This article discusses the different types of cable trays, their purpose, and their advantages. Cable tray solutions function as alternatives to electrical conduit and wire ways that enclose cables completely.

These devices can support all wiring types, including fibre optical, telecommunication, control, power distribution cables, and high voltage electricity lines.

Purpose Of Cable Trays

Cable trays are elements of support platforms for communications and power wires and cables. These systems protect and support both signal and power cables, and facilitate the relocation, reconfiguration, expansion, and upgrading of networks.

Most cable tray devices are open, permitting efficient dissipation of heat and access to repairs and replacement. They are typically attached to walls or suspended from ceilings, and some can use underfloor.

Cable Tray Types

The following types are popularly utilised:

  • Channel type
  • Wire mesh
  • Solid bottom type
  • Perforated type
  • Ladder-type

A designer or engineer usually specifies the cable tray type that has suitable features for the project. The selection is based on the environment and situation, the number of cables, and the weight, spacing, and size of the tray cables.

Channel Cable Tray

This type is just a metal tray which can be utilised for tiny cable installations.

Wire Mesh Cable Tray

This type is also termed basket cable tray. It is built by welding stainless steel wires together to form a basket-style mesh. These trays are mainly utilised for fibre optic, telecommunication, and low-voltage cables that are supported on small spans.

Solid-Bottom Tray

These trays are used in fibre-optic installations where cable drooping can impact system performance. Another reason why they are leveraged is they provide protection from radio-frequency/electromagnetic interference.

Perforated Tray

This tray has side rails and a ventilated bottom. It provides more support to cables compared to the ladder tray.

Ladder Cable Tray

This type has two side rails linked by rungs. It is effective as the ladder rungs enable you to access the cables from the bottom or top easily. The rungs offer convenient anchors to tie down the cables in the non-horizontal tray runs or where the cables’ positions need to be maintained in the horizontal tray runs.

Common Cable Tray Materials

1. Metallic

Aluminum: Lightweight and easy to use, exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, resists corrosion.

2. Non-Metallic

Stainless steel: Can withstand high temperatures and is resistant to corrosion

Steel: Low heat expansion and electric shielding

Fibreglass: Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and nonconductive

Precautions

The main point is to make sure to maintain the bend radius for the coaxial or fibre-optic cable within standards. Clutter and combustible dust could accumulate, so the trays need to be checked regularly and maintained.

Advantages

Safety: To preserve safety, regular housekeeping is essential as these trays are often installed in difficult-to-reach areas.

Maintenance: You can instantly view and check the cables for maintenance. Changing cables is simple as cables can enter or leave the tray at any place in the apparatus.

Inexpensive: A big advantage is that cable trays are cheaper than other wiring protection devices on the manufacturing floor.

We urge you to consult a leading provider or licensed professional and get recommendations on your requirements for suitable electrical systems. They can guide you expertly and suggest the ideal electrical solutions, including cable trays for your home, office, or factory.

[Image – Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash]
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