Which cable protection system is best suited for you?
In many industrial applications, cables are often exposed to very demanding operating conditions. When cables are no longer able to perform their task, they have to be replaced. This can be time consuming and costly. A cable protection system can offer a sustainable, durable and cost effective solution to this problem. Making the right choice of system, consisting of flexible conduit and fittings, will protect cables against dirt intrusion and moisture ingress, extreme temperatures, mechanical, chemical and electromagnetic influences, UV radiation, vandalism, rodent attack or a combination of these things. When lifecycle and operating reliability are a major priority, a cable protection system is often the best, most durable and cost effective solution.
Selecting the right cable protection system on the basis of application requirement, performance, reliability, durability, sustainability and life cycle cost is crucially important to ensuring that machines, equipment and processes function continuously and that downtime and maintenance cost are minimised.
In this article, the 4 major operational demands on cables in industrial environments are discussed as is the role that cable protection systems can play in offering a solution to these demands. Ingress Protection (IP) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) are handled too as are the criteria that need to be taken into consideration in making the right selection of cable protection system.
The 4 Major Operational Demands on Cables
Mechanical protection is the primary defence mechanism for every cable. Cables used in factories, on machines, equipment, trains, infrastructure and many more applications are often subject to pulling, pushing, torsion, vandalism, rodent attack and general wear and tear. In many applications, like under a train bogie, they are subject to abrasion, stone splash and must display high impact and wear resistance.
If left unprotected, under such conditions, cables will inevitably be damaged. To prevent this, cables can be mechanically protected using a cable protection system. Under the above operating conditions an all metal cable protection system, consisting of a flexible conduit and fittings, is in most cases the best solution.
In steel, foundry and glass manufacturing factories, electrical wiring and cabling is often exposed to aggressive chemicals, oil, metal swarf and glass chips etc. In such harsh operating conditions, however, the most prevalent problem is exposure to extremely high temperatures, sparks, spatters of molten metal and intense heat radiation. Cables and wires operating under these conditions need to be protected against such thermal influences to ensure they continue to operate properly. At too low temperatures the outer sheath of cables/wires can tear or break and at too high temperatures they will melt, burn or set fire to the cables/wires. It is therefore necessary to select a cable protection system which provides the right level of thermal protection for your cables and wires.
In the food & beverage, pharmaceutical, oil refinery and offshore industries, aggressive chemicals are used on a daily basis. If cables are left unprotected in such harsh environments, these chemicals can cause them to erode and malfunction, resulting in machine, installation and process failure. Ideally, cables that are in contact with chemicals should be protected with a cable protection system that is chemical resistant.
Such a system has to be constructed of the right materials, be sustainable, reliable and durable. While the choice of material for the inside hose is important, the jacket cover and fittings are critical in ensuring a liquid tight, chemical resistant cable protection system. Detailed information about the various types of jacket covers and their resistance to different chemicals is listed at the back of the Anamet Europe catalogue.
Cables that are mounted or used outside are very vulnerable to UV degradation. The rate of breakdown is dependent on the intensity of the UV radiation and the duration of exposure. The colour of the cover can also greatly affect the cable. Darker colours absorb more radiation than lighter ones. A durable and reliable solution to this problem is to use a cable protection system, consisting of flexible conduit with a black cover made of materials that resist UV radiation.
Cables need to be protected from dust intrusion and liquid ingress. The IP code classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against dust intrusion and water ingress. It applies to enclosures and equipment deployed inside and outside.
An IP rating contains two numbers (IP XX) each with a specific meaning. The first number indicates the protection level against the entering of dust, the second defines the protection level against moisture such as drips, sprays and submersion. For example, IP 67 is defined as follows: 6 means totally dust tight: 7 means protection against full immersion for upto 30 minutes at depths of 15 – 100 cm.
Anamet Europe has a complete range of cable protection systems from IP40 upto IP 69 to satisfy most application requirements.
Interference due to electromagnetic influence
Cables that are exposed to electromagnetic fields from, for example, power cables and high powered electronic components can generate changing electrical currents and voltages that can cause electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI can degrade the performance of data and instrumentation cables and cause signal failure and data loss. The use of a cable protection system with a built-in shielding capability will minimize the chance of interference across a wide frequency range. Typical areas of application include naval ships, submarines, high speed trains, nuclear installations ….. to mention a few. Anamet Europe has a number of flexible conduits for these challenging shielding applications which are tested to the highest standards.
Selecting the right cable protection system
Selecting the right cable protection system requires taking into account a wide range of criteria including the function and type of cable, the type of protection that is required as well as the operational and environmental conditions of the application. Is mechanical protection alone sufficient or is a combination of mechanical, thermal and chemical required? What IP rating is required? Is the application static or dynamic? What is the bend radius requirement of the application? Which industry directives, standards or certifications have to be met: UL, CSA, FDA, NSF, Ecolab, EAC, GOST, ATEX, EN45545-2 or 3 or …..? Does the application require fittings with an ISO, NPT or Pg thread? Is the thread requirement male or female? Does the application require fittings made of nickel plated brass or stainless steel? Does the application involve the use of straight, 45°, 90° or swivel fittings? Is the application in a hazardous area, requiring ATEX certification? If so, is the cable to be protected armoured, unarmoured or loose wires? These are just some of the questions that users have to address in selecting the right cable protection system for their particular application.
As the manufacturer of the renowned brands Anaconda Sealtite, Multitite and Multiflex, Anamet Europe is a specialist when it comes to understanding the requirements of the application, providing product selection and advice and in engineering and developing bespoke cable protection systems. These systems are used in a wide range of applications in industries as far ranging as the OEM, oil and gas, power and energy, rolling stock and infrastructure, food and pharmaceutical, steel and foundry, chemical and process and factory automation industries. Anamet Europe’s cable protection systems are renowned globally as being innovative, reliable, durable and sustainable.
Contact Anamet Europe with any questions or for advice about which products and/or cable protection system best meets your application requirements. Samples can be supplied free of charge and an Anamet sales engineer or product application specialist is just a telephone call away. You can also get in touch through our website: https://www.anameteurope.com/contact/