Cable trays are something that don’t get a lot of attention outside the world of cable management systems. These important components are what provide support for insulated fiber cabling and wiring across open spans. They are often used in situations where it is likely that a wiring system will need modifications sometime in the future.
When cabling needs a safe network, many cable trays will be put together in a design that will best suit the building structure and the wiring itself. A poorly designed cable management system will not only make it difficult to maintain wiring, it can impede the function of cabling altogether and cause networks to experience constant interruptions and down-time. It is extremely important that all cable tray systems be installed according to standard in order to ensure safety.
Cable trays are typically made from metal that is corrosion-resistant or have a finish that is impervious to oxidation. Because the application of cable trays can differ from one job to another, there are six types in existence.
- Channel. Used for installations with limited numbers of tray cable when conduit is undesirable; for supporting spans of 5 feet to 10 feet
- Ladder. Solid side rail protection and system strength with smooth radius fittings and a wide selection of materials and finishes; for supporting spans of 12 feet to 30 feet
- Single rail. Generally used for low voltage and power cable installations where maximum cable freedom, side fill and speed to install are factors.
- Solid Bottom. Non-ventilated continuous support for delicate cables with added cable protection available in metallic and fiberglass; for supporting spans of 5 feet to 12 feet
- Trough. Moderate ventilation with added cable support frequency—with the bottom configuration providing cable support every four inches; for supporting spans of 5 feet to 12 feet
- Wire Mesh. Generally used for telecommunication and fiber optic applications; used for supporting spans of 4 feet to 8 feet
With so many different needs from one network infrastructure to the next, cable trays are clearly a necessary element for designing and creating the perfect cable management system.