Choosing and Using Pull-up Seals
Posted by Steve Diebold
There’s no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to security seals. You’ll want to choose different seals for each job based on the application and the environment.
For example, pull-up (or adjustable) cable seals are mainly chosen in situations where a plastic or wire seal is too easily cut open or cannot withstand the application environment. They provide a greater level of strength and can hold up to extreme temperatures and physical impact.
Adjustable cable seals can deter tampering since they are not easily or quickly opened. Cutting cable seas requires stronger and less common tools than what’s needed to open other types of seals.
Applications for pull-up cable seals
As we touched on before, adjustable cable seals are used in applications where more strength and endurance are required. Some popular uses include:
- Tanks and tank truck valves
- Truck and container doors
- Control panels
- Meter boxes
Cable seals are commonly used for tagging machinery, vehicles, and high-value assets or storage containers. They’re a secure alternative to locks in secure closures that are not frequently opened and when the user does not want to monitor access to keys.
Choosing the right pull-up cable seal for your needs
Within the category of cable seals, there are different makes and models -- some may fit your need better than others. Here are some things to consider when choosing a pull-up cable seal:
- Seal length and width - Available lengths range from 6-72 inches and cable diameters range from 1.5-4mm. Longer seals with thinner cables are easier to bend or turn and can be fitted in places where other seals cannot go. Heavy duty seals, on the other hand, will provide a stronger barrier to cutting and tampering. However, they require enough space to bend and lock them as they are both strong and stiff.
- Material - Aluminum body seals are popular for their resistance to corrosion. They can also have markings added to them by lasers, such as logotypes and barcodes. Steel seals on the other hand are popular for their stronger body and more durable marking that is physically stamped into the seal. These stamped markings, however, are limited to simple logotypes or alphanumerics.
- ISO Standardization - If you are protecting international shipments, choose a seal that meets current ISO standards. We offer several cable seals that comply with recognized ISO-17712 and C-TPAT standards for high security (H) seals. We are also compliant with the ISO standards and procedures required and recognized worldwide for high-security seals and are a registered seal manufacturer under ISO-9001:2008.
If you need additional assistance choosing the right seal, contact us via phone or our website. Our security seal experts can help guide you to the appropriate size, length, and type of cable seal for your application.
Proper handling and use
As with all seals, proper control, record keeping, and inspection is important. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Cable seals must be inserted parallel to itself into the hold on the same side where it extends from the lock body. A firm push is required to start it.
- When locking a pull-up cable seal, it is very important that the seal is pulled as tightly as possible without damaging whatever device it is attached to. A loose seal can be vulnerable to manipulation, so pull the seal after installation to make sure it is fully tightened in place.
- Cut off excess cable after sealing to prevent reuse, if your seal does not have a cable that frays or spreads when cut.
- Remove cable seals using a high-quality bypass type shear. For light to medium cables, we offer a cable cutter. Longer bypass cutters for heavy duty seals can be found at electrical supply or industrial tool supply vendors.
- Dispose of the seals completely after use by crushing the body with a hammer or destroying the markings with a sharp tool.
Our website provides additional information about cable seals including data sheets, photos etc. If you have further questions about cable seals or need a quotation, please contact us or your AC&M representative.