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Cable trays

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Cable trays

Cable trays are used for routing cables and electric wires in rooms where the usual flush-mounted electrical installation cannot be realized or its replacement is justified for ergonomic or economic reasons.

The arrangement of cable trays is also a convenient way of leading the installation when suspended ceilings are used - in this case, however, it is important to maintain at least the minimum required heights between the ceiling to which the trays are attached and the suspended ceiling structure.

General and special purpose wiring cable trays

In industrial facilities, such as production and storage halls, but also in public utility buildings, where the regulations allow for this method of running wires and cables, the following are used:

  • full or perforated troughs made of steel sheets,

  • mesh trays made of steel wire,

  • horizontal and vertical cable ladders made of flat bars and steel bars,

  • channels (PVC strips).

Galvanized steel industrial cable trays

PVC slat systems are, as a rule, intended to operate under normal conditions. They are most often used in offices. On the other hand, electrical installation cable routes in more demanding applications are run in trays and on steel ladders, which, depending on the production technology, offer a different degree of protection against corrosion.

Sendzimir-galvanized channels are most often used in a chemically inert environment and not exposed to weather conditions. The systems that are hot-dip galvanized (type F) and made of acid-resistant steel (E) and painted in RAL color (type L) are also quite popular.

In addition to general-purpose cable trays, there are also trays used in the maritime industry (on ships, in ports, on drilling platforms), which are resistant to sea water, as well as in fire protection installations - the tray fire protection must provide energy transmission through the cable laid in it during a fire.

Cable tray systems

Although individual cable tray systems differ slightly from one manufacturer to another, they can almost always include such elements as:

  • appropriate cable trays of various widths (from very narrow, intended for routing even single cables or wires, to wide ones, even up to 600 mm). Cable trays can be full or perforated, come in several lengths (most often 2000, 3000 and 6000 and even 8000 mm), are made of metal sheets of different thickness (from 0.7 to 2 mm) and additionally differ in the height of the working walls,

  • elbows, bends, tees and cross-pieces, i.e. all elements connecting straight sections and allowing free route guidance in different directions (always at right angles to other horizontal elements),

  • fasteners - a typical ceiling fastening consists of a fastening element, a channel section (or a different section or steel rod) and jib on which the tray is placed.

When designing cable routes running in cable trays, one should take into account many factors, including existing obstacles such as gas pipelines, pipelines, ventilation ducts, power and telecommunication cables, as well as lightning protection systems and structural elements of the building. The calculations related to the ceiling loads with the planned trays are also important, the weight of which should also include the mass of wires and cables, as well as accessories such as fasteners or cable holders and any covers.

The cable tray made of trays should form a uniform, stable and durable whole. This effect is achieved with the use of rigid ceiling fixings, as well as the system of connecting individual sections of the trays with the use of matching connectors (longitudinal, angular), latches or screws.