When think of cable ties, most people would firstly thought of a bunch of self-locking throwaway plastic strips. One might think a cable tie is just a cable tie. There are many uses for cable ties. And there are also a wide variety of cable ties which are designed for different applications. The plastic self-locking cable ties are the most commonly used ones. However, even these simple plastic loops come into various types according to their color, length, width, and serrations. Proper cable ties do not only provide long-life and dependable services but also better cable management, especially in data centers and server rooms which are the worlds of various cables. To choose the right cable tie for your applications, this post would like to offer some suggestions when making your decisions.
Locking Design of Cable Tie
Self Locking Cable Tie
The most important thing of a cable tie is its locking technology. With a good locking design, cable tie can provide firm locking for the cables. The most commonly used cable tie is also called zip tie, which is one-piece design with a lot of serration on the cable tie to lock the cables firmly. The following picture shows the structure of this cable tie. This design allows the cable tie to perform to the published minimum tensile strength.
Reusable Self-Locking Cable Tie
The zip tie is easy to use and affordable. However, this type of cable tie cannot be reused, cause once the cable tie is locked it would be really hard to unlock or release it. You have to cut them down if you don’t need them. To improve this design, a little latch is added on the tongue of the cable tie, which makes the cable ties reusable. As shown in the following picture, the reusable self-locking cable tie can be easily released by pressing the latch on the tongue, which can perfectly ignore the affection of the serrations on the cable tie.
Magic Velcro Cable Tie
This type of cable tie is also reusable. The hooks and hairs on the cable tie can provide firm locking for the cables (shown in the following pictures). And it can make cable management safer and more convenient. It is also widely used in household applications to organize wires. This Velcro cable tie is usually sold in rolls.
Identification Cable Tie
The above mention cable ties are all available in different colors. Color is a useful feature for identification. Thus, customers can use cable tie in different colors for identification. However, it happens that the color is not enough for cable identification if there are too many cables or too much information. Then, an improved cable tie with a marker or label attached on the cable tie is offered (shown in the following picture).
Materials of Cable Tie
The function and performance are also largely depended on the materials of the cable ties. The above mentioned cable type are the most commonly used ones, which are usually made of plastic, Nylon and Velcro. However, for some harsh environment, elements like temperature and strength should be considered during cable tie selection. There is a type of cable tie which is made of stainless steel, usually known as heavy duty stainless steel cable tie(as shown in the following picture). It is commonly used in outdoor applications.
Other Factors to Consider During Cable Tie Selection
The length of cable ties available in market ranges from 4 to 52 inches. The cable tie length should be longer than the diameter of the cable bundle. It cannot be too long or too short. The proper width of a cable tie will also help a lot. Both the length and width of the cable ties should be depended on the applications.