A cable tie or tie-wrap is a type of fastener for holding items together, primarily electric cables or wires. Tie wraps are relatively cheap and easy to use.
The tie-wrap is normally made of nylon and has a tape section with teeth that engage with a pawl in the head to form a ratchet. As the free end of the tape section is pulled the tie-wrap tightens and does not come undone.
Another version of the tie-wrap allows a tab to be depressed to either adjust the tension or remove the tie-wrap. Even regular tie wraps could anyway be untightened using a needle.
|The life cycle
Plastics have a similar or slightly lower embodied energy than metals by weight. Because plastic fasteners are usually more lightweight, however, the impact per piece is smaller.
No toxics are emitted or produced during the application of tie wraps.
No toxics offgas or leach from tie wraps.
If a closed loop needs to be opened again, rather than destroying the cable tie by cutting, it may be possible to release the ratchet from the rack. While some cable ties are designed for reuse with a tab that releases the ratchet, in most cases a sewing needle or similar object (for example a small screwdriver) will need to be interposed between the ratchet and the rack. Ties reused in this way will be weaker than new ones (1).
Examples on Superuse.org
Examples on Harvestmap.org