For most people a Cable Tie is simply a quick way of securing or tying items down but did you know that not all are created equal and how do you tell the good from the bad?
Cable ties are molded from nylon 66, the liquid nylon is injected into moulds, allowing huge numbers of ties to be created quickly. The nylon starts as small ground pellets which are melted down. The best quality cable ties use virgin nylon 66, meaning the nylon is brand new. Some may include a small amount of reground nylon ( usually recovered from waste in the moulding process ) there is nothing wrong with this and it helps reduce waste and costs. The cheapest cable ties may use a high percentage of reground nylon and this can lead to weaker ties.
Cable ties require water to be added during the manufacturing to give them their flexible nature. Without that moisture they will be brittle and snap easily.
There are ways that a consumer of cable ties can easily test for defects. A brittle cable tie will usually break around the head at the point where it meets the tail of the tie. You can get a good idea of the condition of a cable tie simple by feeling it, if it feels hard and inflexible then it may break easily, a further check would be to hold the cable tie by the tail and hit/whip the head of the tie against a table top with a fair amount of force. If the tie breaks then that batch may be bad.
The last way to check would be to zip the tie up as tight as possible, really pull it. A decent cable tie will show no stress marks at the point the tail meets the head under this kind of load.
Many people use cable ties outdoors in the garden, this is a great way of securing or training plants or even garden furniture/ornaments. One thing to be aware of is that natural coloured cable ties ( nylon 66 is naturally an off white colour ) have poor UV protection and are therefore not suitable for use outdoors or in direct sunlight. In these cases you should use black or coloured cable ties as the pigment protects against UV damage.
Did you know that there are reusable cable ties? They usually cost a little more than one use ties but they offer a longer useful life. Hook and Loop cable ties are the ultimate in reusable cable ties, often used by cable installers and AV enthusiasts they allow you to add to or change a cable run over and over and they won't crush or dig into the cable.
Just Cable Ties has bought over 25 years of experience together with only quality cable ties. We test our cable ties to ensure we only deliver the best.
What to look for in a quality Cable Tie
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11 April 2014
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