Explosion-proof cable glands are the mechanical cable entry devices attached to the end of electrical cables, securing them to other electrical equipment, such as explosion-proof junction boxes, electrical terminals, and plugs. They are essential for terminating cables in harsh or hazardous areas where sealing and ingress protection is necessary. Additionally, they offer strain relief and protect delicate electrical wiring from corrosion, harmful gases, rust, and water.
As you can see, these cable glands must match the environment in which they are used. The harsher the environment, the more robust a cable gland must be, as it can be costly if the wrong cable gland is utilised. They must also be selected according to the explosion protection methods employed. So here is the pertinent question: how do you choose a suitable explosion-proof cable gland? Well, there are several factors to consider to ensure the correct cable gland is used. Read on to learn more.
Factors to consider for cable glands
Before selecting your ideal explosion-proof cable glands, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the cable gland going to be used indoors or outdoors?
- What is the zone classification of the hazardous area where the cable gland is installed?
- Will the cable gland be installed in a location where the surroundings are dusty or damp?
- Is there any presence of corrosive materials or gases in the area?
- Is the cable gland suitable for the size and type of cable used?
Your response to these questions will affect the cable glands you need. The protective coating or plating on the glands will also differ based on these factors.
Types of cable glands
Let us share the common types of explosion-proof cable glands and their applications so that you will have a better understanding of which cable glands are suitable for your project:
- Single-compression – For smaller installations and the inside of buildings.
- Double-compression – These cable glands feature double sealing and double-compression application at the cable core and on the outer sheathing or armour. This makes them suitable for power plants and factories that require strong seals.
- Flexible Hose – Suitable for locations with higher temperatures.
- Armoured – Armoured cable glands are used with steel-wire armoured (SWA) cables, which are the standard cables for wall cabling and underground installations.
- Waterproof – Waterproof cable glands provide IP68 waterproofing, resisting immersion in water of one metre or greater depth.
- Stainless steel – Offers good corrosion and pressure resistance.
- Aluminium – Flexible, rust-resistant, and a good conductor of heat and electricity.
- Brass – Offers strength and resistance to magnetism and deformation at high and low temperatures. It also offers good electrical conductivity.
Once you have identified the type of explosion-proof cable gland to use, you must consider the specification of the cable gland to ensure it fits the cable. Vital specifications to keep in mind include:
- Wire hole diameter – The wire hole diameter should be wide enough to house all the cables in the system.
- Pressure rating – The pressure rating denotes the amount of pressure it can withstand without leakage.
- Cable diameter – The cable diameter should be wide enough so that the cable can be fed through the cable gland.
- Adjustable diameter – The adjustable diameter determines the diameter of the cable gland that can be adjusted to fit various sizes of cables.
- Mounting hole diameter – The mounting hole diameter refers to the diameter of the barrier or bulkhead hole in which the cable gland is installed.
Applications of explosion-proof cables
Explosion-proof cable glands are manufactured according to the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, which covers equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. As such, they are specifically developed for use in corrosive/hazardous environments. Examples include the marine, oil, and gas industries. They are also widely used in medium and high-voltage transmission systems.
As you can see, there is plenty to consider when selecting a suitable explosion-proof cable gland for your business. So if you are overwhelmed by the choices available on the market, do not hesitate to approach our team at Supermec for advice.
As a specialist in explosion-proof electrical equipment, we offer various explosion-proof cable glands, including ATEX-certified cable glands and Ex d cable glands, tailored to our client’s business needs. Therefore, our team is well-placed to recommend the most suitable explosion-proof cable gland for your project. Do not hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our products!
Learn More: Everything You Need To Know About Cable Glands