When it comes to stocking inexpensive multi-purpose supplies in your boat or toolbox, cable ties are right up there with duct tape. Nylon cable ties are not only essential for securing bundles of electrical wire, they’re handy for taming a coil of hose or an errant flap of canvas, and they’re reasonably strong. But sometimes you need a more robust solution. Thomas & Betts, a global supplier of wire and cable, manufactures a stainless steel retained-tension ball-lock cable tie that has myriad applications. It features a spring crimp “engineered to provide positive clamping in high-vibration applications” that include shipbuilding. A DAS-250 tool from Thomas & Betts is not required but recommended for assembly and installation with the proper tension. Ties are available in 304 and 316 stainless steel, and feature a channel for a trace wire to protect against crushing and short circuits. They are approved by UL, Germanischer Lloyd, Lloyd’s Register, and Det Norske Veritas.
A company spokesman says the smaller Ball-Locks can replace inexpensive nylon ties for more security, and that the larger Ball-Locks are for applications where nylon ties would not be appropriate. ElectricalHub (www.electricalhub .com) sells a 25-pack of 316-grade 18“ (457mm) 900-lb (408-kg) Ball-Lock cable ties for $81.90.
T&B also makes more conventional stainless steel cable ties with self-locking heads; Uline (www.uline.com) sells a box of 100 8“ (203mm) ties for $63.
Thomas & Betts Corp., 8155 T&B Blvd., Memphis, TN 38125 USA, tel. 901–252–5000, website www.tnb.com.