How Does a Cable Gland Work?
When installing cables and connectors within an industrial setup, one of the most important priorities is ensuring that every aspect of the system is properly protected and maintained. Damage to electronics can be hugely expensive to repair, and runs the risk of extended downtime and lost efficiency.
Protecting your electronics can be particularly difficult in challenging industrial environments, or circumstances in which systems are regularly exposed to the elements. In these instances, cable glands and cable protection products play an essential role in making sure that the setup continues to run smoothly.
But how does a cable gland work, and what benefits do they offer for industrial users? Here, we will explore the basics of cable gland functionality, and look at the reasons why they can be such a useful investment.
What is a cable gland, and how do they function?
Cable glands are a form of enclosure system which attach to the ends of cables in order to secure a piece of hardware and protect it from potential damage. These products are sometimes known by a number of alternative names, including cord grips, mechanical cable entry devices, cable connectors or cable fittings.
Although the design of cable glands can vary, they will typically consist of a central enclosure unit through which the cable can pass, which is then secured in place using a variety of fastening components, including locking nuts, washers, seals, attachment claws and sealing nuts. Once all of these have been screwed into place, the cable gland will be able to provide solid protection.
Cable glands serve a number of different purposes:
- Securing the cable and connectors in place, preventing them from being unseated, unscrewed, knocked out of place or pulled out by accident
- Protecting against dust, dirt, water and moisture ingress by forming an airtight seal
- Safeguarding the cable and components from strain and damage from temperature or chemical exposure
- In the case of armoured cables and metallic cable glands, the gland can offer additional earthing and insulation against excessive currents
Depending on the needs of the application, cable glands may be manufactured from a variety of materials, including metals like steel or brass, chemical resistant plastics, and insulating rubbers. Different types of cable gland are optimised for different applications - some are primarily designed to provide protection against the elements or chemical exposure, while others are created for more heavy-duty applications, offering protection against flames and explosions.
How to choose the right cable gland
In order to get the most out of cable glands, it is important to choose the right product for your application. To weigh up what type of cable gland you need, you will need to consider the following:
- The diameter and type of the cable you are using, and whether the gland will be compatible
- The environment where the products will be situated, including the operating temperature range and pressure rating
- The amount of available fixing space that you have on the panel, as this will affect the size of the gland
- Whether the solution needs to cater for single or multi-entry, or if you need to terminate a shield
Based on these factors, you will be able to find a cable gland that meets your requirements and offers compatibility with your existing equipment, while delivering the level of protection necessary for your operating environment.
Find out more
If you want to know more about HUMMEL cable glands or need guidance with selecting a suitable solution for your application, Northern Connectors is here to help.