IP codes: how to find the right cable protection system
A typical Monday morning in the winter: there is gridlock in the tunnel carrying thousands of commuters into the city. Endless queues of cars are pumping out clouds of exhaust emissions. Melting snow from the vehicles drips and mixes with grit, oil and brake dust in muddy rivulets between the lanes. Humidity is high, in spite of the cold. Once the traffic starts flowing again, salty, muddy spray fills the air.
But all systems are working properly. If a vehicle caught on fire, the alarm would activate. Fortunately, the tunnel was equipped with a carefully planned cable protection system.
Read this article to discover how you can also find the correct system to protect your cables.
“In one of our most recent projects, we equipped a tunnel construction company with HelaGuard conduits and fittings for the fire alarm system they were installing”, explains Anja-Karolin Schulze, Product Manager at HellermannTyton. Changing weather conditions, temperature fluctuation and vibration from heavy traffic demanded durable and liquid-tight cable protection. Without it, the uninterrupted functioning of critical safety systems in the tunnel could not be guaranteed, posing a risk to passengers and infrastructure.
HellermannTyton supported the client with a combination of standard parts and custom development, with aim of achieving the highest possible level of ingress protection (IP) against water and dust. “We developed special oversize fittings according to the customer’s specifications. As a result, the cable system in the tunnel now has ingress protection well over the minimum defined by IP68. As a result, the fire alarm system in the tunnel is securely protected.”
Which cable protection system for which application? Clarity with the IP code
HellermannTyton offers a large selection of protective conduits and fittings in its HelaGuard range. The IP protection classification, or simply IP code, indicates degree of protection against both water and particles, such as dust. A variety of solutions with different IP classifications, combined with different mechanical strengths, materials, flexibility and sizes, means that customers can implement an ideal solution that meets all their requirements.
The IP code serves as an important indicator for choosing the right conduits and fittings. IP classifications are defined according to the DIN EN IEC 60529 standard and consist of two numbers. The first digit in the code specifies the degree of protection from particulate matter, and the second specifies the degree of protection from water. In general, the higher the number, the better the protection: “You have to look closely to see whether the cable protection system and the planned application actually fit together. We consult closely with our customers and then develop individual solutions, as in the fire alarm system mentioned above. We aim to provide the most suitable cable protection solution for the intended cable protection application”, says Product Manager Anja-Karolin Schulze.
Link, see Page 143: Useful overview of IP protection classes from solid objects and water.
Cable protection systems made of plastic, metal and stainless steel
Ambient conditions determine the type of material selected for a cable protection system. A product manager’s typical questions include, “How high can the temperature become? Does the cable protection system have to be heatproof or waterproof? Is it an indoor or outdoor application? What about resistance to chemicals? What kinds of mechanical force can be expected on the cables and the protection system? Does the system need electromagnetic protection?”
HelaGuard comprises a versatile and comprehensive range. The number of plastic and metal hoses, fittings and accessories in different materials and diameters provide a viable solution to virtually all the challenges behind those questions. Standard solutions made from plastic, such as the HG-SW conduits made of polyamide 6.6, are available in different strengths and materials for different areas of application. HellermannTyton’s unique patented plastic fittings play an important role because their locking mechanism is especially strong and secure. The fitting withstands tugging, vibration and wanton tampering. Product portfolio: Cable protection conduits, sleeving and tubing for your application, click here!
Metal cable protection systems for extreme conditions
HelaGuard also contains a variegated and complete range of metal protection conduits and fittings. They protect against acids, heat and radiation. Read how heat and EMC interference can affect plant operations in this example about a furnace manufacturer.
“We have many customers in the off-shore sector who use these metallic systems, especially ones made of stainless steel”, says Anja-Karolin Schulze. “One big advantage to our customers is that we don’t add a metal surcharge to our prices. We always calculate using fixed prices”, she adds.
Checklist for your optimal cable protection system
You should plan the right cable protection system for your plant from the start. From the ambient conditions and your application specification you can determine which HelaGuard system is the right one for you. Here are the most important questions at a glance:
- Where are the cables to be protected?
- Do the cables have to be protected against water or dust? If so, to what degree?
- Does the protective hose have to be impact-resistant, for example because it runs on the ground?
- Does the system have to provide high tensile strength?
- How much abrasion does the system have to withstand?
- What kind of temperatures may affect the system?
- Do the cables have to be protected against the weather and UV radiation?
- Does the system have to protect against oil, grease, fuel or acid?
- Do your cables require protection against swarf?
- What other types of damage are possible in the scope of your application?
An overview of individual system solutions and their features can be found in the detailed HelaGuard product catalogue.
Where are HelaGuard systems available?
HellermannTyton cooperates closely with many leading wholesalers. HellermannTyton undertakes intensive training of their staff so that the product is available with the right information about the most suitable cable protection system.
You can search for your nearest supplier here.
Do you have any questions or would you like a consultation about cable protection for your machines or plant? Contact us today!