At home or at work, we’ve all used them. Cable ties. What a grand invention.
If there is one word to describe the main advantage of cable ties it’s – organization. Fortunately, a blog post is not a meme so we aren’t limited to few words.
Also known as zip ties (strips), tie-wraps, and wire ties, cable ties easily afford a nice, neat presentation. How? By bundling up cables and wires that would otherwise be a jumbled mess. While white is most common, these fasteners come in other colors. Different colors can be used to identify different systems. Color–coded organization streamlines maintenance and allows crew members to quickly pinpoint an area that may require repair.
Cable ties lend themselves to other benefits as well. They are strong and don’t break easy (have you ever seen them act as handcuffs?). They are inexpensive and simple to implement. And who doesn’t love that clicking, ratcheting noise as you securely apply one?
In aviation, these items are used to instill order toward those miles of wires contained within your electrical systems and among your electrical components. Cable ties used to conform to specifications pertaining to military standard MS3367F; however that standard has been cancelled and has been superseded by SAE-AS33671.
In general cable ties are composed of plastic, particularly nylon. But, they can be made of steel. It seems counter-intuitive, though, to use metal ties on electrical wire and insulation, but that’s just a personal preference.
Cable ties beat, say, string. If you’ve ever come close to tripping over your shoelaces you know string can be dangerous. You don’t want to get entangled in drooping cables nor do you want to accidentally tug string loose and dislodge and disconnect important wires. Plus, with cable ties you don’t need to earn a merit badge by understanding a laundry list of knots.
A minor setback: many cable ties are one-time use. If you make a mistake you’re going to need scissors or shears. But there are some varieties that are adjustable.
Still that doesn’t take away from all the aforesaid benefits. Industrial or domestic applications – cable ties are tidy and convenient. So next time you want to prevent the inner workings of your plane from looking like spaghetti strewn about after a tornado, reach for the ties that bind.