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HomeTips & GuidesWhen To Use Automotive Wire Loom Tubing: It Depends

When To Use Automotive Wire Loom Tubing: It Depends

About When To Use Automotive Wire Loom Tubing: Many systems inside a modern automobile depend on the wiring for electronic control and power: the engine, transmission, interior, and chassis. 

Besides powering different components, the wire harness also receives signals from the Electrical Control Unit (ECU) of the vehicle and collects data from them to keep the car running at optimum levels.

However, automotive wire harnesses face common problems, such as noise, overheating, etc. We often turn to automotive wire loom tubing for protection. 

However, many people fail to understand how to use it properly. Keep reading to find out!

Table of Contents

What is the Wire Loom Tubing?

A wire loom tubing is a cable/wire management solution that enables you to organize cables and wires and protect them from water and abrasion.

 There are two types of wire loom tubing:

  • Split wire loom tubing
  • Non-split wire loom tubing.

It is straightforward to cut wire loom tubing into sizes with different colors.

Different types of wire loom tubings exist to help different things, such as flame-retardant and heat-resistant varieties. A wire loom tubing aims to create an additional protection layer for your cable.

The required level of protection depends on your specific situation.

A wire loom has a similar construction to a conduit, another cable and a wire protection option. A wire loom tubing is ideal for smaller applications, such as organizing computer cables.

However, if you want to run cables outdoors for long lengths, in conditions that may get unfavorable, then conduits should be your ideal choice.

Split vs. non-split wire loom

Split wire loom tubing has a split that runs down the entire length of the conduit, making the inserting and taking out of your wires a simple and easy process.

After the wires run has been inserted into your split loom, the split will remain closed, preventing moisture and debris from attacking and increasing your application’s or project’s longevity.

The dependability, durability, and ease of use of split wire loom tubing make it one of the most common wire loom choices. 

Wire loom

Wire loom

The application of automotive wire loom tubing

With the current engines, designed to constantly run at temperatures of 200°F or higher, the wiring is constantly exposed to a lot of heat.

Without adequate insulation to protect your wiring harness from constant heat exposure, one of the following can happen:

  • The wiring will completely fail (internal breakage of copper fibers).
  • The wiring will degrade until it partially fails (unreliable, intermittent component function)
  • The wiring will create a shot circuit situation that results in a fire hazard.

As we all know, when the vehicle is running, the place with the highest temperature is the engine compartment. The material must have a high light-off temperature and a certain flame retardancy to prevent fire.

Therefore, the use of PP plastic (a very special metal material) around the engine is relatively high.

The PP plastic has various features that make it perfect for this application. For instance, it has high-temperature resistance, which can go beyond 850°C, so even if the engine temperature is high, it won’t cause fire.

It also has excellent flame-retardant properties and high melting points.

The PP corrugated wire loom tubing also has a low thermal conductivity. So, even if the engine’s temperature is high, it won’t adversely affect the automotive or the surrounding components’ normal operation.

Different materials of wire loom tubing

The table below shows the different types of plastic conduits and their advantages:

Plastic conduitAdvantage
PVC-coated metalLiquid-tight Corrosion-resistant
LDPECorrosion-resistant Chemical-resistant Highly durable Flexible
NylonProtection against impact damage and abrasion
Polypropylene (PP)Highly flexibleCompression strength
Wire loom

Plastic cable conduit

How to select an automotive wire loom tubing

Here are the key considerations you should keep in mind when selecting cable cover (protection) for your automotive application:

Open systems or sealed

Sealed cable protection systems keep wiring harnesses debris-free and protect them from failure and premature degradation. They can either be:

  • IP68/69 for high-pressure wash-downs
  • IP66 for light splashing.

They are especially durable and robust. For instance, they offer much longer service lifetimes and greater protection than the taped traditional automotive loom.

They also come in multiple polyamide materials with different flammability features and ratings, enabling engineers to specify the right material based on the wire harness application and location and can facilitate retrofit installations.

On the other hand, open systems are very flexible and light-wall. So, they usually peel open when exposed to high vibration or over-flexed.

This can allow rocks, water, debris, sand, road dirt, and salt to enter your wiring harness, resulting in damage beyond and above that incurred due to water and application demands.

Open systems are lightweight materials that do not provide protection or cover on high-end automotive wire harnesses. This makes them unsuitable for applications like

  • Military ground support automotive
  • Commercial vehicles,
  • Heavy construction equipment.

Location of harness

Harnesses near the transmission, engine compartments and catalytic converter typically need high-temperature polyamide cable wrap.

Most products have a temperature rating of -40°C to +115°C. You can also find specialty products that you can use at temperature ratings of between 200°C and 300°C.

Harnesses inside your vehicle require less robust protective materials. However, a retrofittable/divisible conduit system can still be beneficial to facilitate the ease of adding additional wire harnesses for extra features, like WiFi and lighting.

Material selection

Polyamide cable wrap systems come in various material compositions, allowing users to choose products perfectly suited for their specific application.

For example, medium- and light-wall products are suitable for basic applications.

On the other hand, heavy-wall polyamide cable wrap systems are perfect for demanding applications like robotics and harsh environments.

They are made from materials with the following characteristics:

  • High temperature and high impact resistance
  • High flexibility for resistance to continuous motion, which is popular with robotics applications
  • Reduced-toxicity performance in passenger-zero areas that ought to comply with ASTM specifications for flammability
  • UL94 V-0 compliance for low-smoke

Moreover, robust polyamide cable cover/protection systems can provide high-impact resistance and high flexibility. That makes them perfect for jumper wire applications that link cars, such as subway vehicles.

Cable protection/covering system accessories:

A perfect cable covering/protection system should have a vast range of accessories to complement the conduits and allow users to have effective, efficient, and complete installation.

There are many accessories meant to facilitate performance in virtually all applications, which include the following:

  • Female-threaded fittings
  • Snap-in fittings
  • Fittings with built-in strain relief
  • Clamps
  • Divisible lock nuts
  • End sleeves
  • Abrasion rings
  • Y and T junction fittings
  • Divisible fittings

Longevity of the system

The reputation and quality of the automotive must be seen in the conduit chosen to protect your wire harness to achieve parallel performance.

High-end commercial and military cars can not afford to have their auto cable harnesses fail prematurely.

Conclusion:

Now, you must have a clear idea about When To Use Automotive Wire Loom Tubing. Cloom offers wire covering and cable protection solutions for various automotive applications.

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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