What Is Difference Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?

In various industries, cable ladder and cable trunking are popular choices for cable tray support. Cable ladders excel in supporting heavy or high-volume cabling, especially over long spans. Cable trays, on the other hand, are commonly used for lighter cables, as well as instrumentation and tubing. Both options have their advantages and are selected based on specific requirements. When choosing between these cable tray types, you may encounter the following considerations.

  • What Is Cable Ladder?
  • What Is Cable Trunking?
  • What Are Similarities Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?
  • What Is The Difference Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?
  • How To Choose Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?

As a reliable manufacturer and supplier, JLH Electric is committed to providing high-quality cable ladder and cable trunking options. We offer customized thickness and sizes for bulk orders at competitive factory prices. Understanding the fundamental differences between cable ladder and cable trunking can simplify your decision-making process, In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between cable ladder and cable trunking. we aim to assist you in making an informed decision for your specific needs.

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1. What Is Cable Ladder?

Cable ladder consists of side rails with rungs connected in different sizes of width and height. Suited for power cables, control cables, instrumentation and telecommunications cables, heavy cables, cable bundles and pipes at long support spans. Cables can enter and exit flexibly.

  • The structure of cable ladders allow free airflow andthus has good ventilation and dissipation performance which is essential to avoid overheating of cables. It is far free from water, moisture or dust.
  • On cable ladders, the cables are visible, that makesit easy to detect faults and perform maintenance and replacement. And System’s fittings such as elbows, tees, crosses and risers make it easy to change direction or level of the cable ladder span.
  • JLH ladder cable trayscan be classified by materials into hot dip galvanized steel, cold galvanized steel sheet, aluminum alloy, and fiberglass cable trays, with specifications ranging from 2 meters to 10 meters long, 50mm to 1000 mm wide, and 25 mm to 300 mm high, or customized as clients’ requirements based on the project site conditions.

2. What Is Cable Trunking? 

Cable trunking that is also called as trough type cable trays, are fully enclosed ones without perforations, making them less effective in heat dissipation. 

  • Cable trunking issuitable for laying computer cables, Electrical, Data & Telecommunication cables, thermocouple cables, and other control cables in sensitive systems that generate minimum heat. In heavily corrosive environments, they can provide good shielding and protection for the cables and wires against interference.
  • The Covers of cable trunkingcan protect cabling from external elements such as UV, rain, snow/ice, dust and accidental contact that may damage the cables and short their life span. They also help in maintaining the integrity of the cables by preventing potential damage from environmental factors.
  • JLH cable trunking could be designed and customized in its raw materials and sizes based on the site demands. The normal sizes are 25-300mm deep, 50-1000mm wide, 2-10meters long, and 0.8-2.5 thick. The engineering solution would be according to China national standard and IEC standard on cable trunking industry and its actual loads bearing limit.
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3.What Are Similarities Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?

3.1 Similar Material

The cable ladder and cable trunking both could be made of raw materials such as Q235 steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, fiberglass according to different application and usage.

3.2 Similar Manufacturing Process

The cable ladder and cable trunking was made through similar production process including the cutting of raw materials, punching holes, sheet bending, welding, polishing procedures.

3.3 Similar Functions

Both cable ladders and cable trunking are mainly used for managing, supporting and protecting the electric cables and wires in project execution process.

3.4 Similar Installation and Maintenance Method

Both cable ladders and cable trunking need to be fixed to the steel support structure that is installed well ahead of time with bolts and screws, and to be maintained regularly through checking the parts or accessories whether damaged or loosened, and repair or replace them timely to ensure the installation quality and stability of the tray.

3.5 Similar Properties

Safety: JLH Cable ladders and cable trunking were both can safely support and protect the cables , reducing the risk of electrical hazards such as short circuits, cable damage, and fires.

Life Span: When installed and maintained properly and in good conditions, both cable ladders and cable trunking can have long service lives.

Corrosion Resistance: JLH cable ladders and cable trunking are often manufactured from materials such as galvanized steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, which offer good corrosion resistance. Especially, JLH has its own galvanizing pool for producing hot dip galvanized cable ladders and cable trunking with highly anti-corrosive performance, and its zinc thickness is over 65um.

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4. What Is The Difference Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?

4.1 Different Structure

Cable Ladder: Consists of side rails connected by crossbars, forming a ladder-like structure with open rungs or channels for cable laying.

