The first cable carriers were made from steel so, as is often the case, the assumption is that the older the technology, the better it is. However, nowadays plastic cable carriers can achieve almost anything steel can. Made from a high performance polymer blend, they offer lower cost, reduced weight and are corrosion resistant.
Plastic cable carriers have replaced steel on most types of automated machinery in recent years. This is because plastic cable carriers are lighter weight and so enable a higher number of cycles, faster speeds, and an increase in production throughput. The cost advantage is another reason for the use of plastic cable carriers in this area.
Steel cable carriers still dominate in some industries, such as on boom trucks, and also the steel working and mining industries. This is not to say that plastic cable carriers can not be used in applications in these environments, but these industries have been slow to change.