What are cable glands used for? Exploring the applications
Cable glands are one of the most useful components for electronic systems that need to function in challenging industrial environments. By investing in a cable gland and cable protection product, businesses can ensure that their critical electrical equipment and cable fittings are properly safeguarded against the elements.
Not every industrial application will require cable glands, but for cases where systems are regularly placed under exceptional stress, it can make a significant difference to have a plastic or metal cable gland in place. These protective products can help to avoid the costs and lost efficiency associated with breakdowns and system downtime, and are therefore invaluable.
Here, we will explore what the various types of cable glands are most commonly used for, looking at their most common industrial applications and highlighting some of the key benefits that cable glands can provide for these sectors.
The most common uses of cable glands
Cable glands are sometimes known as cord grips, mechanical cable entry devices, cable connectors or cable fittings, and provide a protective enclosure around the cable ends to secure the connection and protect against damage or strain.
There are numerous types of cable glands - including metal cable glands and plastic cable glands - designed to serve a variety of functions. They prevent cables from being accidentally unseated, unscrewed or knocked out of place, and protect against dust, dirt, water, moisture, chemicals and extremes of temperature.
As such, these highly secure sealing and termination devices are most frequently used in the following applications:
- To protect electrical cables laid outdoors, which therefore require environmental protection against rain and weather conditions
- To protect electrical equipment and cables used in offshore applications, where they will be regularly exposed to water
- In extreme industrial conditions where there is a risk of an explosive or hazardous environment
- In industrial settings that generate a large quantity of dust that needs to be kept away from electrical equipment
- In situations where unprotected or unarmoured cables might be at risk of exposure to dangerous or corrosive chemicals
- For passing cabling through plating and bulkheads
If your application involves any of these risks or requirements, it is important to consider the various cable gland types and select a product that provides the right level of security and protection. For example, you may need waterproof cable glands to safeguard against water ingress, or metal cable glands made of brass, aluminium or steel to offer a robust performance.
Various types of plastic and rubber protection systems are also available - ultimately, the type of cable gland you need to seal cables securely will depend on the specific environments in which your business operates.
When are cable glands needed?
The benefits of cable glands are well established within the industries in which they are most commonly used, particularly those in which electrical cables and equipment are most likely to be exposed to the elements. This includes the aerospace, manufacturing, marine, power & utilities, telecommunications and food & beverage sectors, among many others, all of which regularly utilise both normal cable glands and armoured cable glands to help protect their critical electrical system infrastructure from moisture, dirt, dust and other contaminants.
If you are considering whether a cable gland is the right solution to protect your electrical connection, consider the following questions:
- Is your electrical equipment located indoors or outdoors? Is it likely that a cable entry point could be exposed to rain, nearby water or other ambient sources of contamination?
- Does your setup require an electrical cable or electrical power system to operate reliably in an explosive or hazardous environment, meaning that additional environmental sealing will be required?
- Would your electrical instrumentation potentially be vulnerable to dust or damp without a separate sealing and termination device to offer protection?
- What is the temperature at the operating site? Is this temperature consistent, or could your electrical equipment potentially be damaged by excessive heat or cold?
- Are you operating automation systems that need to run for extended periods without manual maintenance or cleaning?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your application may benefit from the use of a sturdy cable gland to help provide the protection and reliability that your business needs. By finding the right cable glands that offer an appropriate ingress protection rating and build quality, you will be able to ensure that your electrical systems continue to operate at optimal efficiency at all times.
Find out more
If you want to know more about Cable Glands or need guidance with selecting a suitable solution for your application, Northern Connectors is here to help.