The confinement system is the last but critical part of the entire cable management systems. Cable tie plays a very important role in this part. However, there are various types of cable ties in the market. Which one is better? Since nylon zip ties and hook-&-loop (Velcro®) ties are most common and controversial. This tutorial will compare these two types of cable ties in details.
Cable ties are cheap and simple components used in cable confinement system. They are usually the last measure to ensure the cable managed in order. Cable ties are available in a variety of sizes and materials for use on different applications with different requirements. In addition, there are various of color options for cable ties. These color codes help users to manage the cabling and achieve easy troubleshooting. The most commonly used formats of cable ties are nylon zip ties and hook-&-loop (Velcro®) ties, as the Figure 1 & 2 shown:
Figure 1. Drawing of Nylon Zip Tie
Figure 2. Drawing of Velcro Tie
For data center cabling, nylon zip ties vs velcro ties, which will be better? In the next contents, two types of cable ties features will be introduced in details.
As a low cost generic format, nylon zip ties are very common in use, even in our daily lives. You may find that the nylon zip ties are widely used in home cabling, or just for binding or fastening. Because of the low cost, nylon zip ties are also widely used in many data center cabling applications (Figure 3). Nylon zip ties are quick and efficient to use, providing a readily available option for cable confinement system. But there are some shortcomings of the nylon zip ties. The most obvious one is that they only work in one direction so that they only get tighter. Worse, nylon, the main material of these cable ties are hygroscopic plastic that are brittle and not endurable. These shortcomings may cause the risk of cable damage and performance loss. Additionally, using nylon zip ties in confinement system is not easy for troubleshooting because you need to cut off all ties in order to remove a cable.
Figure 3. Nylon Zip Ties for Data Center Cabling
Hook-&-Loop (Velcro®) ties, called “Velcro ties” often, provide a quick and convenient way to organize cables. The velcro ties are created as clothing fastener, available in most hardware and specialty stores, as well as in some communications vendors’ component catalogs. Nowadays, Velcro ties are more and more popular with data center users because of its advantages such as reusable, quick and easy to use (Figure 4). What’more, the removal and adjustment of this type of cable ties require no tools. The Velcro ties play well on horizontals but has a little weak in managing verticals.
Figure 4. Velcro Ties for Data Center Cabling
As mentioned above, nylon zip ties cost cheaper than velcro ties but they will damage the cabling upon over tightening therefore affect performance. In addition, it is not easy for troubleshooting unless you cut off the ties. Thus, if you are using cables which are quite hard and rough such as Cat6 SFTP (braided foil shielding twisted pair), you can use nylon zip ties in spots where won’t be moving or rearranging the cables.
In contrast, Velcro ties are more recommended by people to use in structure cabling thanks to their advantages of flexibility. However, they work weakly in vertical cabling, and the grip may be affected by dust and moisture. Obviously, there isn’t the best cable tie solution. Only use the right cable ties in the right way and place would achieve the optimization.
The cost of the cable ties occupies a fraction of a percent of total cost. But the importance of these cheap components cannot be ignored. Whether to use nylon zip ties or velcro ties, usually depends on the applications and requirements. For today’s data center cabling market, the trend towards Velcro ties. But for many cable bundle applications, nylon zip ties are still universal. FS.COM offers both nylon zip ties and Velcro ties with high quality and broad options. For product consultation, please contact us over firstname.lastname@example.org.