A common self-locking plastic wire tie has been modified (see figure) to enable the installer to snap off excess tie material after installation, without need for a cutting tool and without creating a potentially hazardous sharp end. A typical unmodified wire tie of this type is available in any of a variety of sizes and is made of nylon or another plastic. When the unmodified tie is tightened around a bundle of wires or other object, the excess tie material (the material that protrudes from a unitary locking mechanism at one end of the tie) must be cut off flush with the locking mechanism by use of a special tool. Often, an installer does not possess such a tool or cannot use the tool because of space limitations. Consequently, the installer often resorts to cutting the excess material with a wire cutter, which can leave a dangerously sharp protruding end.

The Modified Wire Tie is scored at intervals. After installation of the tie, the excess tie material is snapped off at the score closest to the unitary locking mechanism.

The modification consists in scoring the underside of the tie at intervals of about 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) along its length. After the tie is tightened in place, the excess material can be pulled back and snapped off at the scored line nearest the unitary locking mechanism, leaving a short, nearly flush end.

This work was done by Arthur R. Hayhurst of Langley Research Center. No further documentation is available. LAR-15103


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 1999 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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