Cable ties with a flexible strap having an elongated
cable ties generally consist of a band with a head attached to one end of the band. The free end of the band feeds through the head to form a loop enclosing the objects being tied together, which, for example, may be two or more electrical wiresof a wiring harness. The head typically contains locking teeth which interlock with teeth in the band during band adjustment, and then maintain a desired band periphery. One example of a low-profile cable ties is found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,578,239, thedisclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
cable ties are normally finish-tightened and cut off by a tool that tightens the engaged tie to a pre-set tension and cuts off the tail in a single motion. If the tension is not properly set, the tie will be installed either too tightly or tooloosely. In cases in which proper tension is critical, such as with vehicle wiring harnesses, wires that are held too loosely can chafe and fray, and wires that are overly tightly held can be compromised by the cable ties (e.g., their insulation can beoverly compressed, cut or nicked). In such cases, shorting, reduced data flow or data cross-talk can result. A shorted wiring harness can cause catastrophic failure (for example in a helicopter or other aircraft), or at the least can cause a failurethat can be extremely problematic or expensive to repair. Cross-talk and data slowdowns can be extremely problematic as well.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a cable ties with one or more markings that indicate the engaged tie diameter. When installed on a wire bundle or other structure of predetermined diameter, the markings thus visuallyindicate whether the tie has been installed properly, to the proper tension. The inventive tie thus helps to ensure proper installation by providing immediate visual feedback to the installer, and also allows for post-installation inspection that is notpossible today.
The invention may be accomplished with a cable ties for tieing together two or more objects. The cable ties has a flexible strap with an elongated section defining a longitudinal axis, a head end, a tail end, a top side and a lower side. Thelower side defines a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart teeth extending transversely to the axis. The cable ties also has a head integrally joined to the head end of the strap. The invention applies to all types of cable ties and all types ofcable ties heads, both traditional and low-profile heads, for example. The head has an opening that receives the tail end of the strap, and a latching structure that engages with one or more of the teeth in the strap to lock the strap in the head. Afterinsertion of the tail end of the strap through the head and tightening the cable ties to the proper tension, the tail end of the strap projecting from the head is typically cut off.
The top side of the strap has one or more size-indicating markings; typically there are a series of spaced markings which are distinguishable from one another. The markings are arranged such that at least one marking is visible within the headwhen the strap is engaged with the head in the desired installed position. The markings may be numbers, or not. The markings indicate the approximate diameter of the items that are engaged by the cable ties.
This invention features a cable ties comprising a flexible strap comprising an elongated section defining a longitudinal axis and having a head end, a tail end, a top side and a lower side, the lower side defining a plurality of longitudinallyspaced apart teeth extending transversely to the longitudinal axis, a head defining a channel defined by side and top walls and adapted to receive the strap, and a latch adapted to engage with one or more teeth of the strap, to retain the strap in thehead, and a series of visible markings spaced along the top side of the strap.