Expandable braided sleeving is designed to expand and fit over hydraulic hoses, bundled cables and wire harnesses among other products. The sleeves provide protection against extremes of temperature, abrasion and other hazards.   

Compared to other cable protection cable protection products, braided sleeving offers a good mix of durability and flexibility.

The expandable walls make it easy to install using a concertina motion to cover the substrate.

The flexibility also makes it perfect for cable assemblies and wire bundles that need to move in different directions.

Strong abrasion resistance means that the sleeving can be used in sensitive environments, particularly on buses, tricks and railways.

Expandable braided sleeving products

Hilltop Products supplies a range of expandable braided sleeving products. Below, we have detailed some of the most popular products on our website.

Hilflex-PG

Available in black and grey and a range of other colour options, Hilflex-PG provides mechanical protection and abrasion resistance for hydraulic hoses, cable bundles and wiring harnesses.

Made using UL rated polyethylene terephthalate monofilaments, Hilflex-PG is a self-extinguishing, halogen-free sleeving with an operating temperature of between -70°C and 150°C.

Hilflex-PG-FR

Similar to Hilflex-PG, Hilflex-PG-FR provides good mechanical and abrasion resistance. It also has an operating temperature between -70°C and 150°C and expands to 300% of its original size, but importantly, it is flame retardant.

It is made using braided polybutylene terephthalate monofilaments and is suitable for use in automobiles and other sensitive environments.

Vidaflex Monofil PE

An expandable close weave sleeving, that offers good mechanical strength and provides excellent resistance to salt water, oil, fuels and solvents. Vidaflex Monofil PE can be used at operating temperatures between -70°C and 150°C.

It is used in motor vehicles to protect hoses, tubing and wiring harnesses, especially where cables are connected to moving parts. The open weave in the sleeving allows for branch terminations along the wall.

Nomex

Nomex braided sleeving offers superior fire protection for high-intensity applications. Nomex walls are thick and suitable for a range of applications, including military and aerospace purposes.

The low smoke, zero halogen sleeving can insulate cables and hoses up to 350°C and protect from up to 90,000 psi tensile strength. The expandable braided can also resist oils, acids, chemicals and solvents.

How to cut and install braided sleeving

When cutting expandable braided sleeving, it is important that you don’t leave a frayed edge on the side. This could cause the woven fibres to unravel, leaving your hose, cable bundle or harness exposed after a time.

You can use one of several tools to get a clean cut. They all use heat to ensure that the plastic fibres won’t unravel during installation or use. 

+ If you are cutting a lot of expandable braided sleeving you should use a bench mounted hot wire or heavy duty hot knife cutter. This is the quickest, most accurate and safest way to cut braided sleeving.

+ You could use a handheld hot knife and cut the braided sleeving off the side of a workbench. This method is a little trickier and is unlikely to give you the smoothest or most accurate cut.

+ You can cut the expandable braided sleeving using scissors and try to fuse the ends of the fibres using a handheld heat gun. It can be difficult to control this process. You are unlikely to get the smoothest finish on the protection and it is prone to unravel after a while.

Some websites and forum users suggest heating a regular kitchen knife or scissors and using this to cut the braided sleeving. We would warn against this because not only is it unsafe, but it is unlikely to give you the most accurate cut.

When you are cutting braided sleeving for a particular use, you need to make sure you accurately measure the length of the hose, cable bundle or harness that you want to protect.

Be aware that the braiding sleeving will contract lengthways slightly if it is expanded outwards. The difference should be minimal for most applications, but you may want to measure a few extra mm or cm on your design.

After marking the correct length of the braided sleeving and performing the cut, you should insert a pair of closed scissors or another tapered object down the cut end of the sleeving before it completely cools. This will expand the opening slightly and make it easier to install on the chosen substrate.

You can fully secure the sleeving by terminating each end using tape, cable ties or pieces of heat shrink tubing.

Hilltop Products braided sleeving cutting service

Hilltop Products provides a bespoke length cutting service for all braided and knitted sleeving products.

We use a special heavy-duty machine to accurately step cut the sleeving to required size with the cleanest cut every time. This means that the braided sleeving product can be ready-to-use straight out of the box.

All you need to do is supply us with the correct measurements and we will supply your required braided sleeving in the right size for your application.

Buyers can also procure bulk call off orders over time whereby Hilltop Products will hold on to the required stock until it is ready to be delivered.

For more information on our bespoke braided sleeving cutting service or our call off ordering service, please speak to a member of the sales team. Call: 01942 723101.