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INTERCONNECTION FEATURE CABLE JOINT PROTECTION


Cable jointing is a necessary part of daily life in many industrial applications, and high expectations are placed on the end result. Here, Helen Woodall product manager for electrical Installations at HellermannTyton, talks about protecting those joints


C


able joint integrity is critical to long- term reliability. A cable joint should protect cables against moisture ingress, dust and penetration by foreign objects. While boxed enclosures do a lot of the “heavy lifting” when it comes to protection, even those with a high IP rating are not fool proof.


THE PROBLEM It is true that the higher the number of the IP rating, the more protected the inside of the enclosure is from water, dust, pests, etc. For example, IP65, the number 6 represents the protection against solid bodies and the 5 stands for the protection against liquid. Therefore, IP65 would be fully protected against dust and protected against water jets from all directions. However, because the IP test only measures a short burst of a jet of water, no overwhelming judgements can be made. The most common problem in cable


joints is nuisance tripping, caused by condensation, moisture, or the ingress of dust or insects, and while a high IP enclosure may protect against the latter, the IP test doesn’t account for the former.


Long-term, these environmental factors can cause corrosion or overheating of connections. Another risk is joint fatigue caused by vibration, leading to the loosening of connections. Ultimately, poor jointing can lead to unreliability or even failure. Such issues are inconvenient to building owners and inefficient for industrial clients, resulting in downtime, unwanted extra costs and an impact on the reputation of the contractor who completed the installation.


THE SOLUTION In-filled insulating gels are a tried and tested method to cushion the joint against vibration or environmental ingress. Silicone gels are especially suited to


electrical installations in outdoor or hard-to-reach places, such as portable buildings, external lighting in streets or garden, and security equipment. Once poured into the enclosure the gel


/ ELECTRONICS


fittings to power sockets, where the outer protection will need help to shield from moisture ingress. Inland too, moisture can be a big issue


in our leisure centres, gyms and spas. With a wide range of working temperatures insulating gels would be ideal to protect the electrics associated with swimming pools, as well as steam rooms and saunas. With added protection against dust as


Figure 1:


Boxed enclosures do offer considerable protection, but even those with a high IP rating are not fool proof


flows around the connector and into the cable glands. After curing, it gives a flexible encapsulation of the joint that not only keeps out moisture, dust and insects, but also acts as a dampener that prevents damage from vibration caused by traffic or working machinery. The gel can be removed later if modification or testing is required.


well as moisture, workshop spaces which are particularly dusty would also benefit greatly from the added protection of an insulating gel. Depending on where the electrics are situated in any of these settings, with a potential for high traffic whether that be foot, machinery, traffic or even docking ship, connections would also benefit from the vibration dampening effects of the gels.


“With added protection against dust as


well as moisture, workshop spaces which are particularly dusty would also benefit greatly from the added protection of an insulating gel.”


THE INSTALLATION From speaking to contractors and end users, we know that time, cost and convenience are critical. HellermannTyton has developed the latest Religel products to meet the needs for long-term durability, reduced maintenance and cost-savings on remedial work. Both Religel Plus and Religel Clear offer


Electrical contractors can now protect


jointing cables in boxed enclosures even faster and more conveniently with the new range of Religel products from HellermannTyton. Combined with its range of enclosures and terminal boxes, which house the joints, Religel provides the vital final protection. This is particularly important where cable joints are located high on walls or in tunnels, where access may be limited once the original installation is completed.


THE APPLICATION As an island nation, we’re literally constantly surrounded by water. This makes insulating gels particularly useful in harbour settings, where they can be used to protect everything from lighting


working temperature ranges from -60ºC to 200ºC, making them very suitable for most domestic and industrial applications. Each easy-mix gel is available in a range of pack sizes from 0.5 to 10 litres and is supplied with a mixing jug and stirrer. The range comprises two new


formulations, developed to meet the needs of contractors. With a faster curing time of 12 minutes, Religel Plus saves time, as well as reducing labour costs and power downtime, during installation. For complex enclosures, where there is a need for improved visibility, with a slightly longer 20-minute cure time, Religel Clear uses a transparent formulation that is crystal clear when cured.


HellermannTyton


http://www.hellermanntyton.co.uk/com petences/gel-filled-cable-joints


ELECTRONICS | NOVEMBER 2018 27


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