Wire mesh cable tray is no longer a new product since it was invented by Cablofil. We heard from our customers that they got more people inquiring about wire mesh cable trays in recent years. This is a signal showed basket cable trays have won more users in the cable management field.
Why is wire mesh cable tray getting more popular, especially in data center, ISP server room, plant, airport, building, etc.? Apparently, contractors have their reasons.
I have been in the basket cable tray industry for over 9 years. Although several cable basket brands had talked about the advantages of wire mesh cable trays, I haven’t seen anyone listed out all benefits in one article. Let me try to do this.
Among all types of cable trays, basket cable trays use less steel than other types. Let’s take most popular cable tray size 300mm x 50mm for example. Standard channel cable tray with material thickness 1.5mm will be about 4.7kg/m before holes perforated. Even if we make material thickness as 1.0mm, it will still be 3.1kg/m. Standard basket cable tray with wire diameter 5.0mm, product weight will be 2.19kg/m.
Ladder cable trays have various side rail and rung designs, but even simplest type at most would have similar weight as basket cable trays. What’s more, manufacturing of ladder cable trays will waste more steel than wire mesh cable trays.
People might not be interested in carbon emissions and environment protection. But surely, they will have great interests in prices. More material using means more costs, especially when it comes to stainless steel.
Meanwhile, wire cable trays save more steel, still they are strong enough.
Larger Supporting Span
Compared to 1.5m supporting span for channel cable trays and ladder cable trays, supporting span for qualified wire mesh cable trays can be 2.0m at full capacity. It helps saving accessories and installing costs. And sometimes this is a very big advantage among complex installing environments.
Junctions Onsite Making
A BOM is must needed before purchasing cable trays. But it is not easy to confirm quantity of bend, tee, cross, reducers, raisers, especially for big projects. Contractors need to customize these parts from manufacturers before project start. Still changes might be occurred during installation.
Using wire mesh cable trays will not have this issue. Bends, tees, crosses and other junction parts can be easily formed from basket cable tray straight sections only with a cutter.
Discussing about installation, actually we are still talking about costs. Wire mesh cable trays are lighter in weight, so the installation can be finished by only one person. Also, it will take less time on wire mesh cable tray installation compared to other cable tray types. This is important for role of contractors.
Flexible Cable Management
Contribute to open structure, cables can be dropped out from any part of wire basket cable trays. And the wire mesh structure makes cables easily organized by cable ties at anywhere.
The flexibility of wire basket cable trays also reflects in that they can make multiple turns. Thus, it is very flexible to install in various and complex environments.
Better Energy Efficiency
Electrical engineers are clear that conductor electrical resistivity increases with temperature. When electrical current runs through cables, the copper or aluminum cable cores would heat up. If the heat gathers and doesn’t dissipate, resistance will increase with temperature and cause more electric power waste.
The ventilation capacity of wire cable trays is much better than perforated cable trays. Because of the fully open structure, wire mesh cable trays are very good for heat ventilating and therefore reduce waste of energy.
Good Performance of Electrical Continuity & EMC
Electrical continuity provides safety to people and property, and plays an essential role in the EMC performance. The resistance of wire mesh cable tray usually does not exceed 5mΩ/m for straight sections, and does not exceed 1 mΩ for connecting accessories. These are much better than standard IEC 61537 states that the cable tray systems impedances shall not exceed 50 mΩ across the joint and 5 mΩ per meter without the joint.
When the wire mesh cable tray systems are integrated into equipotential earthing network, it can help electrical installations achieve excellent EMC levels. Besides reducing crosstalk, the open structure makes it easy to ensure correct separation by visual inspection.
Wire mesh cable trays can reach E90 fire resistance grade according to German standard DIN 4102-12. The E90 fire resistance grade ensure the electrical system such as emergency lighting, ventilators, emergency exit, fire alarm, etc. can remain working properly and resist long enough to provide assistance in the event of a fire. What’s more the completely open design of wire mesh cable trays would make sure smoke detectors and fire sprinklers would not be blocked.
Clean and No Rats
Rats are the biggest enemies in food industry. Rats like dark and close environments. When customers use channel cable trays, they cannot completely solve rats problem even they had done a lot of work. This issue is much better solved when they use wire mesh cable trays. Even covers are used for basket cable trays, rats still don’t like to make house inside the basket cable trays because it is open at bottom.
Also, using wire mesh cable trays can reduce dust accumulation, because cable baskets have much smaller surface area. Moreover, it is much easier to do cleaning on basket cable trays.
Easy to Maintain
Due to open structure, using wire mesh cable trays will make it easy to find out physical electrical and communication problems. And it is easy to expand wire mesh cable tray systems from current project.
I can guarantee you wire mesh cable trays have much more types of accessories than other cable trays. And there is still very big space to develop new mounting accessories. Engineers always can find a suitable accessory for different projects.
Above are wire mesh cable tray benefits that I know. Someone would say, ladder cable trays also have some of above advantages. They are also strong, open and economical. I won’t deny. But cable ladder rung distance is usually 300mm. This makes it quite different from cable basket. And cable ladders only share some of above advantages.
Some of you might be also interested to know disadvantages of wire mesh cable trays. In my point of view, wire cable trays don’t have apparent disadvantages. But some people feel unsafe of visible cables. Actually, this is just a subjective feeling. However, wire mesh cable tray systems do require tidy and clean cable routing works. I cannot say it is a disadvantage.