Cable Trunking: Features a solid enclosure or channel that completely encloses the cables, providing protection and containment.

4.2 Different Cable Weight Support

Cable Ladder: Typically designed to support heavier loads due to its open structure and sturdy construction.

Cable Trunking: Suited for lighter cable loads as the enclosed design may have limitations in weight-bearing capacity.

4.3 Different Applications

Cable Ladder: Commonly used in industrial settings, large commercial buildings, and outdoor installations where heavy-duty cable support is required.

Cable Trunking: Often found in office buildings, residential complexes, and environments where aesthetics and cable concealment are prioritized.

4.4 Different Cable Protection

Cable Ladder: Provides less protection against environmental factors such as dust, moisture, and chemical exposure compared to cable trunking.

Cable Trunking: Offers better protection for cables due to its enclosed design, shielding them from external elements and reducing the risk of damage.

4.5 Different Accessibility Requirements

Cable Ladder: Offers easier access to cables for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting due to its open structure.

Cable Trunking: Requires more effort for accessing cables since it involves opening the enclosure, which may require specialized tools or equipment.

4.6 Different Appearance or Aesthetic Preferences

Cable Ladder: Often considered more industrial-looking and may not be suitable for environments where aesthetics are important.

Cable Trunking: Provides a neater and more visually pleasing appearance, making it preferable for applications where aesthetics matter.

4.7 Different Price

Cable Ladder: Generally more cost-effective compared to cable trunking due to its simpler design and construction.

Cable Trunking: Tends to be more expensive due to its enclosed structure and additional features for cable protection and aesthetics.

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5. How To Choose Right Cable Tray Between Cable Ladder And Cable Trunking?

The choice between cable ladder and cable trunking depends on factors such as Design requirement, cable support weight, accessibility requirements, environmental conditions, and aesthetic preferences.

When choosing between a cable ladder and a cable trunking, several factors need to be considered to ensure the right selection for your specific needs.

5.1 Design Requirement

Consider the design requirements of your installation. Take into account factors such as the installation location, available space, and aesthetic preferences. Determine whether a cable ladder or cable trunking is more suitable based on these design considerations.

5.2 Cable Support Requirements

Assess the specific application of the cables, whether it is for power, communication, network, control, or electric purposes. Analyze the weight, length, and diameter of the cables to determine which option, cable ladder or cable trunking, can provide adequate support.

5.3 Cable Protection Requirement

Evaluate the level of protection required for the cables. Consider factors such as the vulnerability to physical damage, exposure to dust or moisture, and the need for fire resistance. Choose between cable ladders and cable trunking based on their ability to meet these protection requirements.

5.4 Accessibility

Ensure that the chosen cable tray type allows for easy access for maintenance and cable replacement purposes. Consider factors such as accessibility to individual cables and the ease of routing or re-routing cables when making your decision.

5.5 Environmental Conditions

Take into account environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, corrosion resistance, and fire safety. Determine whether a cable ladder or cable trunking is better suited for the specific environmental conditions of the installation area.

5.6 Aesthetic Preferences

Consider the visual appeal and decorative requirements of the installation area. Choose a cable tray option that complements the overall design and style of the space.

5.7 Budget

Evaluate your cost plan and consider the financial implications of each option. Select the cable ladder or cable trunking that fits within your available budget while still meeting your functional requirements.

5.8 Local Regulation

Adhere to local regulations and standards. Ensure that the chosen cable ladder or cable trunking option complies with legal requirements and safety standards for your specific location.

You can make an informed decision when choosing between a cable ladder and a cable trunking by considering these factors. It is important to prioritize your specific needs in terms of design, cable support, protection, accessibility, environmental conditions, aesthetics, budget, and local regulations to select the most suitable cable tray for your project.

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6. Conclusion

JLH Cable Tray offers a variety of specifications of the cable trunking and cable ladders for options, to meet all sorts of demands from different projects. But sometimes, it is difficult for you to make the option in the types. JLH propose that if your budget is allowed, please consider the hot dip galvanized steel cable ladder or cable trunking, since it has highly anti-corrosive performance, and longer work life, especially for outdoor purpose. While if it is used in indoor and your budget is limited, we suggest the common galvanized steel cable ladder or cable trunking, since its price is more cost effective.

Any questions and inquiries, please let us know. Please tell us more on your projects situation and your demands, for us to give a reasonable and helpful proposal to you.

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