The important specifics and features that design a car seal for valve lockout.
The important features of a car seal (sometimes known as a valve zip tie) for sealing valves are pretty basic. basically, it just has to be long enough to pass around the valve body, or nearby anchor point, and the valve operating wheel or lever.
With so many valve sizes to be sealed, anything from a few inches (cm) to 6ft+ (2m) long might be needed. The sensible approach is to stock a longer seal that fits all valve sizes, then just trim off the surplus after it’s deployed. But what other specification features might be important?
Things like seal head material, cable material, or the ability to uniquely identify the seals on the valves are also important features. If you require a specific feature in your car seals, why not let us know. We always try and accommodate the requirements of the car seal user.
To optimise our inventory we stock car seals with a longer cable (1000mm). But customers often request a shorter car seal because their valves are much smaller. In this event we point out that the unwanted cable can be cut off. But it’s important to ensure that this is done AFTER the cable has been threaded through the seal head. The reason for this is because the end of the cable can fray after cutting making it almost impossible to thread through the hole in the car seal head.
The question arises of cost. A shorter seal should be lower cost than a longer seal. Theoretically that’s true but the saving is so small, the additional cost of increasing our inventory offsets any saving.
Our standard car seals have 2.5mm (3/32”) diameter, and this perfectly adequate for the application. The breaking strain if over 500kg (1102lbs). The cable is a multi-strand galvanized steel.
There are no standards which stipulate the use of colored car seals. But here at Total Lockout we took a practical view at the use of color coding. Given that car seals are used to seal valves in the open and closed positions it seems obvious to use a green car seal to lock a valve open and a red car seal to lock the valve closed.
Thereafter, to offer further choice, we also stock blue, yellow and black car seals.
We offer two choices of material for our car seals. Aluminium body with anodized coloring. These car seals have a galvanized steel cable. We also offer a stainless steel option which offers excellent resistance to corrosion in a marine environment. The car seal head is made from Zinc, while the cable is 302 stainless steel.
We also offer a limited range of plastic valve ties which can be used for car sealing valves. Similar to steel cable car seals, these have a unique identification serial number. The seal length is 300mm (12”).
Marking & Identification:
By default, every car seal we supply has a unique serial number. Each time a new customer orders car seals we record the serial numbers supplied. By doing this we can unsure that duplicate numbered seals are never supplied.
Car seals can also be etched with bespoke markings, specific to your requirements. There is a minimum order quantity of 100 pieces for bespoke marking. Prices on application.
There are two styles of car seal functionality. These are self-locking and breakaway key. As the name suggests, a self-locking seal becomes sealed (locked) as soon the cable enters the body. The cable can be pulled tight but cannot be released.
The other style has a breakaway key to seal the device. When the cable enters the body, it can still be removed. To create a seal, the cable must be pulled tight, then the breakaway key is manually turned until it snaps off. The tip of the key jams into the cable locking it in place.
To improve identification, we offer car seal tags which can be used in conjunction with the seal. This is a small red or green tag which can be threaded through the seal when fitting to the valve. The tags are available in red and green and designate the valve as being ‘car seal closed’ or ‘car seal open’.
The car seal cables can be tough to cut. Ask us about specialist cutting tools to make this task easy.