Odd angles of electrical conduits captured in black and white. Taken in an industrial building or architecture.

Different Types of Cable Trays

December 24, 2019 by josh

What should you know about the different types of cable trays?

  1. Types of Cable Trays
  2. Cable Tray Materials
  3. Cable Tray Finishes


Organize your cables by using cable trays. Cable trays can help protect your precious cables from dust and damage. They also organize your cables and support all types of wiring. If you haven’t used these for your building, you’re seriously missing out.

There are different types of cable trays available on the market that’s used for different types of wiring. Each cable tray uses different materials to create a safe, durable, and cost-effective cable tray. For your different types of wiring, here are the cable trays you should use.


Types of Cable Trays

The types of cable trays you’ll see below are the most commonly used. The cable tray you’ll most likely end up using will depend on your building requirements. Each cable tray is suitable for different types of wiring.


Ladder types are used for supporting long wiring. This is the most commonly used type of tray. It can range from 12-30 feet. Without a cover, it provides the maximum flow of air for your cables. This is best used in areas where dust and heat accumulate the most.

Solid Bottom

Solid bottom cable trays lack ventilation, unlike the ladder-type. Electrical and telecommunication wires are most compatible with this type of cable tray. Moisture can build on these trays so it’s best to drill ventilation holes along the tray at varying intervals.


Trough cable trays are moderately ventilated and are available in various widths. It can be made from metal and non-metal materials.


Cable Tray Materials

Large steel factory warehouse

Most cable tray systems use materials that are corrosion resistant. Corrosion can happen very easily, especially if the wiring is placed in damp areas. To prevent corrosion using resistant material and coating can protect the tray and your wires. Even the environment of your wires is considered for the material to be used. The following are the most common cable tray materials:


Cable trays made from aluminum are resistant to corrosion and have high tensile strength. They’re very easy to install as they are lightweight and almost maintenance-free. Aluminum has a self-healing oxide film that protects the surface. This will make sure your tray will last as long as possible. Aluminum is also a non-magnetic material. If you’re worried about electrical losses, you can use this type of material for your tray.


Steel cable trays have superior mechanical strength and low-cost. Structurally, the quality of steel cable trays is much better compared to other materials as it uses a continuous roll-formed process. However, steel cable trays are very heavy and are also prone to corrosion unless treated properly.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a balance of high yield and creep strength. This material also works in accelerated ambient temperatures. It’s also roll-formed while also being resistant to dyes, and chemicals at high temperatures. The high levels of chromium and nickel combined with lower carbon levels in the components increase the corrosion resistance.

Depending on the stainless steel components and manufacturing process, you can get different effects that can be beneficial to your needs.


Cable Tray Finishes

Galvanized iron plate background Galvanized iron wall

Cable trays are coated to protect the tray itself and your wiring. The right finish will be entirely dependent on the type of wiring and the purpose you have. When choosing a cable tray finishes, these are the most common types:


The most popular finish for cable trays is a galvanized coat. It’s a cost-effective coating that protects the cable tray from different chemicals and has a self-healing function. If a part of your tray gets cut or accumulates scratches, the galvanized coating will cover up the scratches.

The cable tray is coated with zinc using electrolysis. The tray is dipped into a bath of zinc salts. The chemical reaction forms to create a protective film against zinc.


The pre-galvanized coating is produced through a rolling mill by passing steel coils through molten zinc. The coils are cut to size and then proceed to fabrication. However. Pre-galvanized steel is not recommended for outdoors or industrial environments.

Hot-dip Galvanized

Once the cable tray is created, the entire tray is bathed in molten zinc. This hot-dip method coats all surfaces — even edges, welds, and holes. You can get varying coat thicknesses depending on how long it’s submerged and how fast you remove it. Hot-dip Galvanized cable trays are much thick than other coats. This type of coating is recommended for outdoors and harsh industrial applications.


Key Takeaway

Different types of cable trays can be used to safely organize your wires in your building. If you can’t build a conduit or have limited space, a cable tray is a perfect solution for your problem. Each cable tray has different coats and builds that you can use to maximize the layout of your wiring. Talk to us at Trans-tech to learn more about cable trays by clicking here!

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