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Tiewraps, tywraps and draw straps

Tie wraps
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They used to be expensive things: Tiewraps. But after the patents expired, all of China started making them for next to nothing. Tiewraps (or tywraps), like Duct tape, are just as irreplaceable for brave wrenches as a wrench and a metric hammer.


Tie wraps, just the spelling

tie wrap, 'tiewraps' (according to Onze Taal the official Dutch spelling), but also often as tyraptie-rap of tie rib written and also known as 'ladder strip', cable tie, 'cable tie', 'tie strap', 'pull tie', 'bungee cord', 'colson strap' or 'lashing strap', is a mounting material, usually in the form of a plastic strap it is especially intended for quick and easy fastening of electrical cables and a few thousand other things.

Tie wrap: from brand name to species name *

TY rap is the name of the manufacturer Thomas & Betts and is also on the straps. Because T&B was the first to come onto the market with it, the brand name has become a generic name. But Colsonbandje also refers to the manufacturer. Tiewrap as a proper name is therefore incorrect, but the Dutch spelling is tiewraps.

The most common

The most popular variant is an elongated piece of nylon with a ribbed surface on one side and an opening at one end into which the other pointed end can be inserted. Tiewraps are sold in different colors. The white versions are more sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet light and are therefore especially suitable for indoor use. Outside they become brittle after a while. The black colored tiewraps are much less sensitive to ultraviolet light and remain flexible and strong outside for longer.

Once the pointed end has been inserted into the hole on the other side and the first ridge has passed, it can no longer be withdrawn. With a small flat screwdriver that works, of course, but that is not the intention. This creates a loop that can only be pulled tighter. And cables can be held together. In colder regions you can put them around the tires as a 'snow chain'.

Can also be used as ...

Tiewraps are therefore also used as (reserve) handcuffs. The use of normal tiewraps as handcuffs, which is sometimes done by robbers, is dangerous because they can pinch the blood circulation by only pulling them a little too tightly. But hey: without hands the chance of recidivism is considerably less.

Special tools are available to tighten tiewraps as tightly as possible and to cut off the protruding part. That is of course not used for those handcuffs.

The original version has a stainless steel lip in the head.

Ty-Rap inventor of cable ties, Maurus C. Logan, worked for Thomas & Betts and ended his career with the company as Vice President of Research and Development. During his tenure at Thomas & Betts, he contributed to the development and marketing of many successful Thomas & Betts products. Logan died on November 12, 2007, at the age of 86.

The inspiration

Logan got the idea of ​​the cable tie while taking a tour of a Boeing aircraft production facility in 1956. The aircraft's wiring was a cumbersome and detailed twisting, with thousands of meters of wire arranged on plywood panels of sheets of 20 meters long and held in place with knotted, wax coated, braided nylon cord.

Each knot had to be tightened by a production employee by wrapping the cord around the finger, which often cut the user's fingers until they developed thick calluses or "hamburger hands". Logan was convinced that there had to be an easier, more employee-friendly way to accomplish this critical task.

The patent

In the coming years Logan experimented with various tools and materials. On 24 June 1958 there was a patent for the Ty-Rap cable tie

The tie wrap is now more than sixty years old. And it still works great. Just like that we (must) do after our sixtieth birthday.

* The same happened in Indonesia; There, "Honda" became the collective name for "motorcycle."


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A reaction

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  1. Nice story about the history of cable ties. One nuance is necessary: ​​black bands are only UV-resistant, so suitable for long-term outdoor use if a certain amount of carbon is added to the raw material (polyamide). That is certainly not the case with every black belt.

    Yours faithfully,

    HellermannTyton, market leader in cable management for the automotive and electrical engineering markets.

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