Stainless steel clamping solutions provider Banding & Identification Solutions last month delivered 200 of the company’s proprietary stainless steel Band-It ties to communication device and services provider Communication Technology Broadcasting (CTB), to tie down the cable fixture of a 120-m-high telecommunications mast in Harrismith, in the Free State.
CTB project coordinator Buks van den Berg tells Engineering News that 304-grade stainless steel Band-It ties were used to secure all cables and equipment, such as control boxes, to the mast, owing to the steel’s ability to resist short-term erosion from the elements, such as sunlight, or rust caused by rainwater.
Band & Identification sales representative Bertie Ferreira notes that the company has been a preferred supplier of CTB for the past 30 years. He points out that the company used to supply 304-grade stainless steel band and buckle solutions to secure cables to communication towers and masts, and to fasten control boxes – with a load capacity of up to 100 kg – to towers and masts.
However, technological improvements resulted in the development of stainless steel cable ties, which, compared with traditional band and buckle solutions, significantly reduced installation time by up to six hours, without compromising fastening strength.
Ferreira says Banding & Identification offers a range of fastening solutions – Multi-Lok, Ball-Lok, Tie-Lok and Band-It ties – which have been used on several communication infrastructure projects throughout Southern Africa over the past 30 years.
He notes that most of Banding & Identification’s stainless steel ties are available in grades of 201, 304 or 316. He points out that, when compared with other materials, such as plastic or nylon, stainless steel has a significantly longer life expectancy in harsh environments.
The Multi-Lok ties, which can be fastened to a specific tightness, are used to secure cables to cable racks or to secure cable racks to any fixture. The company also offers the KE922 and the M503 hand tools to assist with cable installation.
“KE922 is an easy-to-use tensioning hand tool with a manual cutoff handle. However, this tool is operator dependent and care needs to be taken not to overtension it, as overtensioning could harm or damage the cable or the product being fastened,” explains Ferreira.
The M503, however, is a more robust tensioning hand tool, with an automatic cutoff feature and a tension-adjustable screw, which can be set to determine the exact tension required for each installation. It is ideally suited to installing long cable lines.
“The tool not only is less operator dependent than the KE922 but it also provides repeatable and constant clamping force. Once the Multi-Lok tie has been correctly fastened, the tool cuts off any excess material from the tie, leaving a smooth profile,” he notes.
Meanwhile, the Ball-Lok ties are used for cable bundling and to secure cables to a cable rack. The product is ideal for applications where cable theft or tampering is a concern because a tin snip is needed to cut the stainless steel tie. Further, if the Ball-Lok is installed correctly there will be no space between the tie and cable and, therefore, there is not enough space to position the tin snip to cut the tie.
Ferreira notes that the Tie-Lok ties are one of the company’s most versatile fastening solutions and are ideal for use in the automotive industry “where the fastening of critical components is crucial”.
The ties are available in 304 and 316 grades and are typically used to fasten hybrid harnesses, air intakes, airbags, cooling systems, steering-rack boots, constant-velocity boots, tyre-pressure-monitoring systems, exhaust systems, heat shields and fuel tank shields.
Tie-Lok ties are fastened using the A910 tensioning hand tool for bands with a width of 4.5 mm and the A920 tensioning hand tool for bands with a width of 6.4 mm.