Article
Cable ties might not be the most exciting occupants of an electrical contractor’s toolbox, but they are a critical in helping organize electrical and data cabling, especially in larger commercial and industrial settings.

When Choosing the Right Cable Tie, Materials Matter

Chuck Ross
Cable ties might not be the most exciting occupants of an electrical contractor’s toolbox, but they are a critical in helping organize electrical and data cabling, especially in larger commercial and industrial settings. They also aren’t all alike. Manufacturers’ lines typically include products fabricated in a range of materials to suit application-specific needs. Choosing the right option is key to ensuring any given tie will continue to do its job for years to come. Here’s what you can expect from the major material categories now on the market:

  • Nylon products can be formulated several ways. When marked as “general purpose,” these ties are appropriate for most indoor applications at continuous temperatures up to 150° F. Where marked, these ties also meet UL 94V-2 requirements for flammability resistance. Additional nylon choices include products that are UV stabilized, for outdoor use under prolonged sun exposure, and UV and heat stabilized, which can meet UL requirements for electrical use.
  • Polypropylene ties can stand up to exposure to a number of chemicals that can degrade nylon, and they’re also resistant to UV exposure from the sun or other sources.
  • Tefzel ties are resistant to a broad range of chemicals, including concentrated hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids. The material also is suitable for use in many radiation settings and withstands heat and UV exposure.
  • Stainless steel ties are fabricated from either AISI 304 or AISI 316L metals. AISI 304 ties are the base-level stainless products, offering better corrosion resistance and strength than nylon offerings. AISI 316L ties incorporate molybdenum and more nickel than AISI 304 products, which steps them up further in corrosion resistance and allows them to handle temperature changes better. Both versions are also marketed with partial coating along their edges, or in fully coated versions. The coating can make it easier and safer to work with the ties and also can help prevent the edges from cutting into cable insulation.
Photo courtesy of BURNDY
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