About Tray Cable
Tray cable comes in all different shapes and sizes which start with the 300 volt power limited tray cable. It’s also known as PLTC cable which comes in shielded and unshielded versions. The 2 and 3 conductor comes in gauges 22 through 12 with an option for an aluminum polyester foil shield. The multipair 300 volt tray cable comes in 22 awg and 18 awg with an overall shield or a shield over each pair known as an individual shielded cable.
The 600 volt tray cable starts with a 2 conductor shielded or unshielded version in 18 awg through 12 awg. There’s only an option for an overall shield in the 600 volt versions. The multiconductor 600 volt tray comes with as many as 37 conductors in 18 awg and 16 awg. The insulation is THHN for each conductor and the jacket is manufactured with PVC.
General Features and Characteristics of Tray Cable
Tray cable is built to endure conditions like extreme heat, weathering, moisture, and even sunlight. Therefore, the field of application for such wires and cables are expected to be extreme as well. Usually, these are used as cables for power and instrumentation.
The material used for the manufacture of tray cable is stiff copper wire that is generally used for underground application. Stiff copper wire is usually non elastic and non expandable, this is where the easy application and installation is attributed. Copper is the material of choice for many known underground applications, thus making this a versatile choice for power and signal transmission for interference kept at minimum. Also, it is usually utilized for the connection in wire ways, furrows, channels, trays, trenches, gutters, conduits, and racks.
Just like other wires and cables, the following are the most common categories: Power and Control Tray Cables (Type TC), Instrumentation Tray Cables (Type ITC), Power Limited Tray Cables (Type PLTC), Fire Alarm Cables, Communication Cable, Optical Fiber Cable, and .Wind Turbine Tray Cables (WTTC). These types have different specific applications or use. Each has specific set of features that may be advantageous for particular applications.
This type of wiring and cable can withstand both ventilated and non ventilated conditions. It is perfect for raceways and ladder type cable trays. It can also be buried under the earth, but is also applicable for uncovered and sheltered environments, be it wet, moist, or even dry conditions and temperatures down to negative 40°C. Tray cable follows a certain set of design standards giving specifications for conductors, primary insulation, conductor identification, and bonding conductor.
The conductor is made up of Class B tinned or uncovered copper wire, seven strands that are bound together in a concentric manner. For increasing expected voltage, an increasing dimension of the conductor is given. For 300 V, the conductor should have a dimension of 0.519 to 2.08 square millimeters (#20 to 14 AWG). For 600 V, the conductor should have a dimension of 0.823 to 33.08 square millimeters (#18 to 2 AWG). Lastly, for 1,000 V, the conductor should have a dimension of 2.08 to 33.08 square millimeters (#14 to 2 AWG).
The primary insulation can be of two types. The first type is made of PVC compound that is appropriate for Type TW75-40 insulation (at -40°C), dry conditions (at 75°C), and wet conditions (at 75°C). The second type is made of FR XLPE compound that is appropriate for Type RW90-40 insulation (at -40°C), dry conditions (105°C) and wet conditions (90°C).
The cables may come with two-, three-, four-, or even five-conductor cables. The two-, three-, and four- conductor cables are color coded, while the five-conductor cables are coded using alphanumeric codes.
The cables actually meet bend test and cold impact examinations, certified safe for hazardous applications, resistant to sunlight, passed the flame test, among others. Tray cable proves to be very reliable for industrial applications.
Tray Cable Information
Tray cable comes in 300 volt, 600 volt, shielded, unshielded and individually shielded options for different types of applications. The best thing to do is figure out the least amount of approvals and extras you need to end up with the cheapest type of tray cable you can.
First of all, the 300 volt PLTC (Power Limited Tray Cable) cables are cheaper than 600 volt cables. Do you need all 600 volts for your application?.
The next thing to consider is the cost of the shield. You can save a lot of money by getting the unshielded option if your application is approved for an unshielded tray cable instead. However, if you do need a shield I highly recommend getting one because cutting corners to save money will only hurt you in the long run. There’s also an individually shielded tray cable available where each pair will have its own shield and drain wire.
Different types of tray cable have an outer jacket that’s approved to be used indoors, outdoors, in conduit and directly underground. That’s mostly broken into two categories of direct burial and NOT direct burial. The PLTC cables and tray cables not suitable for underground use are usally approved for everything else (indoors, outdoors and in conduit).
Those are the simple things to think about before calling to order your tray cable. By listing that criteria the wire and cable sales person should be able to fit you with the right type of tray cable for your application. At WesBell Electronics we also cut most of our tray cable to the exact length our customers need. If we have stock on it we’ll cut it for you. We also offer FREE SHIPPING on orders over $250 so make sure you buy everything at once to get free shipping on your order.