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FAQs

What is cable tray system?

Per the National Electrical Code, a cable tray system is “a unit or assembly of units or sections and associated fittings forming a rigid structural system used to securely fasten or support cables and raceways.”

What does this mean?

  • Cable trays support cable the way that roadway bridges support traffic.
  • A bridge is a structure that provides safe passage for traffic across open spans.
  • Cable tray is the bridge that allows for safe transport of wires across open spans.
  • Therefore, think of cable tray as the structural component of a building’s electrical system

What standards / guidelines are available for cable tray systems?

The National Electrical Code publishes the standards for all types of electrical applications. Articles 318, 250, and 800 cover various aspects of cable tray systems.

NEMA, (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), is an association comprised of the major cable tray manufacturers in the industry. This committee has published three documents to date: NEMA VE1, FG1 and VE2.

NEMA VE1 covers general cable tray definitions, manufacturing standards, performance standards, test standards, and application information. Free download of this document is available on the NEMA website.

NEMA FG1 addresses the standards for fiberglass cable tray systems. Free download of this document is available on the NEMA website.

NEMA VE2 is a cable tray installation guideline which covers receiving and unloading material, storage of material, and
general installation practices. Free download of this document is available on the NEMA website.

CTI, (Cable Tray Institute), is a trade association comprised of the major cable tray manufacturers in the industry and was formed to provide specifiers, designers, and installers information on the advantages of using cable tray systems over other types of products.(i.e. conduit, ladder rack, etc.)

What types of Cable Tray are available?

Cable tray are available 6 types:

  • Ladder
  • Solid Bottom
  • Trough
  • Channel
  • Wire Mesh
  • Single Rail

What support methods are available?

  • Trapeze Support (Single or Multi-tier)
  • Hanger rod clamps, “J” hangers
  • Center Hung Support
  • Wall Support
  • Underfloor Support
  • Pipe stanchions or other structures

Each of these support methods are preferable in different applications. For instance, trapeze supports may be desired in an application where cables will be pulled through the cable tray. Center hung supports, on the other hand, are generally used when cables will be installed from the side of the cable tray. Center hung supports are especially useful when future cable additions are desired. Wall supports and underfloor supports are useful when ceiling structure is not available or undesired. Outdoor installations are controlled by the structures available to support the cable tray.

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