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HomeTips & GuidesCloth Tape for Wire Harness: What to Consider When Choosing Cloth Tape

Cloth Tape for Wire Harness: What to Consider When Choosing Cloth Tape

Why would you use cloth tape for a wiring harness? This guide will answer that question in detail. Find the factors that would compel you to use cloth tape instead of other wire harness alternatives. 

Also, we’ll guide you toward choosing the cloth tape for your wire harness, depending on the application’s conditions. 

About Cloth tape for wire harnesses

Cloth tape is a popular option for an automotive wiring harness. But have you ever wondered why you must enclose your wires in a harness? 

  • First, it helps shield the wires from the excess heat in the engine chamber. 
  • Secondly, you use a harness to protect cables from harmful chemicals in the car’s engine area.
  • Thirdly, it aids in protecting wires from moving parts in the car that can cut them, leading to malfunction. 

Cloth tape is a wire harness that protects cables from the above aspects. Consider using it because it is low-cost and easy to wrap around bundles of wires. Thirdly, it ensures the wire harness bundle retains flexibility so you can easily move it. 

The alternatives to cloth tape include plastic conduits and heat shrink tubing. Nonetheless, you will have unique limitations with each one of them. For instance, with tubing, you need quite a lot of time to set things up. 

Also, if you opt for plastic conduits, you must sacrifice the fixture’s flexibility. Therefore, considering these limitations, cloth tape is a better alternative than the two options. 

Types of adhesive

Vinyl tape. 

Vinyl tape. 

You can create your custom-made cloth tape, but primarily,  ensure you use the suitable adhesive. 

For instance, rubber adhesive would be ideal for tape that is resistant to abrasion but still flexible. However, if you want cloth tape that withstands extreme heat, we recommend silicon and acrylic adhesives.  

Type of Backing

Different Cloth Tapes. 

Different Cloth Tapes. 

While the adhesive is essential, your choice of backing material is equally important. Ideally, you should select a backing material that matches where you’ll use the wire.  

For instance, use glass cloth tape to cover wires in a section with high heat, such as the engine compartment. Its other additional feature is that it is water-resistant. 

  • The most common type you’ll encounter is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is versatile. It guarantees flexibility, ensuring you can easily wrap it around huge wire bundles.  
  • You can also consider PVC hand-tearable tapes. Their name suggests that they are easy to use, especially for general-purpose bundling applications. 
  • We also have polyester backings, popular for their heat and abrasion-resistance properties. Use this backing when looking for a flexible, hand-tearable option.  
  • Finally, you can also use nonwoven polyester tape. It’s the best option for sound reduction thanks to its ability to curtail sound waves. 

What are the Determining Factors of the Ideal Wire Harness Tape?

A Cloth Tape. 

A Cloth Tape. 

The rule of thumb is to get the right backing-adhesive combination for top-quality cloth tape. So, what factors should you consider when choosing the right materials/adhesive? 

Tight Wrap

Tight wire wrap. 

Tight wire wrap. 

If this is your primary consideration, we advise using PVC cloth tape. You can easily access it cheaply, and it also guarantees a tight wrap around your wires. It is especially important to bundle your wires into one for easy passage through tight areas. 

Abrasion Resistance

Here, you will primarily check the abrasion ratings of your tape. An F-rated tape is ideal if you intend to use it in an environment where you expect high abrasion. This tape with the highest abrasion resistance is thus suitable for wire harnesses near moving parts. 

But if abrasion is not an issue you’re strongly considering, an A-rated tape would serve you right. It is applicable in cases such as taping the car interior areas. Remember, the abrasion ratings run from A to F, with F being the most resistant while A is the least. 

Therefore, you can always choose the type that best suits your application. 

Electricity and Heat Insulation

A hot car engine. 

A hot car engine. 

We recommend polyester cloth tapes for covering cables in extreme heat environments. They also guarantee excellent electrical insulation. Other options you can use as like-for-like alternatives to polyester include foil, vinyl, and fleece.  

Most importantly, you must be careful when choosing cloth tape for cables near the engine compartment. There is extreme heat here, so an option like glass cloth tape would be ideal. 

How about PVC? While this is still a great option, it doesn’t guarantee heat insulation, especially where temperatures are extreme. 

Chemical and Corrosion Resistance

The battery acid in a car is corrosive. 

The battery acid in a car is corrosive. 

Your car’s engine compartment has materials such as oil and battery acid that can digest your power cables. Therefore, when choosing a cloth tape for a wire harness, you should consider its chemical resistance.  

PVC cloth tapes are corrosive resistant and thus suitable for use in such an environment. A bonus point would be choosing a tape with an additional flame retardant layer. 

Cloth tape Application Procedure

Wire Harness. 

Wire Harness. 

  • We recommend you start by identifying the cloth tape that suits your application. 
  • You must also get the other aspects of the tape correct, such as the required size and thickness. Consult your mechanic to help you identify these qualities cardinal to tape size selection. 
  • Once you have set these factors, you can apply the tape around the wires. This is a simple process, but we recommend covering the entire part. Hence, it would be best if you took caution not to leave some of the wires uncovered. 
  • Finally, when wrapping the tape, check if it has a paper on the reverse side. Usually, most of the common tapes have a cover to prevent the adhesive from drying. 

Wrap Up

You don’t have to break a sweat when choosing the right cloth tape for your wire harness. We have covered all the details that you need above. Also, we’ve highlighted the cloth tape that perfectly suits any application. Thanks for reading to the end, and feel free to consult us anytime you need additional info on cloth tapes. 

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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