We all know cable ties, in fact most people have a few in their toolbox because they are so versatile. But who invented them and when did they become an everyday object that we all use and love? Read on to find out a little bit about the history of these versatile little fasteners!

It All Began in the Fifties

Cable ties were first invented in the year 1958 by an electrical company called Thomas & Betts. Built for aeroplane harnesses, they were introduced under the brand name, ‘Ty-Rap’ and were patented in the same year. The first nylon cable tie had a steel pawl attached. This made the manufacturing process time consuming and inefficient as two processes were required - first moulding the cable tie and then inserting the metallic pawl to complete a mere single tie. Moreover, the pawl used to be vulnerable to breakage, often getting loose in the process, or creating havoc if it fell into electrical circuits. It was not until 1968 that the first all nylon cable tie came into production. This self-locking, one piece cable tie was very similar to the cable ties we use today. Because the manufacturing process was much more efficient for this type of cable tie, production costs were able to be reduced.

Types of Cable Ties

These days, there are many types of Cable Ties. For example:

Standard Cable Ties

It is more than likely that you’ll currently have some standard cable tie in your garage or shed. This type of cable tie is a one-piece, self-locking fastener. They are normally seen as single-use and can handle bundling requirements from 14mm to 360mm and tensile loop strength from 8 to 144 Kg. Standard cable ties can be purchased in a wide variety of colours. The width of the ties can also vary.

Releasable Cable Ties

Releasable cable ties have become increasingly popular. As the name suggests they can be utilised more than once and are ideal for work on prototypes as they can be easily reopened to allow new wires to be added to a bundle. They are also good for temporary solutions that may require rework. A releasable cable tie incorporates a lever or button that takes about 20 Kg of force to release. Standard colours are white or black nylon, however some cable ties in different colours are starting to appear on the market, for example green cable ties for horticultural applications.

Mounted Head Cable Ties

A more specialised cable tie that is designed to incorporate a mounting hole. This hole means that cable tie can be fastened by a screw, allowing it to be fixed to a vehicle chassis, panel or wall. These types of cable ties can be be utilised for bundle strengths of between 20 and 60 kgs. Standard colours are normally black or natural nylon.

Push Mount Cable Ties

Push mount cable ties have a built-in mounting device which enables cables to be attached to a panel or chassis without the need for any additional fixing. The mount part of the tie is easily inserted into a pre-drilled hole and locks into place. Arrow nose, drive rivet and blind hole stud cable tie are all available.

Self-Adhesive Cable Ties

A Self-Adhesive Cable Tie eliminates the requirement for a cable tie and separate cradle. This type of cable tie is perfect for applications where a fast and easy fixing by hand is required.

Cable Ties with Other Integrated Fixings

The ease and simplicity of cable ties has been combined with various kinds of other fastener to provide a single-piece solution for fixing cables in a range of situations. An edge panel fixing cable tie has a built-in steel insert that allows the tie to be fasteners onto the edge of panels. Another design of combined fastener-and-tie includes a number of hole orientations in the range to allow cable ties to be fixed onto industry-standard 5mm weld studs.

Double Headed Cable Ties

Ideal for running two cables in parallel, that need to be separated. These ties allow for installation of a second cable run without the need for additional cable ties. Double Headed Cable Ties are widely used within the packaging industry - the first loop closes and secures the bag, whilst the second loop can be made into a carrying handle.

Stainless Steel Cable Ties

Stainless steel cable ties are perfect for automotive or industrial projects or any application where a normal nylon cable tie cannot be used. This could be in a harsh environment or an application where there's heat. A variety of steel cable tie size options are available. As standard JET PRESS offers a 200mm or 360mm option, in two width sizes of 4.5mm and 7.9mm.

And so the evolving story of the once humble cable tie continues!

See the full range of JET PRESS cable ties here