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How to protect cables

clock 2 minutes | 08 Feb 2018

Red and blue cables in need of a cable management solution

Why is cable protection so important and what do you need to know?

Whether you’re dealing with industrial generator parts or your data centre server cabinet, you need to plan for your cable management. In this article, we’ll be outlining these considerations and the role of different solutions to ensure that your cable management installation is an asset for years to come.

Know your capacity

It’s crucial that you never overfill cable management devices such as cable trays.

  • Doing so runs the risk of cable damage, insulation damage, crosstalk, or more seriously if you’re managing power cables, overheating and potentially fire.
  • Always use the correct length of cable. Using too much will only create a mess that can create air dams, which in turn damage your cables.

Don’t overtighten your cables

From heavy duty cable ties to mounting cable ties and everything in between, including push mount cable ties and stainless steel cable ties: they’re all an effective way to organise your cables.

  • Be careful to not tighten your ties too much.
  • Doing so can risk damage to the cable insulation, which presents a safety risk.
  • Too-tight cable ties can stop signals from travelling properly through the cables.
  • This affects performance and the efficacy of your devices and machinery.

The cable bend radius

Every cable has a bend radius beyond which it begins to lose signal. When it comes to machinery, such as HVAC system components and network cables, such as what you’ll find in a rack mount cabinet, this can have significant implications for your business and productivity.

  • Prolonged exposure to over-bending can cause permanent damage to your cables.
  • This can result in the need for regular repairs and replacement, which has both financial and operational ramifications.
  • Cables need sufficient space – don’t over exceed the bend radius by over packing.

Protecting your pass-through

Occasionally you will need to create holes in furniture, server containers or other items to allow cables to pass through. When passing cables through plastic, wood or metal, it’s important that you use grommets, as these holes can often have rough edges that can damage the insulation of the cable, or even sever the cable itself. Grommets protect the cable as it passes through this hole.

Cable management solutions

Cable management is essential to preventing problems. In the table below are just some cable management solutions you should consider:

Recommendation
Purpose
Cable ties
Hold small bundle of wires or cables together to keep them organised
Cable hole grommets
Protects wires and cables from abrasions that pass through holes
Heat shrink tubing
Insulate wires, providing abrasion resistance and environmental protection. Available in colours, which allows for colour coding
Spiral cable wrap
Organises wires and cables into one bundle while allowing them to break out at any point for re-routing
Cable clips
Secures wires and cables at a fixed point on a surface
Cable clamps
Defines a route for cables along a wall or within instrumentation, providing mechanical support
Braided cable sleeving
Holds cables, protecting them from abrasions, liquids, chemicals and other factors
Cable conduit
Protects cables against damage caused by sharp objects, impact and moisture. Conduit is used to route wiring in a building or structure.
Cable management twist ties
Ideal for circuit and electrical boards. Holds wires in place away from panels.
Cable Management - The Design Engineers Application Guide