Pro Support


How to Choose the Right Cable Support System

Cable support systems are a discreet yet critical part of cable maintenance in plant engineering projects. They can be hidden away but are vital for keeping cables cool, reducing and mitigating plant safety issues, enhancing the aesthetic appeal, and organizing cables and wires. Your goal as a plant engineer is to choose the right cable support system, and there are many factors that you will need to consider. How can you choose the right cable support system for your plant engineering project? In this Pro Support Solutions article, we will take you through the critical factors that you should think about to choose the proper cable support. First, consider the main types of cable support systems and look at the key factors. How to Choose the Right Cable Support System

What are the 3 acceptable methods to support cable runs?

When supporting cable runs, you can choose from several options. Since it’s essential to know the difference between the main options, let’s look at three acceptable ways to support cable runs.

1.  Enclosed conduit pathways

Also known as enclosed raceways, enclosed conduit pathways are one of the acceptable ways to support cable runs. Enclosed conduit pathways are power cable support systems that protect cables. Some of the environmental damage that enclosed conduit pathways protect cables from include: One of the other advantages of these power cable support systems is protecting the user from electric hazards. You can choose from several enclosed conduit pathways or power cable support systems, each made from different materials. Some of the main materials you can choose, include:
  • PVC
  • Galvanized steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass  

2.  Cable trays 

Cable trays are popular options for transporting cables. Also referred to as ventilated cable trays or troughs, they are power cable support systems that protect cables against overheating and are ideal for preventing fire hazards. You can get cable trays in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Some of the main kinds of cable trays you can choose, include:
  • Perforated
  • Stainless steel
  • Ladder
  • PVC
These power cable support systems are safe, dependable, user-friendly, and easy to install. Their other advantages include that:
  • They are cost-effective options
  • You can save time using cable trays
Some of the main features of cable trays include:
  • Electromagnetic interference reduction 
  • Cable drooping prevention and prevention of circuit performance reduction 
Also important is that there are three main types of cable trays, including ladder cable trays, ventilated troughs, or solid bottom trays.  Keep in mind that cable trays are ideal for supporting lightweight cables.

3.  Ladder racks

Ladder racks are also known as ladder trays or cable runways. They feature rails on each side and rungs, perforated to fasten cable cleats onto the ladder.  Some of the advantages of ladder racks are that they: Ladder racks are ideal if you have high-volume cabling or cabling that is particularly heavy. They are also suitable if you have a long span between the supports. How to Choose the Right Cable Support System

What are the factors to be considered for selecting any wiring system?

Your plant’s environment is one factor you should consider when selecting a wiring system, as is safety and reliability, the support span of your cable support, maintenance, flexibility, and space. Here’s more on these factors and why you should consider them before choosing between the many power cable support systems.

How should electrical cable support match your plant’s environment?

One of the essential factors you must consider before choosing electrical cable support is whether you can use it in your plant’s environment, which may be a chemical environment, an environment that contains gases, or a humid environment. The properties of your electrical cable support system should be able to withstand environmental conditions. 

How should the electrical cable support enhance safety and reliability?

Whether you are using electric cable supports in a humid environment or an environment with high-pressure gases and piping, the system should enhance safety and reliably support your cable system.

How is the support span of your electrical cable support significant?

The longer the support span of your electrical cable support, the longer the support system will protect your cables and maintain the safety of your plant engineering environment – especially if the wires are heavy. Consider the support span of your electrical cable support before you decide.

Why is maintenance an important factor when choosing your electrical cable support?

Although you shouldn’t skimp on cable support system maintenance, the easier the maintenance required for cleaning, the better. Think about whether the electrical cable support will be difficult to maintain and choose a system that will save you time and maintenance.

Why is the flexibility of electrical cable support systems critical? 

Flexibility is essential when choosing a power cable support system. It should facilitate adding circuits, but it should also simplify removing them. Does your electrical cable support make it easier to add and remove circuits for PLCs?

Why should you consider whether electrical cable supports are a space-saver?

Conserving space is vital, and some electrical cable support systems do not require as much space as others when you are installing them. Consider which power cable support systems occupy the least room for ease of installation in your engineering plant.

How do I know what size cable tray I need?

Since nine-inch rung spacings are the most common and engineers use them for any cable size, this is one option when choosing a cable tray. However, there is a specific way to work out which size cable tray you need. Keep in mind that the total cables’ cross-sectional areas should not be bigger than 50% of the fill area and that the size should be the correct size when it’s around 50% full of the wire or cable. There are some vital factors that you can consider to work out which size cable tray, which involves the following steps:
  1. Determine the diameter of the cables
  2. Work out the air space between the cables and determine the layout to maintain the air space 
  3. Work out the minimum width of your cable tray
  4. Consider thermal expansion and contraction factors

What maximum weight can a cable tray support, and when do you need barriers?

It’s essential to recognize that most cable trays can support upwards of 200 lbs. Also, don’t forget that you will need a barrier for cable separation when installing different single-core cables that carry lower than 600 volts and higher than 600 volts. In the event you have cables that are multicore types, you won’t need any barriers for your cable trays.

Choose the suitable power cable support systems for your plant engineering project

Selecting the right power cable support systems is essential, as is choosing cable supports that are top quality. Even though there are several factors you should consider when selecting between power cable support systems, there is an approach you can use to make the process simpler. Choosing a plant engineering product vendor to support your project and guide you through the required components will make selecting your power cable support system easier. For more information, go to Pro Support Solutions and look at MEFA’s range of cable supports to complete your project without any challenges.

Hear about our new and innovative products within the renewable energy, pipe and cable support industries.

Recent News