Cable Tray Systems for Every Environment and Cable Type:
When it comes to running large quantities of power or data cables overhead or under-floor, cable trays are almost always the perfect solution. Designed to both route and provide ample support for vital wiring, cable trays (also known as baskets, trunking, and cable ladders) can range from simple to highly customized, so it's a good idea to know what types of features your application requires before you start shopping. Here's a quick rundown of a few basic tray styles and what the work best for…
Basket-Style Cable Trays:
Aptly-named "basket" cable trays are the most commonly-used type, and get their name from the fact that they look like long baskets made of wire. Basket trays can be mounted along walls, suspended from the ceiling, and even run below the raised flooring that's often found in data centers and other facilities. Because they allow air to easily flow through, these cable trays help ensure that cables stay well-ventilated and cool, preventing heat-related malfunctions. Basket trays are typically made of steel, and come in different finishes, including powder coat and zinc plating.
Another type of cable tray named for the way they look, Snake Trays are a unique brand of metal basket-style cable trays that are able to bend and flex in many different directions to accommodate the twists and turns your network cables need to take. Snake Trays are extremely convenient because the installer can bend them by hand without cutting out rungs or using any special tools.
Fiberglass Cable Trays:
Unlike the metal-based types, fiberglass cable trays are completely non-conductive, so they don't need to be grounded in order to meet electrical codes. Fiberglass trays are lightweight, strong, won't interfere with signals, are oftentimes UV-resistant, and have the added benefit of being more chemical and corrosion-resistant than metal cable trays.
Solid PVC Cable Routing Systems:
Designed with bend-sensitive fiber optic cabling in mind, PVC cable trays have a solid floor and side walls, but are open at the top. Unlike basket-style cable trays that have spaces between each wire rung, a PVC tray's smooth, solid styling creates a perfectly even support system that never allows delicate fibers to sag or be pinched at sharp angles.
Want to know more about cable trays? Check out these articles in our Learning Center:
Wire Cable Trays: Modification and Code Compliance
What’s the Big Deal About Zinc Whiskers?