Today, the vast majority of joints and terminations for underground cables could be installed faster and easier by using cold shrink technology. But heat shrink has its place in harsh environment and extreme conditions.

When using cold shrink, electrical installer does not need thorough experience in gas flame heating work to make a premium quality joint or termination. Simple installation procedure of highly integrated product saves time and there is no need for hot work permits on site.

"Today no-one would craft a regular joint with oil, paper, tape, resin and so on," said Marko Kylliäinen, sales manager of Ensto Utility Networks, Finland. "Those who have started to use cold shrink say that they wouldn’t change back."

Why is it so hot?

"Easy to install, no fire needed, practically no mistakes possible, the kit includes all the components you need," he summarises. "Installation does not require many tools, which means less effort and results in uniform quality of assembly, time after time."

For instance in terminations, the geometric stress control, anti-tracking tube and rain sheds are all in one, readymade piece. In addition to that, no special tools are needed in installation and the joint is ready for use immediately. Ensto cold shrink elements are pre-expanded on a spiral in production, which makes the installation work light and easy.

No fear of water or swamp

Cold shrink accessories can be used in demanding environments and they endure large temperature shifts. Highly durable silicone rubber ensures reliability with no need for maintenance.

"Silicon material withstands difficult weather conditions, such as rain, snow, cold and UV rays, as well as dust, pollution and chemicals. The silicon also retains its natural flexibility and constant pressure against the cable in various temperatures," Kylliäinen says.

"In some cases, cable line comes down the slope in wet ground and there are cold shrink joints at the bottom. We have seen those installed joints remain completely sealed with no leaking what so ever. As construction, the cold shrink joint is waterproof and can be used in very moist conditions like swamp, marshlands or even water, just like the cable itself."

For all cable types

Ensto hybrid joints, cold shrink terminations and separable connectors have multiple uses. That’s why wide range of applications can be fully covered with limited number of products.

"Heat shrink can be seen as a real professional solution for special cases but it is also the most feasible solution for low voltage underground installations," Marko Kylliäinen states. "In addition to that, it can be used widely side by side with cold shrink as today. Which type to use, depends on network companies, contractors, installers and the case. Our job is to provide accessories to different applications and for all types of cables and needs.

Cold shrink accessories enable working in places where hot work permits are difficult or impossible to obtain. That is often the case in oil refineries, chemical plants and some other industrial facilities and buildings. Cold shrink technology based on high performance silicone does the job and is tested and proven to work even in arctic conditions.

Training on-site

Modern moulding machines, multi-base cavity tool and liquid silicon material enable an effective production of technically advanced products. Ensto has received major quality management certificates and the products are tested according to international standards in accredited laboratories. Specialists of our own world-class laboratory carry out constant follow-up testing including material analysis, high voltage tests and partial discharge measurements.

"Ensto Pro customer training is a very important part of enabling successful installation work in the field. It is also a channel of feedback," Kylliäinen said. "Training includes theory added with installation work, which is done on site to save customer’s time."

The approach of cold shrink installation leads the change from conventional to easier and more efficient method of work. All the accessories are now available for those who are ready to take the next step of extending the selection installers have on hand.