What Are Cable Ties?

Seems like a simple enough question, but if you really want to know the cable tie material and characteristics, here they are.

A cable tie is a band or length of strap, manufactured from a class of polymeric materials known as polyamides (Nylon 6/6). The width, length, and head area employ ratcheting mechanisms, which allow for locking as necessary for “bundling” items together.

Commercially introduced in October 1938, Nylon was the first synthetic semi-crystalline polymer whose physical properties compared favorably to some metals. The polymers high strength and temperature resistance allows it to be used in “engineered” applications thus it falls into a category of polymers known as “engineering thermoplastics.” Nylons are produced from a family of resins, which contain an amide group -CONH-. These materials are then polymerized; a chemical process that link small amide monomers together into a long polymer chain, then called polyamides.

Nylon possesses an outstanding balance of properties, combined strength, moderate stiffness, high service temperature, and a high level of toughness. Nylon cable ties are particularly resistant to repeated impact, they have a low coefficient of friction, and excellent abrasion resistance. Nylon is resistance to fuels, lubricants, and most chemicals, but is attacked by phenols, strong acids, and oxidizing agents (ref. Our Physical and Chemical Certification for further information). Nylon is inherently susceptible to environmental conditions. ACT cable ties are moisturized to attain optimum performance levels. Nylon product should be stored in cool dry areas, out of direct sunlight, and sealed in the original packaging material. These measures will extend cable tie performance levels indefinitely.

General-purpose nylon is suitable for use in most practical applications at continuous temperatures up to 185° F. Nylon 6/6, the grade most often used for cable tie production, meets UL 94V-2 flammability ratings. Its working temperature range is from -40° F to 185° F.

Heat Stabilized Nylon 6/6 is used in continuous or extended exposure to high temperatures (up to 257° F). A general-purpose nylon will have a reduction in physical properties and fatigue as a result of high temperatures. Nylon cable ties containing specially formulated heat stabilizers provide additional thermal endurance. Heat stabilized nylons are engineered for continuous exposure to temperatures above 185° F, which meets UL standard for electrical applications.

UV Stabilized Nylon 6/6 is used in continuous or extended exposure to outdoor use. It is a weather resistant grade, enduring additional ultraviolet (UV) light. This grade is produced by incorporating stabilizers in the nylon resin. UV Stabilized nylon cable ties are available only in black.

Nylon 12 is molecularly designed for solar applications to withstand the harsh rays of the sun and corrosive outdoor elements. Low water absorption and density maintains stability, and it is chemical resistant and insensitive to stress cracking.

Some materials & characteristics of cable ties which are available at ACT are:

UV Resistant Cable Ties
Stainless Steel Cable Ties
Nylon 12 (Solar) Cable Ties
High Temperature Cable Ties
Cold Weather Cable Ties
Heavy Duty Cable Ties
Color Cable Ties
Metal Detectable Cable Ties
Impact Resistant Cable Ties

As you can see, cable tie material and characteristics are quite unique from one cable tie to another. Let us know if you’d like some help finding the best one for the job.