Metal Cable Ties Breakdown
Cable ties are a great way to bundle cables or other things that need a-bundlin'. Many people are familiar with the ubiquitous nylon cable ties, but did you know there are metal ties as well? Frequently made of stainless steel or aluminum, these ties provide things nylon ties often can't, including strength, durability and heat resistance. But which metal tie should you use? Let's take a look:
Aluminum cable ties are often found in industrial environments, where they need to be durable and long-lasting, more so than standard nylon ties. Aluminum ties are lightweight but, non-flammable, UV resistant, and can withstand extremely high and low temperatures, which makes them great for challenging environments. They can be used for cable, conduit and equipment bundling, attaching marker plates for pipe identification, and many other applications.
Panduit's Pan-Alum MLT Series ties are available in 5 colors for color coded identification.
Stainless Steel Ties
Like aluminum ties, stainless steel ties are tough, durable and non-flammable. They typically have a higher tensile strength than nylon and aluminum ties, and are great at tackling a wide range of environments since they're resistant to corrosion. They can withstand vibration, weathering, radiation and temperature extremes, and are often used to secure and stabilize cables, pipes and hoses in marine applications, direct burial applications, and many other indoor, outdoor and even underground conditions where the environment can be rough.
Stainless steel cable ties by HellermannTyton and Panduit are available in Grade 304 Steel for general purpose applications, and Grade 316 for higher corrosion resistance in harsher environments.
Coated Metal Ties
Coated metal ties are used in industries where you don't want metal particles to contaminate your product. Examples include the food industry, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. A plastic coating help keeps them sterile. So why use metal at all? Well, there's the strength issue, but additionally, the key is detectability. For high volume, crowded applications where ties may become easily hidden, the metal allows them to be easily found and removed when the time comes.
Additionally, coated ties help curb a problem known as galvanic attack or galvanic corrosion. This unique electrochemical process occurs when electrical contact between two metals causes one to corrode at an accelerated rate. The insulation of the plastic serves as an electrical buffer between the dissimilar metals, nullifying the corrosion by inhibiting the conductivity. Zinc-coated cable trays, or copper piping carrying sensitive material are examples of applications where corrosion via galvanic attack is something best avoided.
Pan-Steel stainless steel ties are polyester coated to prevent corrosion between dissimilar metals, and HellermannTyton has coated ties that are detectable for use in the food and medical industries.