Having Cable Cleats Now Helps Prevent Re-Work Later

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.

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

Specifying can help EPCs Improve Productivity and Installation for a Safe Environment

 

Here’s a fact. Electrical standards ensure product safety and reliability.

But, how do you know if a product is reliable if it’s not tested to rigorous standards? Or when it comes time for inspection, how can you ensure it was installed according to the required standard?

For example, something as seemingly benign as using a manufacturer’s lugs with a different manufacturer’s tool can cause a crimp to not be UL certified and thus not pass inspection, leading to costly re-work, cost, and time overruns.

Standards compliance also provides engineers and procurement with a baseline to read beyond a supplier’s marketing and compare products. Be sure that the manufacturer you are considering buying from provides external or self-declaring test reports in line with the standards required for the project. Also, make sure they comply with ALL of the standard’s requirements, and if they don’t, they need to explain why or what parts do not fully comply.

With the global scale of the projects that you work on, electrical standards ensure there is seamless integration when working across borders.

What is UL 467?

This is a general safety standard used in grounding and bonding. Various tests are conducted and requirements provided as a baseline of quality for grounding and bonding equipment.

In Panduit’s case, it provides this for our direct burial compression grounding connectors. All reputable manufacturers of direct burial compression grounding connectors comply with UL 467.

UL 467 provides five requirements: Tensile force strength, in other words, how much force can be applied before any movement is detected between the connector-wire connection.

  1. Short time current, which simulates a fault to make sure the connectors are doing what they are intended to do
  2. Corrosion resistance.
  3. Direct Burial rating or whether a grounding connection can be buried in the earth (dirt or concrete).
  4. Markings such as DB (direct burial rated), AL (for use with aluminum wire only), AL-CU (for use with both aluminum and copper wire

What is IEEE 837?

This is a more stringent electrical standard than UL467 and has only 2 revisions since 1989. It is self-proclaiming by the manufacturer and not subject to a third-party testing agency similar to UL. The manufacturer should provide their test data to show that they comply such as:

  1. IEEE 837-1989 à IEEE 837-2002
  2. IEEE 837-2002 à IEEE 837-2014

There are 3 key elements of IEEE 837-2014:

  1. Pull out test eliminated and UL 467 rating acceptable. This is about half as stringent as the 2002 edition.
  2. Short time current test with a stricter requirement than UL. Used to emulate a utility-scale fault. The short time current rating is about twice as stringent as the IEEE 837-2002 edition.
  3. Sequence testing used to emulate harsh and heavy environmental conditions.

What is IEC 61914-2015?

This specifies requirements and tests for cable cleats that are used to secure electrical cables. To fully comply, cable cleats must pass tests for resistance to flame propagation, impact, and ultraviolet light exposure, as well as for lateral retention.

Cable cleats provide resistance to electromechanical forces resulting from a short circuit event. IEC 61914-2015 provides testing standards for this product, including the following highlights:

  1. Temperature rating
  2. Adequate resistance to flame propagation
  3. Lateral load testing
  4. Axial load testing
  5. Impact resistance (very light, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy)
  6. Resistance to electromechanical forces (ability to withstand one or more short circuit events at the manufacturer’s declared values of peak short-circuit current)
  7. Adequate resistance to corrosion

Partner with a company committed to meeting the daily challenges you face. Panduit offers a full solution of over 30,000 readily available parts – from cable ties to power connectors, terminals to identification – Panduit products are engineered for all aspects of designing, installing and maintaining infrastructures within EPC environments.