a failure of the entire cable in a catastrophic event.  

When dealing with the electrical world; the devil really is in the don't overlook them!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Raychem Elite Distributor

     Joint Specialists is an Elite Distributor for Raychem heat shrinkable products.  This means that, due to our high volume buying history, our product commitment, our product expertise and our financial commitment to keeping a stock of Raychem material on hand; we are treated as a valued piece of the world wide Raychem shrink sleeve distribution network. 
     Unfortunately, there are a lot of "resellers" out there who do nothing more than attempt to act as a commodity broker; offering anything that any customer might request.  We do not believe this is the best way to run a business - and we do not believe this sort of approach will truly benefit the product line (or the customers) over the long term. 

     It is really incredible to hear the shock in someone's voice when they have called us requesting pricing on a part.  The conversation might go something like this:

Customer:  "Wait, you know what I'm talking about?? You've heard of this product?"
Joint Specialists:  "Yes, we stock that product.  I've currently got 2000 sitting on the shelf."
Customer:  "Are you serious!?!  I've been looking for this stuff all over the place and no one has ever even heard of it."
Joint Specialists:  "Well, I've got it right here and I can ship some out today..."
Customer:  "Oh man; I wish I'd found you two weeks ago!"

     So, what are you waiting for?  Call us today.  Let us help you.  Let us make your life easier.  Let us save you headaches and problems.  Let us get your material on its way to you so that you can focus on the other 47 items you're trying to track down!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What is Armored Cable?

     Another question you must answer when trying to purchase a Raychem medium voltage splice of some kind is:  do you have armored cable?  An easier question to answer if you know what 'armored cable' is! 

     Well, it is exactly what it sounds like.  Armored cable is a cable with 'armor' built into it.  This armor gives the cable extra physical protection from potential physical damage; thus (in theory) increasing the expected life of the cable.  Here is a photo:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What do 1/C and 3/C Mean When Ordering Raychem Heat Shrink?

Question:  Looking through some of the medium voltage heat shrink splice options in your catalog; I see a designation for 1/C and 3/C.  What do those mean?

Answer:  This one is fairly simple!  The 'C' stands for conductors, so a 1/C cable has only one conductor in it.  A 3/C on the other hand has..........yes; three conductors.  See photos below in case you need it spelled out even further.

Raychem 1C Cable
A one conductor cable.

Raychem 3/C
A three conductor cable.
     It probably isn't difficult to understand why it is important to know whether you have a 1/C or a 3/C cable prior to ordering a splice kit.  Clearly, the 3/C splice kit will essentially be '3 splice kits in one' (plus some other components). 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jacketed versus Unjacketed Cable

     When looking at the different Raychem heat shrink kit options for medium voltage cable splicing, it quickly becomes apparent that there are a number of possible cable configurations in the market today...and that knowing which cable configuration you have is an absolute necessity when attempting to select the correct Raychem Medium Voltage Splice kit for your specific job.

     Over the next few days, I will be looking at some of these different 'options'.  These details are incredibly important.  When making a medium voltage splice (or any splice for that matter), the goal is recreate the structure of the manufactured cable in the splice area.  We want the cable configuration to be identical, whether looking at a manufacture portion or at the spliced section.

     Today I'm looking at what is probably the simplest one, jacketed cable and unjacketed cables.  This is most easily demonstrated through photos:
medium voltage cable splice.
This is a jacketed cable; notice multiple cables all surrounded by an outer PE jacket.

This is an unjacketed cable; notice that though the individual cables do have a PE jacket; they are not all housed within a single, outer PE jacket.
     Which ever type of cable you have, you want to make sure you purchase the correct corresponding Raychem splice kit in order to be sure you have all of the components you will need.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Low Voltage Heat Shrink, Medium Voltage Heat Shrink & High Voltage Heat Shrink

     Q:  How does Raychem (Tyco Electronics) define low, medium and high voltage levels?

     A:  As follows:

Low Voltage Heat Shrink is generally rated in the 1000 to 2000 volts range

Medium Voltage Heat Shrink is generally rated in the 5kV to 35kV range

High Voltage Heat Shrink is generally rated up to 230kV!  Yikes.

Within each category there are a number of products.  Please always check with us to be certain you know the exact voltage rating of any Raychem product you purchase.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wire Sizing Chart

A handy reference (which I might use more than anyone else ever does) giving diameters of different wire sizes.  Diameters are given in millimeters.  I have listed AWG sizes, some Aught sizes and a few MCM sizes.

#14 - 1.63mm
#13 - 1.83mm
#12 - 2.05mm
#11 - 2.30mm
#10 - 2.59mm
#9 -  2.91mm
#8 -  3.26mm
#7 -  3.66mm
#6 -  4.12mm
#5 -  4.62mm
#4 -  5.19mm
#3 -  5.83mm
#2 -  6.54mm
#1 -  7.35mm
1/0 - 8.25mm
2/0 - 9.27mm
3/0 - 10.40mm
4/0 - 11.68mm
250 MCM - 12.7mm
500 MCM - 17.96mm
1000 MCM - 25.4mm
1500 MCM - 31.11mm
2000 MCM - 35.92mm

Thursday, June 13, 2013

MCK - Motor Connection Kit

     So, you want to buy a Motor Connection Kit?  The first thing you need to know is whether you will have a 'stub configuration' or an 'in-line configuration':

Motor Connection Kit
An in-line motor connection kit configuration (Type L)
Stub Motor Connection Kit
A stub motor connection kit configuration (Type V)
     Once you've got that figured out, you need to know the motor feeder size, the bolt length and the connection length.  In addition, it is important to note that stub type (V) motor connection kits are typically sold in standard box quantities of five pieces.

