Stainless Steel Cable Tray – What You Need to Know

Stainless Steel Cable Tray Installation in roof

Workplaces, industrial service establishments and building sites can become messy enough without a spaghetti style assortment of wires and cables traipsing about the place. Cable tray- offers a smart and safe solution as part of an efficient cable management system to ensure that a set of standards are maintained.

At Armafix, we’re all about providing high quality fixing and support solutions. Over the years we have developed smart results for electrical and mechanical contractors in the affiliated sectors. We care about our customers which is why we challenge ourselves to develop with their demands.

Effective solutions and workplace efficiency are values we think everybody should believe in, which is why we want to help businesses stay safe and well organised with cable management.
 

Why is cable management important?

Cable management isn’t just about kicking wires or cables under the closest surface and hoping that they stay that way in the future. When it comes to management of the workplace in this specific manner there are certain codes and standards that must be adhered to.

The use of cable tray ensures that wires are stored neatly away from high traffic areas and do not create hazards in the workplace that could lead to a number of issues. Firstly, cable basket or cable tray are most commonly installed away from areas where people frequent. This is not to say that they are inaccessible, because one of the perks of good cable management is the ease of use, but unlike a mess of wires, they are avoidable.

Cable management is also essential for promoting and heightening fire safety. Electric fires in the workplace can occur with frightening force if loose wires are allowed to become damaged or overheat.

If cables become tangled due to a lack of management there’s an increased chance of sparks and fire if this goes unchecked and unmaintained.

Even though walking on cable tray is not recommended by cable tray manufacturers and OSHA regulations, many designers will want to specify a cable tray which can support a 200 lb concentrated load “just in case”.

 

Stainless steel cable management in the roof
 

Why is cable tray used?

According to the National Electrical Code (NEC®), a cable tray is a unit or assembly of units or sections with associated fittings that form a rigid structural system used to securely fasten or support cables and raceways.

Due to their durability and high efficiency, they are used as a smart option to support wires and cables. In fact, cable tray wiring systems are the preferred wiring system when compared against equivalent conduit wiring systems in terms of safety, dependability, space and cost.

Another significant reason for investing in cable tray usage is to add to the efficiency of a business. Cable tray wiring systems are known for dependable service in the industry.

In continuous processing systems, an electrical system failure can procure a hefty outgoing of money and present serious safety issues for a corporation, clientele and its employees. A well-designed and installed cable tray system fitted with suitable cable types will provide a network of wires with increase benefits.

 

Cable tray installation standards

In the National Electrical Code (NEC®) guidebook, section 392, the instructions and specifications for installation are highlighted. It states that cable tray is to be installed as a complete system.

Field bends or modifications shall be so made that the electrical continuity of the cable tray system and support for the cables is effectively maintained. The cable tray systems are permitted to have mechanically discontinuous segments between cable tray runs or between cable tray runs and equipment.

As a whole, the system shall provide a secure, safe and supportive method of stored cables and wires. To ensure this, the designer must properly select a structurally satisfactory cable tray for their installation. This selection is based on the cable tray’s strength, the cable tray loading and the spacing of the supports.

The most significant part of the installation, in accordance to the (NEC®), is that the metallic cable tray system must have electrical continuity over its entire length and that the support for the cables must be maintained.

These requirements can be adequately met even though there will be installation conditions where the cable tray is mechanically discontinuous, such as at a firewall penetration, at an expansion gap in a long straight cable tray run, where there is a change in elevation of a few feet between two horizontal cable tray sections of the same run, or where the cables drop from an overhead cable tray to enter equipment.

 

Cable tray from Armafix installed in roof for cable management


Benefits of stainless steel cable tray

There are multiple benefits to the use of stainless steel cable trays. First and foremost, stainless steel has high strength and can be procured at a low cost. It is also resistant to dyestuffs, organic chemicals and inorganic chemicals which ensures it remains relatively clean even in busy, dirty conditions.

The NECS also states that all metallic cable trays shall be grounded (required in Article 250.96 ) regardless of whether or not the cable tray is being used as an equipment grounding conductor (EGC).

The EGC is the most important conductor in an electrical system as its function is electrical safety. An advantage of stainless steel cable trays is that the NEC® only recognizes aluminum and steel cable trays as EGC’s.

The low conductivity of stainless steel also acts a benefit as any electrical surges carried through the cables and wires will not be transitioned far through the stainless steel material.

The alloy components of stainless steel possess a high temperature resistance, therefore making stainless steel cable trays effective in environments with extended periods of high heat while also providing adding security in the unfortunate occurrence of a fire.

It doesn’t stop there either. Due to the components and alloy diversity of stainless steel, it’s possible to create cable tray from it to specification. Not only can heavy duty, medium duty, and light duty cable tray be formed for specific industry needs but the accessories to support cable tray can also be formed from the same materials such as overhead hangers for sturdy, durable securing opportunities.

Make sure you’re providing the most versatile and well-designed cable management solution by matching over various duty cable trays with the matching bend attachments.


Where to buy stainless steel cable tray

With knowledge and an expansive product range to suit your cable tray management on our side, Armafix can make safety and efficiency in the workplace simple. Not to mention we respond as rapidly as we can to ensure you’re not having to wait for your solutions to become an on-site reality.

We stick to our promises and aim to always surpass your expectations. So check out our products today or contact us on 0113 256 7211 or email sales@armafix.com to talk to a member of our friendly team.

 

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This article was written by Terry Harmer, Managing Director at Armafix, who has several years of experience of supplying quality fixings and support solutions for the building services industry.

Armafix, Managing Director, fixings, screws, fasteners

Connect with Terry on LinkedIn.

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