Does moisture affect nylon cable ties?

Does moisture affect nylon cable ties?

At cableties-online, all our nylon cable ties are manufactured from nylon 6/6. But what does that mean and how does moisture affect them?

Features of nylon 6/6

Nylon 6/6 is a type of plastic known as a polyamide, with a good tensile strength. A versatile thermoplastic, nylon 6/6 offers heat resistance, and a wide working temperature range. Heat stabilised nylon 6/6 retains all its physical properties when exposed to temperatures up to 125°C and if UV stabilised, can tolerate extended, outdoor exposure. Nylon 6/6 is referred to as being a hygroscopic material, and for anyone interested in more of the science behind our nylon 6/6 cable ties, our article What are cable ties made of? has lots of information.

What does hygroscopic mean?

A hygroscopic material is able to absorb and hold moisture from its surroundings. This means that nylon cable ties absorb and/or lose moisture according to their environment.

How does moisture affect nylon cable ties?

When cable ties are manufactured, the injection moulding process dries out the nylon which can cause stress to the product and make it brittle. The hygroscopic nature of the nylon means that if left in the open air, the cable ties will eventually absorb moisture. However, because this would take far too long, manufacturers introduce 2-3% of the cable ties’ weight in water into a sealed bag in a process known as conditioning. The cable ties will absorb the moisture within 30 days, to become flexible and supple.

Why do cable ties become brittle?

Nylon cable ties are naturally brittle post manufacture and prior to the conditioning process. However, most nylon cable ties will become brittle in conditions where there is a combination of  extreme temperatures and very low humidity.

What is the impact resistance of cable ties?

A cable tie’s impact resistance is its ability to resist fracture and become deformed under force, and impact resistance can be affected by moisture. As cable ties absorb more moisture, the impact resistance increases, making the cable tie more flexible. As cable ties dry out , impact resistance drops, and cable ties become less flexible.

As moisture content and humidity can adversely affect the performance and features of cable ties, it is important to understand the best way to store them to minimise these effects and to ensure optimum lifespan and performance.

How to store cable ties

Cable ties should be kept in manufacturer’s original packaging until being used. If there are opened bags of ties, these should be closed and sealed wherever possible.

Do not store in an unheated environment.

Use opened bags of cable ties within one year of purchase to reduce the risk of the ties drying out  and becoming brittle.

Rotate your stock so that the most recent items are used last (similar to food rotation in your domestic fridge).

Cableties-online are the experts for all your nylon and stainless-steel cable tie requirements. With large stock volumes and free, fast and efficient UK delivery on any order over £50, we supply every type of industry. Our cable ties are of the highest quality and our Price Promise ensures you will never pay more than you need to – if you find comparable nylon cable ties cheaper, we will match it, reimburse the difference, or issue a full refund. For further details call on 01623 706241 or email at