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Who invented cable ties?

Table of Contents

Do you know who invented cable ties as we know them today, and for what purpose? In this FAQ, you can find out more about the history behind the origin and invention of the cable tie.

Who invented cable ties?

Inventor Maurus C. Logan and an excerpt from his cable tie patent
Inventor Maurus C. Logan and an excerpt from his patent
Photos: redarrowsupplies.co.uk and patents.google.com
Opinions differ as to who invented the cable tie. Cable ties, as we know them today, were invented by Maurus C. Logan in 1958. He was an employee of Thomas & Betts. The company patented the cable ties under the Ty-Rap brand name. The cable ties were made of polyamide PA 6.6. What was special about these cable ties was the combination of a tie made of sturdy plastic and an integrated metal tongue lock.

However, the first patent on cable ties was filed in 1954 by inventor George M. Rapata of Illinois Tool Works. But these ties are only considered to be a first draft of the cable tie that is in widespread use today. The PVC material used was not very durable because, back then, the choice of different synthetic compositions was much more limited than it is today.
Excerpt from the cable tie patent filed by George M. Rapata
Excerpt from the first cable tie patent filed by George M. Rapata
Photo: patents.google.com

How were installations bundled prior to the invention of the cable tie?

Wire harness tied with waxed twine
Wire harness tied with waxed twine
Photo: Wikipedia.org
Cable harnesses used to be tied together with waxed twine or wire. It was an extremely laborious but very safe way of tying cables together tightly so they couldn’t slip out of place or get damaged. After its invention, the cable tie largely replaced this technique. But there are some areas where this classic binding method is still being used today, for example, in the fields of space technology as well as avionics (aviation electronics).

For what purpose were cable ties initially developed?

Cable ties were initially developed to bundle the countless long cable harnesses used in aviation. Among other things, inventor Maurus C. Logan described in his patent application that he would reduce the weight of the installation materials used in aircraft with his plastic cable tie invention. Until then, wiring harnesses were held together with insulated metal rings or clamps.

Today, cable ties are used not only in aviation but in almost every branch of industry. Cable ties have become indispensable for installations of all kinds. Cable ties have also become useful everyday accessories utilised by private consumers for a wide variety of purposes.
Wire harness behind the cockpit of an Airbus A320
Wire harness behind the cockpit of an Airbus A320
Photo: Wikipedia.org

What types of cable ties exist?

Ty-Rap cable ties, with their combination of plastic and stainless steel, are regarded as the grandfather of cable ties. They are still produced and sold today, and they are also part of our qbendo assortment. The locking mechanism for the cable ties was subsequently adapted further so it could be exclusively made of plastic. This greatly reduced production costs and cable ties became more widely available to the general public as a result.

Today, plastic cable ties remain an integral part of everyday life. The majority of cable ties are still made using the sturdy polyamide 6.6 material. However, for certain applications, stainless steel cable ties are better suited because they can be used at high temperatures and are resistant to various chemicals.

While polyamide 6.6 and stainless steel remain the most common materials cable ties are made of, there are now countless different ways cable ties function. We, here at qbendo, also sell cable ties with specific features for various applications, such as so-called Twist Tail cable ties with tear-off perforation, screw-mount cable ties or marker cable ties.

How cable ties can be utilised elsewhere

In addition to the classic use for bundling cables, zip ties can also be utilised for many other purposes. We have collected a few clever applications for you in our cable tie tricks.