Cable ties beat the heat

Oct. 21, 2004
Cable ties of a polyarletherketone called Victrex PEEK bundle wire and cables securely despite long exposures to high temperatures and pressures of oil drilling, aerospace, and military uses.

Cable ties made of a polyaryletherketone (PEEK) polymer from Victrex USA Inc., Greenville, S.C.,, reportedly withstand higher temperatures and more aggressive environments than their nylon-based counterparts.

Wires and cables running the length of an aircraft fuselage or wrapped around an electric pump motor, for example, must be bundled so they don't touch a potential heat source. Nylon cable ties often work well in these applications. But they can melt in more extreme applications such as oil drilling, perhaps interfering with the pumping apparatus.

According to Richard Moore, spokesman for cable-tie maker Click Bond Inc., Carson City, Nev. (, drilling applications can see temperatures of 392°F. Victrex PEEK withstands temperatures to 500°F and resists chemicals, electricity, and radiation. Low-moisture absorption and outgassing properties makes the polymer well suited for aerospace applications — low-moisture absorption ensures dimensional stability. And because the PEEK is halogen-free, it emits little smoke and toxic gas during combustion. Additionally, the inherently lubricious material won't abrade the plastic coating on the wires as is often the case with its nylon counterpart.

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