Motor Connection Kit Sizing Information

MCK-1V (stub)
Motor Feeder Size:  #14-#10
Bolt Length (Max): .625"
Connection Length (Max):  2.0"
Heat Shrink Cap Length (inches):  2.5"

MCK-2V (stub)
Motor Feeder Size:  #12-#4
Bolt Length (Max):  .75"
Connection Length (Max):  2.5"
Heat Shrink Cap Length (inches):  3.4"

MCK-3V (stub)
Motor Feeder Size:  #2-4/0
Bolt Length (Max): 1"
Connection Length (Max):  3.5"
Heat Shrink Cap Length (inches):  4.5"

MCK-4V (stub)
Motor Feeder Size:  250-500
Bolt Length (Max):  1.5"
Connection Length (Max):  4.5"
Heat Shrink Cap Length (inches):  6.5"

MCK-1L (in-line)
Motor Feeder Size:  #8-4/0
Bolt Length (Max):  1.25"
Connection Length (Max):  5.0"
Heat Shrink Sleeve Length (inches):  9.0"

MCK-2L (in-line)
Motor Feeder Size:  250-1000
Bolt Length (Max):  1.25"
Connection Length (Max):  8.0"
Heat Shrink Sleeve Length (inches):  12.0"

* Shielded cable must be terminated before installing MCK.
* These products are designed for single hole connectors and include caps and sealant strips for three connections.  Connectors are not included in kits.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WCSM Wire and Connector Sizing

Question:  All I have is a connector size and a wire size; which WCSM shrink tubing do I use?
For sizes in inches (supplied and fully recovered) go here.

WCSM 12/3-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size: #14
Maximum Cable Size: #6
Maximum Connector OD:  .29"

WCSM 16/4-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  #8
Maximum Cable Size:  #2
Maximum Connector OD:  .41" 

WCSM 24/6-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  #6
Maximum Cable Size:  #4/0
Maximum Connector OD: .69"

WCSM 34/8-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  #2
Maximum Cable Size:  500
Maximum Connector OD: 1.06"

WCSM 48/12-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  #2/0
Maximum Cable Size:  750
Maximum Connector OD: 1.3"

WCSM 56/16-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  250
Maximum Cable Size:  1000
Maximum Connector OD: 1.5"

WCSM 70/20-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  500
Maximum Cable Size:  1500
Maximum Connector OD: 1.84"

WCSM 110/30-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  800
Maximum Cable Size:  2000

WCSM 130/35-1200-S
Minimum Cable Size:  1500
Maximum Cable Size:  2500

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

WCSM - Heavy Wall Tubing

shrink tubing
WCSM Tubing is available in a variety of sizes
    WCSM is one of the most commonly used Raychem (Tyco Electronics) products.  It is a versatile, heavy wall tubing that can be used for anything from jacket repair to splice sealing.  WCSM is rated for use at 1000 volts when in direct contact with the splice (rated to 35 kV for jacket repair).
    In spite of the fact that it looks complicated, the nomenclature for WCSM is actually very easy to interpret.  The first number is the supplied ID of the tubing in millimeters.  The second number is the fully recovered ID of the tubing in millimeters.  The third number is the length of the tubing as supplied (it can be cut to any length fairly easily in the field or in your own shop).  The final "-S" simply indicates that the tubing is internally coated with an adhesive sealant (as opposed to being 'uncoated').

     Below is a listing of the different WCSM sizes (smallest to largest) along with a manual conversion from mm to inches.  In a future post, I will address the WCSM sizes in relation to cable and connector ranges.  For dimensions of cable sizes and connection size; go here.

WCSM 12/3-1200-S (supplied at .47"; shrinks to .118")
WCSM 16/4-1200-S (supplied at .63"; shrinks to .157")
WCSM 24/6-1200-S (supplied at .944"; shrinks to .236")
WCSM 34/8-1200-S (supplied at 1.339"; shrinks to .315")
WCSM 48/12-1200-S (supplied at 1.89"; shrinks to ..472")
WCSM 56/16-1200-S (supplied at 2.204"; shrinks to ..629")
WCSM 70/20-1200-S (supplied at 2.756"; shrinks to ..787")
WCSM 110/30-1200-S (supplied at 4.330"; shrinks to 1.118")
WCSM 130/35-1200-S (supplied at 5.118"; shrinks to 1.377")

     Keep in mind when selecting a WCSM size that you must have 'room' to slide the tube into place.  As an example, the WCSM 12/3 would not work for a substrate that is exactly .47" as there would be no room to slide the tube into place.