Side notched cable tie
A cable tie with side notches on either one or both sides that allows breaking off the unused end after pulling the tie tight eliminating the need for using a tool to trim the ends off the cable tie. The strap is pulled normally when tightening the cable tie around wires, cables, hoses, tubes or other items in a bundle and then pulled sideways to cause the strap to break off leaving no sharp edges.
This application is related to, and claims priority from, Unites States provisional patent application No. 60/626,927 filed Nov. 10, 2004. Application No. 60/626,927 is hereby incorporated by reference.BACKGROUND
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of cable ties and more particularly to a side-notched cable tie where the unused end can be broken off without tools.
2. Description of the Problem Solved
Cable ties are used in a tremendous range of applications. In most of these applications their usage is to control the location of wires, cables, hoses, tubes and all other types of routed components of an assembly. Cable ties can even be used to mount components or join components in an assembly. In all these applications, the length of the cable tie is longer than needed. The unused ends that remain after the cable tie has been tightened need to be cut off with some sort of tool such as a diagonal cutter (pair of dikes), wire cutter or even a knife. This can be difficult if the space is small where the cable tie is utilized. It can be difficult to get the tool inside an assembly to cut off the unused ends of the cable ties. Also, once the unused end of the cable tie is cut off, the cut end can be very sharp; this can lead to abrasion of other cables in the bundle and even to scratches or cuts to a worker.
Several wire ties are known in the art. The most popular is the common wire tie used by many electricians and trade-workers. It has a plastic tail with notches on the top. At one end is a slotted, generally rectangular head with a notch. When the tail is threaded through the notch in the head, a small locking device slides into each notch on the body as the notch is pulled into place. Because of the shape of the notches, the pull direction is one-way. The tail cannot be pulled backwards out of the head. The worker simply wraps the tail around a cable bundle, threads the tail through the head, and then pulls the tail through the head until the desired tightness is achieved. The tie clicks past notches finally resting at the right notch for the chosen tightness. The tail (unused end) is then cut off and discarded.
Some prior art ties contain knife blades in their heads and other devices to allow cutting the tie. It would be advantageous to have a cable tie that allows easy removal of the unused end without needing any tools, and that could be produced at the same cost as the standard cable tie.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an improved cable tie with a number of notches on at least one surface of a tie strap so that these extra notches cause the strap to break near the latching head when the strap is threaded through the head in the normal way and then is moved back and forth sideways or twisted.
The tie is normally made as a flat, elongated strap with top and bottom surfaces, two sides, and two ends, where the strap has a number of engaging notches on the top surface and a mating latching head attached to one end of the strap containing a lock for engaging the top notches when the second end of the strap is threaded through the head. The present invention adds extra notches on one or both sides of the strap or on some other surface to allow the strap to break easily.
The present invention is completely complimentary to wire ties currently in use. A small side to side motion of the unused strap cleanly breaks the unused end off immediately during cable tie installation without the use of any tools.DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
Several illustrations and figures have been presented to better aid in understanding the present invention. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the figures.DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The present invention eliminates the need for using a tool to trim the ends off a cable tie by adding at least one simple feature to the side edge or edges of the strap or some other surface of the strap. This strap is normally pulled when tightening the cable tie around wires, cables, hoses, tubes or other items in a bundle. The present invention contains a series of notches along either one or on both sides of the strap portion of the tie. When the tie is pulled straight, for example, when tightening the tie around a bundle, the tie remains very strong and can be pulled very tight. Once the tie is tight, the unused end can be forced to one side or twisted. This motion can create a pulling stress along one of the outsides of the strap, either the left or right side. This causes the additional notchesof the present invention to act as stress raisers. Stress increases at the inside corner of a notch, and a crack in the material is initiated. The start of a crack increases the stress even more. A complete break of the strap portion follows shortly with little more applied force.
The present invention allows the cable tie user to break off unused ends of a cable tie immediately when installing the cable tie, without using any tools. The break takes place at the head of the tie with minimal unused strap protruding from the head and without sharp edges. The shape of the strap and notch can be designed to alter the load capacity of the tie, the breaking force required to break off unused ends, and to insure no sharp edges remain to injure workers.
Several descriptions and illustrations have been presented to better aid in the understanding of the present invention. One skilled in the art will realize that many changes and variations are possible. Each of these changes and variations is within the scope of the present invention.
1. A cable tie comprising:
- a flat, elongated strap with top and bottom surfaces, first and second sides, and a first and second end, said strap having a plurality of notches on said top surface;
- a mating head attached to said first end of said strap containing a locking means for engaging said notches when said second end of said strap is threaded through said mating head;
- a plurality of side notches on at least one of said first or second sides of said strap, whereby said side notches cause said strap to break near said mating head when said strap is threaded through said mating head and is moved back and forth sideways.
2. The cable tie of claim 1 wherein both said first and second sides of said strap contain side notches.
3. The cable tie of claim 1 wherein said strap is plastic.
4. The cable tie of claim 1 wherein said side notches begin a distance from said mating head.
5. The cable tie of claim 1 further containing a tongue on said second end of said strap that is generally narrower than said strap.
6. A cable tie of the type used to bundle cables, tubing and the like normally provided with a strap containing a plurality of notches on a top surface, said notches mating with a head mounted on an end of said strap, the improvement comprising a plurality of additional notches on at least one side of said strap.
7. The cable tie of claim 6 further comprising a plurality of side notches on at least one side of said strap.
8. The cable tie of claim 6 wherein said strap is plastic.
9. The cable tie of claim 6 wherein said plurality of side notches begins a distance from said head.
10. A method of removing an unused end of a cable tie without tools comprising the steps of:
- providing a cable tie with a strap containing a plurality of notches on a top surface, said notches on said top surface engaging with a head mounted on a first end of said strap, said strap also containing a plurality of side notches on at least one side surface;
- threading a second end of said strap through said head;
- pulling said strap to cause said cable tie to reach a desired tightness;
- causing said strap to move from side-to-side or circularly near said head causing an unused portion of said strap to break at one of said side notches.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein said strap contains a plurality of notches on each of two sides.
12. The method of claim 10 wherein said strap is plastic.
13. The method of claim 10 wherein said notches on said side surface begin a distance from said head.
14. The method of claim 10 wherein the second end of said includes a tongue generally narrower than said strap.
15. A method for making a cable tie where an unused end can be removed with no tools comprising:
- producing a narrow strap with a plurality of notches on a top surface and a plurality of side notches on at least one side;
- producing a head attached to a first end of said strap, said head capable of engaging said notches on said top surface.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said strap is produced with a plurality of notches on each side.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein said strap is plastic.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein said strap is extruded.
19. The method of claim 15 wherein said notches on said side of said strap are cut after said strap is extruded.
20. The method of claim 15 wherein said strap breaks inside of said head.
International Classification: B65D 63/00 (20060101);