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Archive >  July 2013 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Products > 

RTP Designs Plastics for Innovative Cable Tie Tool
Cable tie tool with adjustable tension settings.
Winona, MN — RTP Company was able to solve a materials design problem for injection molding company New Berlin Plastics for final customer HellermannTyton, a manufacturer of high-quality cable management products. HellermannTyton needed help producing an innovative cable tie tool it was developing.

What was needed was a material that was strong enough for the small teeth on the tool's plastic tension knob, and have the capacity to be imprinted with a graduated number scale. Berlin Plastics worked with custom compounder RTP Company to custom-engineer a laser-markable compound that met the tensile strength and printing requirements of the application.

Laser-marking the numeric scale was the best available solution, thus avoiding the time-consuming challenge of printing, and incurring the high scrap rates that would have been associated with in-mold decoration, and the physical challenge of precisely affixing a small, 0.25-in. (6mm) wide sticker. Based on New Berlin's recommendation, HellermannTyton gave the go-ahead to team with RTP Company and begin the process of specifying an appropriate material. After careful testing and evaluation, RTP Company furnished a custom glass fiber reinforced RTP 600 Series ABS compound that provided the required tensile strength for the cable tie tool's tension knob. A matched RTP 6042 Series thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) was then overmolded on the knob to provide an ergonomic gripping surface. The TPE compound was formulated to bond with the rigid ABS substrate for optimum product integrity.

The company then introduced laser-marking additives and colorants chosen for their compatibility with the ABS compound and the operational range of the laser being used. This allowed the laser to clearly "write" an indelible, high contrast white mark on the black plastic surface. According to the company, the laser-marked numbers are very durable and will hold up for the life of the product.

Contact: RTP Company, 580 East Front Street, Winona, MN 55987 800-433-4787 or 507-454-6900 fax: 507-454-2041 E-mail: Web:

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