Wire groups and bundles are laced or tied with cord to provide ease of installation, maintenance, and inspection. This section describes and illustrates recommended procedures for lacing and tying wires with knots that hold tightly under all conditions. For the purposes of this discussion, the following terms are defined:
- Tying is the securing together of a group or bundle of wires by individual pieces of cord tied around the group or bundle at regular intervals.
- Lacing is the securing together of a group or bundle of wires by a continuous piece of cord forming loops at regular intervals around the group or bundle.
The material used for lacing and tying is either cotton or nylon cord. Nylon cord is moisture- and fungus-resistant, but cotton cord must be waxed before using to give it these necessary protective characteristics.
Figure 4-96 shows the steps in lacing a wire bundle with a single cord. The lacing procedure is started at the thick end of the wire group or bundle with a knot consisting of a clove hitch with an extra loop. The lacing is then continued at regular intervals with half hitches along the wire group or bundle and at each point where a wire or wire group branches off. The half hitches should be spaced so that the bundle is neat and secure. The lacing is ended by tying a knot consisting of a clove hitch with an extra loop. After the knot is tied, the free ends of the lacing cord should be trimmed to approximately 3⁄8 inch.Double-Cord Lacing
Figure 4-97 illustrates the procedure for double-cord lacing. The lacing is started at the thick end of the wire group or bundle with a bowline-on-a-bight knot. [Figure 4-97A] At regular intervals along the wire group or bundle, and at each point where a wire branches off, the lacing is continued using half hitches, with both cords held firmly together. The half hitches should be spaced so that the group or bundle is neat and secure. The lacing is ended with a knot consisting of a half hitch, continuing one of the cords clockwise and the other counterclockwise and then tying the cord ends with a square knot. The free ends of the lacing cord should be trimmed to approximately 3⁄8 inch.
Figure 4-98 illustrates a recommended procedure for lacing a wire group that branches off the main wire bundle. The branch-off lacing is started with a knot located on the main bundle just past the branch-off point. Continue the lacing along the branched-off wire group using regularly spaced half hitches. If a double cord is used, both cords should be held snugly together. The half hitches should be spaced to lace the bundle neatly and securely. End the lacing with the regular terminal knot used in single- or double-cord lacing, as applicable, and trim the free ends of the lacing cord neatly.
All wire groups or bundles should be tied where supports are more than 12 inches apart. Ties are made using waxed cotton cord, nylon cord, or fiberglass cord. Some manufacturers permit the use of pressure-sensitive vinyl electrical tape. When permitted, the tape should be wrapped three turns around the bundle and the ends heat sealed to prevent unwinding of the tape. Figure 4-99 illustrates a recommended procedure for tying a wire group or bundle. The tie is started by wrapping the cord around the wire group to tie a clovehitch knot. Then, a square knot with an extra loop is tied and the free ends of the cord trimmed.
Temporary ties are sometimes used in making up and installing wire groups and bundles. Colored cord is normally used to make temporary ties, since they are removed when the installation is complete.
Whether lacing or tying, bundles should be secured tightly enough to prevent slipping, but not so tightly that the cord cuts into or deforms the insulation. This applies especially to coaxial cable, which has a soft dielectric insulation between the inner and outer conductor. Coxial cables have been damaged by the use of lacing materials or by methods of lacing or tying wire bundles that cause a concentrated force on the cable insulation. Elastic lacing materials, small-diameter lacing cord, and excessive tightening deform the interconductor insulation and result in short circuits or impedance changes. Flat nylon braided waxed lacing tape should be used for lacing or tying any wire bundles containing coaxial cables.
The part of a wire group or bundle located inside a conduit is not tied or laced; however, wire groups or bundles inside enclosures, such as junction boxes, should be laced only.
Cutting Wire and Cable
To make installation, maintenance, and repair easier, runs of wire and cable in aircraft are broken at specified locations by junctions, such as connectors, terminal blocks, or buses. Before assembly to these junctions, wires and cables must be cut to length.
All wires and cables should be cut to the lengths specified on drawings and wiring diagrams. The cut should be made clean and square, and the wire or cable should not be deformed. If necessary, large diameter wire should be reshaped after cutting. Good cuts can be made only if the blades of cutting tools are sharp and free from nicks. A dull blade deforms and extrudes wire ends.