A Look at How and Why Cable Ties Were Invented

A look at the origins of cable ties and why they matter

Cable Ties
In plastic as well as nylon and steel forms, no wiring system can do without cable ties.

Since the dawn of time, there has been several basic yet useful inventions of our time that has made life easier. First came the wheel. Then came the door. Then came the candle. In our industry, there is one invention which is just as important as electricity generation itself. You may have come across them in any three of E.L. James’ books but we shan’t elaborate on that. Enter stage left, cable ties.

Without cable ties, our electrical installations would be shoddy. Instead of a tightly controlled multi-coloured braid of wires, wiring would be all over the place. If you’re dealing with the most complex of systems, the last thing you want to do is faff about wondering which wires go to which end. That would take too long; especially with high voltage installations or emergency works.

As with many great inventions, the simplest ones stand the test of time better than more complex ones. The basic design of cable ties have barely changed since their arrival. They were invented in 1958 by Thomas and Betts, under the brand name Ty-Rap. Thomas and Betts was formed in 1898 by Robert M. Thomas and Hobart D. Betts. The young engineers were fresh out of Princeton University. The company was taken over by ABB in 2012.

Originally, cable ties were designed for the aviation industries, for the mounting of aeroplane wire harnesses. The original ones were made of stainless steel. Plastic and nylon cable ties followed suit in the 1970s. They were a boom for electronics and radio enthusiasts as well as electrical engineers. With the dawn of home computing, cable ties were indispensable for building new PCs.

Where would we be without them? Though stainless steel cable ties are still manufactured, plastic and nylon ties have risen in popularity due to the variety of colours. There are now numerous varieties in beaded, releasable, pull tight, parallel entry, and tear-off forms. They are also available in ladder styles and some enable you to add ID tags.

We at TCAD have a wide range of them too. Just go to our cable ties product page and see for yourself.

Total Control and Distribution, 02 May 2017.

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