Guide to choosing the right cable clamp
3.5 minutes | 25 Oct 2019
In another guide, we discussed using cable tie mounts for securing wire and cable bundles. In this guide, we'll discuss another option for mounting cables on the panel boards of various types of enclosures, such as a data center server cabinet or an outdoor telecom equipment cabinet.
Using a cable clamp has some distinct advantages over cable mounts. For example, if you need to move, adjust, or add to the bundle while using a zip tie mount, you must cut the tie.
Many cable clamps can be opened to allow for easy adjustments. While ties can still be used for bundling, you'll often find you need fewer of them when bundles are secured with clamps.
In many instances, making up a new enclosure is faster when using cable clamps. Once the wire cable clamp installation is complete — guided by a good set of layout diagrams — cable and wire installation consists of routing the cables and conductors and snapping them into place.
As with cable tie mounts, you have a good selection of mounting options:
- Adhesive cable clamp mounts
- Fir tree push on mounts
- Arrowhead push on mounts
- Screw or rivet on mounts
So while the mounting options are similar, there are two major differences between a cable tie mount and a wire cable clamp: ease of cable installation and replacement, and the ability to set wire bundles at varying heights.
Adjustable cable clamps accommodate several diameters of cable or wire bundle with one size clamp or clip. One example is an adhesive backed cable holder that uses a ratcheting feature to allow several bundle sizes to be securely clamped. Additionally, the clamp can be reopened without damaging it. This allows the technician to trace wiring problems or reroute cable when necessary.
The ability to reopen a cable clamp is one of the main and most valuable features. It can be accomplished in various ways. Hook & loop clamps are quite versatile and their adhesive mount allows for quick, simple installation of the cable clamp. Network cable enclosure and support systems cabinets often use these clamps, as do rack enclosure cabinets. A hook & loop clamp can be either top or side opening to match the enclosure design.
Wiring harness cable clamps with a screw mount are often used to aid in automotive wiring protection when wires are bundled using a sleeve, heat shrink tubing, or wire wrap. They flex at the opening to allow easy installation or removal of wire bundles.
Some cable clamps have a hinged locking clamp that allows easy opening and secure clamping of various bundles. The fir tree mounted locking cable clamp is easy to install on various thicknesses of panel boards.
For safeguarding power wiring – such as motor leads – in outdoor weatherproof electrical enclosures used in HVAC systems, an adhesive cable mount for 3-wire leads help keep power wires secure and untangled.
One thing that's difficult for cable ties to do effectively is secure ribbon cables without bending them. For inside a computer chassis, wall mount rack enclosure server cabinet applications, and similar enclosures, a flat cable clamp works best. The ribbon cable is slid into the clamp from the side and is held in place by the tension provided by the clamps design. The clamp is normally an adhesive backed cable holder.
For efficient wiring protection – whether you're routing cables, cable bundles, or specialty cables like fiber optics – cable clamps provide many options. To ensure a proper fit and wire cable clamp installation, be sure to consult the clamp manufacturer's instructions.
When installing specialty cables – particularly with delicate data cables – make sure you're using the correct clamp for the cables involved. For example, follow fiber optic cable installation guidelines to make sure the cables are not damaged by using an improper cable bend radius.
Choosing the correct cable clamp will ensure a clean, easy-to-manage cable installation. Here are some simple guidelines to get you started.
Cables raised off the panel-board surface
Ability to adjust for cabling changes
Quick and simple installation on flat, dry surfaces
Adhesive backed clamps, D style
Push-in-place installation for pre-drilled or non-predrilled applications
Run multiple cables or cable bundles in parallel
Multi-cable clamps, screw mount cable grips
Run ribbon cables for computers and other applications
Hose protection, vibration absorption and electrical insulation
Prevent cables from shifting and, or, tipping
Add support for strain relief
Route wire bundles in limited space
The success of your project often depends on the proper routing of cables, cable bundles, and wiring. For the most versatile, professionally designed panel board or enclosure, choose the proper cable clamps to facilitate your application.
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