Cable cleats are like home or automobile insurance – you hope you never need to rely on them. And like insurance, cable cleats are an investment worth having. Too often the decision makers involved with industrial infrastructure projects choose to weigh this risk incorrectly, focusing on their bottom line instead of the costly rework a short circuit event without cable cleats can cause.
Future-proofing is a popular subject in the EPC community, but usually the use of cable cleats is not associated with being an effective way to future proof projects in harsh industrial environments. When contractors follow cable manufacturers recommendations and utilize cable cleats accordingly, an opportunity exists to avoid costly disasters that set projects back for years. Instead of taking a risk that can result in costly re-work – the replacement of cables, additional labor time, the cost of operational downtime – EPCs can leverage cable cleats as an effort to prevent these devastating incidents from occurring.
Short circuit events are particularly prevalent in the harsh environments that cable cleats are built and designed for. While it’s become a popular exercise for projects to attach cables to an aluminum rung and aluminum cable tray, what can be overlooked is that these cables are typically copper with steel padding, meaning that once they are affixed and the temperatures change, warping occurs, and short circuit events ensue. This results in an initial explosion, an ensuing catastrophic explosion, and cables being forced from their tray and into unpredictable directions to cause damage to materials, personnel, and anything else in between. This can put any project behind schedule for years, not to mention inflate its cost and leave behind a shaken workforce. Time doesn’t discriminate against this happening in any stage of a project’s lifecycle, but Panduit has built solutions that can accommodate this expected and typical thermal expansion.
Panduit cable cleat products for short circuit protection are designed to perform in a wide range of harsh environments, including industries like Oil and Gas, Power Generation, Mining, and Shipbuilding. Not to mention, they adhere to IEC 61914, the international standard that will soon harmonize with the go-to U.S. NEC standards. Panduit recommends the use of its cable cleat offerings – stainless steel locking tie cleats, stainless steel strap cleats, and clamp-style cable cleats – for many reasons, but one way they benefit EPCs is through their ability to allow for future proofing by preventing short circuit events from ever occurring and costly rework ever being needed.
For example, to prevent damage to cables and mounting brackets to secure the tie to various styles of ladder rack, stainless steel locking tie cleats should be leveraged. Suited for lower to medium peak short circuit current requirements, these cleats have a reduced installation time because they are installed using a manual or battery-operated installation tool.
Also featuring a polyurethane cushion sleeve to prevent damage to cable and mounting brackets to secure the strap to various styles of ladder rack are stainless steel strap cleats. A manually-operated installation tool makes their installation quick and they are suited for a broad range of peak short circuit current requirements, including some of the higher peak kA requirements.
A widely used cleat solution, clamp-style cable cleats are also suited for a broad range of peak short circuit current requirements and are the most durable for high peak kA requirements.
Cable cleats aren’t currently top of mind when it comes to developing industrial infrastructure projects, but they certainly should be. They are a crucial barrier to minimizing disruption and damage to personnel and property, and they allow EPCs peace of mind.