How long do cable ties last?

How long do cable ties last?

Cable ties, zip ties, metal cable ties, coated cable ties – so many variations of, possibly, the most versatile little gadget ever invented. But how long do they last and do they all have the same life expectancy?

Whatever application you are using cable ties for, from bundling wires and cables in HVAC systems, to organising office wires under your desk, it is beneficial to know how long you can expect them to last and what external factors could affect this.

Nylon cable ties

Non-metal cable ties are manufactured from  either nylon 6 or nylon 6/6 where the numbers relate to the chemical structure of the nylon. At cableties-online, our cable ties are made from nylon 6/6 for its higher tensile strength, acid resistance, higher melting point and durability. Traditional, untreated and natural nylon cable ties have an anticipated outdoor lifespan of 1-2 years.

Factors that affect how long a cable tie will last

Of course, users must select the appropriate cable tie for the specific application and conditions and there are factors to take into consideration.

UV exposure – where a nylon cable tie is subjected to prolonged outdoor use, UV exposure will compromise the strength of the cable tie, making it brittle and resulting in it cracking.

Storage – to ensure maximum durability and longevity, nylon cable ties must be stored correctly. Keeping them in cool, dry conditions will prevent disintegration or oxidation and storing them flat will remove the risk of the ties bending. Cable ties should be kept in closed or sealed bags in an unheated environment to avoid them drying out and becoming brittle, which will reduce how long they will last.

UV and heat stabilised nylon cable ties

Nylon cable ties that are exposed to excesses of heat over prolonged periods of time will have a much shorter lifespan but where specialist UV and heat stabilised cable ties are used, lifespan can be extended to up to 10 years and even longer, with no reduction in physical properties. At cableties-online, all our black nylon cable ties are UV resistant and are suitable for limited outdoor use. However, we also supply UV and heat stabilised cable ties suitable for permanent outdoor exposure – they can withstand prolonged exposure to temperatures as low as ¯40°C  up to 120°C.

Metal cable ties

For the ultimate in weather, corrosion and chemical resistance, plus unparalleled strength and longevity, metal cable ties cannot be beaten. More durable and able to withstand harsh environmental conditions better than their nylon counterparts, metal cable ties can be expected to last from 5 years and more. At cableties-online, our metal cable ties are manufactured from marine grade 316 stainless steel.

Coated stainless steel cable ties

As the name implies, these are metal cable ties that have been coated – either with a PVC coating or an epoxy resin coating. Coated cable ties offer many benefits, including protection for the user against cuts and scratches and reduced risk of damage to cables than from metal ties with sharp edges. As the metal cable tie is given some protection by the coating, coated stainless steel cable ties have a slightly longer lifespan than uncoated ties. 

If you are unsure which cable tie would best suit your next project, and you would like help or advice, please contact our sales team by email at or phone on 01623 412160.