No data center is complete without cable ties. Cable ties keep thousands of strands of cables neat, organized, and easily accessible. They also prevent damage due to excessive bending or flexing. Many data center managers don’t know it’s possible to purchase the wrong cable ties for an application. Inappropriate cable ties can hurt more than they help, leading to pinched cables, slippage, and poor network performance. Learning the types of cable ties is important for the overall functionality of your data center.
Cable Tie Materials
There are dozens of types of cable ties on the market, all varying in material, size, and capabilities. The most important factor to consider is material, as this will decide the strength, durability, and performance level of your cable ties. Three main cable tie materials are as follows:
- Nylon cable ties combine strength and endurance with flexibility and forgiveness. Nylon is an incredibly strong material with only moderate stiffness. With a high service temperature and a high resistance to repeated impacts, nylon cable ties are appropriate in many situations. Store these ties in cool, dry areas to optimize this material’s performance levels.
- Velcro cable ties are ideal in applications where one may need to change, adjust, or add to the cable setup. These ties are reusable, allowing for easy release and reestablishment. These ties are also strong, protecting against over tensioning and delivering reliable results.
- Stainless steel. The toughest of the materials, stainless steel cable ties are excellent for corrosion resistance, durability, and high temperature applications. Stainless steel ties are appropriate for harsh weather conditions, outdoor use, underwater tying, getting buried underground and indoors. Regardless of the environment, these ties will hold up under pressure.
When selecting your cable ties, consider the environment in which they will exist. A comfortable, temperature-controlled indoor environment can accommodate all types of ties. A more hostile environment such as harsh chemicals or saltwater, however, require the strength and durability of stainless steel. Keep in mind that low temperatures can make plastic materials brittle and susceptible to breakage. It is possible to purchase weather-resistant cable ties, such as heat-stabilized nylon.
Other Important Considerations
Once you decide on the right material for your application, consider your cable ties’ design, length, and strength. To select your design, assign one main goal for your cable ties. It may be to provide cable strain relief, to manage a wire harness, or to keep your cables neat and organized. Choose the design structure that best accommodates your main goal. For example, nylon cable ties are great for cable strain relief and wire harness management. If organization is your priority, Velcro ties come in a variety of colors for easy coding.
The length of your cable ties is of considerable importance. Your ties cannot be too short, or they will not wrap all the way around your bundle of cables. Cables that are too long are not typically an issue, as you can cut off the excess length. Measure your maximum bundle diameter, and select cable ties that at least match this number. To make the best investment, choose cable ties that are the ideal length.
Finally, look at the strength you need for your cable ties. This requires an in-depth examination of the environment. Take into account the ties’ exposure to sunlight, outdoors vs. indoors, exposure to chemicals or acids, temperature, and weather conditions. Then look at the tensile strength of the cable ties. Tensile strength represents the breaking point of a cable tie. The higher the number (measured in Newton), the stronger the cable tie. For more tips on how to choose your ideal cable ties, contact the experts at C Enterprises.