21 Feb 2017

Over the years, electrical contractors are finding it more difficult to install wire in ceilings.

Spaces are becoming tighter, with more industries attempting to occupy the same ceiling space while configurations are already tight. An added difficulty to electrical installations is the trend towards lean practices on job sites, this includes only lower inventory levels on site. As a result, contractors are learning to do more with less space and minimal inventory.


At times, cable tray can sag and be aesthetically unappealing when loaded close to capacity. When the application calls for an L/100 deflection rating, shorter lengths may still not meet the range necessary to pass the criteria. One option to offset this is to use heavier systems which need to be supported more frequently to pass the test. For smaller, three-inch load depth sections, the highest strength capacity currently on the market is a NEMA 20B cable tray. This tray still limits loading capacity when trying to pass the L/100 deflection test, even when getting down to smaller lengths.

What Options are on the Market?
To compensate for the space requirements and support needs for heavier loads, newer products are coming on the market that have a stronger tolerance, spanning longer distances. Once such product is Cope®’s NEW three-inch load depth. This product is rated 100 pounds per foot over a twenty-foot span. This product, called 7D38, is intended for applications where long distances of industrial cabling is critical.

With fewer supports needed, less inventory is required, helping to keep the site lean and efficient. It also requires less labor to install. An added benefit of this product is the superior mechanical and electrical connections from the exclusive swage process. Additional options are available with a variety of load depths, materials and ventilated or solid bottoms.