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What are Cable Ties Used for? The Different Types of Cable Ties & When to Use Them

What are cable ties used for, how many types of cable ties are there, and what are the best cable ties?

Choosing the best cable tie will depend on several factors, including what they will be used for, where will you be using them and how many times will you need to use them.

With so many options to choose from, across a range of types, sizes, materials, bundle diameters, tensile strengths, operating temperatures and so on, it can be daunting when choosing the right cable tie for the task. 

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Over the next few articles we will unpack the jargon and break down everything you need to know when deciding which solution is best for you.

What are cable ties used for?

 It’s highly likely that you will have used a cable tie at one point or another in time.

Cable ties are one of the most versatile products on the planet, used across a wide variety of different applications from home and garden to large-scale commercial and industrial projects. Our customers use cable ties for anything from attaching signage to posts to securing pipes on oil rigs. We happily cater for everyone from keen gardens who need to secure plants to canes or plumbers that need to label different pipes with different colour ties. 

Cable ties can be referred to in several different ways, including:

  • Cable ties
  • Zip ties
  • Tie wraps
  • Ty wraps

Cable ties bundle together cables and wires (amongst other things) together to keep them organised, secure and safe.

How Many Types of Cable Ties are there?

Choosing the best cable tie for the job will largely depend on what they will be used for.

So let’s take a high level snapshot of each type of cable tie, and their main features and uses in order to help you decide which type is best for you.

 

Type

Features

Uses

Overview

Standard Nylon Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Durable, UL approved nylon polyamide 6/6   
  • Sizes range from 80mm – 1530mm in length, and 2.5mm – 12.7mm in width
  • High tensile strength with low insertion force 
  • Excellent resistance to weathering, ageing and external agents
  • Suitable for operating temperatures between -40°C to +85°C

Ideal for indoor and outdoor use across the home, garden & commercial due to their high tensile strength, durability and resistance to weathering and aging

 

Standard nylon cable ties are the most commonly used cable tie for it’s tough and versatile makeup

Coloured Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Same material and properties as the standard nylon cable ties, but available in a range of different colours
  • Sizes range from 100mm – 780 in length, and 2.5mm – 9mm in width

 

Often used to clearly identify different cables or wires

Coloured cable ties are used to help organise bundles with colour coordination

Heavy Duty Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Same material and properties as the standard nylon cable ties
  • Larger width between 7.6mm – 12.7mm provide higher tensile strength

  

Ideal for tidying up machinery, spare parts

Heavy duty cable ties are perfect for applications which require added strength, or needed to endure harsher operating conditions

 

Releasable / Reusable Cable Ties

  • Releasable, reusable locking mechanism
  • Small release clip allows you to undo and reattach when needed
  • Same material and properties as the standard nylon cable tie
  • Sizes range from 150mm – 370mm in length, and 7.6mm in width in the trigger style of opening mechanism. Then 100mm – 780mm in length and 3.6mm – 9.0mm in width for the extended tooth opening mechanism.

 

Provides the ability to re-use, saving time and cost when multiple use is needed

 

Releasable cable ties are used in applications where a temporary fastening solution is required

 

Stainless Steel Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Made from marine grade 316 stainless steel
  • Sizes range from 150mm – 1200mm in length, and 4.6mm – 7.9mm
  • Suitable for conditions between -80°C to +540°C

 

Commonly used for applications that require a higher strength, higher temperature range and resistance to weathering, aging, fire or chemicals

Stainless steel cable ties are used across a range of applications from production line facilities, aircraft, power plants, mines, commercial kitchens, tunnels and oil and gas platforms

Metal Detectable Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • These nylon cable ties contain metal content for detection
  • Made from nylon self-extinguishing to V2 UL94
  • Non-toxic, recyclable, and halogen free
  • Water absorption: Up to 8% when immersed
  • Sizes range from 100mm – 380mm in length, and 2.5mm – 4.5mm in width

 

Detectable by standard metal detectors

Unique blue metallic colour for visual identification

 

Metal detectable cable ties are suitable for processes involving food, pharmaceuticals and chemical industries

 

UV & Heat Resistant Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Made from nylon polyamide 6/6
  • Resistant to external agents
  • Black UV resistant colour
  • Working Temperature Range: -40°C to +120°C (Continuous or extended exposure to +105°C)

 

Heat stabilisation provides additional thermal endurance

Higher carbon content for greater resistance to ultraviolet exposure in outdoor usage

 

UV & heat resistant cable ties are suitable for a multitude of indoor and outdoor environments subject to high temperatures, e.g in close proximity to exhausts or brakes

Printed Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Nylon polyamide 6/6
  • Available in a variety of colours, each allowing a unique combination of letters or numbers to be printed on each

For fixing or sealing solutions that requires clear identification, with one popular choice being sequentially numbered cable ties

Printed cable ties are ideal for identifying cables and pipes to provide traceability for specific applications, such as identifying electricity cables with live and neutral, or gas and water pipes

 

Push Mount Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Made from UL approved nylon 6/6

Provide a stable and secure fixture, allowing for consistent performance and reliability

These cable ties have a push mount at the top that locks into place when pushed into a pre-drilled hole

Push mount cable ties are ideal one step fastening, with tie applied into a pre-drilled hole

 

Screw Mount Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • UL approved Nylon 66, 94V-2

 

These cable ties have a screw hole at the top of the cable tie hole for the cable tie to be firmly fixed to the surface of wherever you want to secure the tie

Can be secured to a panel using a single screw

 

Screw mount cable ties are designed to securely fix ties to a surface

Double Loop Cable Ties

  • Easy to use releasable clip
  • Made from nylon polyamide 6/6

 

These cable ties have a primary hole to initially slide the tie through, before clipping the second loop

Double loop cable ties create two loops to attach and separate two bundles

Biodegradable Cable Ties

  • Single use self-locking mechanism
  • Quick and simple to install, in the same manner as their plastic counterparts

Decompose under prolonged exposure to UV light, heat, moisture and micro-organisms

Minimum of 2 years to biodegrade, dependent on the conditions under which they are stored or used

It is important that biodegradable cable ties are used for temporary use cases only

Possible applications include events and landscaping

 

With a wide range of types of cable ties, across a variety of different uses, the best cable tie for the job is available for the task at hand. 

Keep an eye out for our next few articles, in which we demystify the different materials, sizes, bundle diameters and strengths of cable ties. 

If you have any further questions, just drop us a message via live chat, email or telephone and one of our friendly staff will help with any specific requirements or enquiries.