made great leaps in material resilience and fiber optic networks are mostly immune to environmental threats, however poor installation will thwart cable advancements. Without proper cable management, wind, vegetation, corrosion, and thermal and UV degradation will interfere with the installation over time, leading to costly repairs and outages. The good news is that there are advancements in materials for cable management. The challenge is not all materials are equal and identifying the right products may not be intuitive. Many products may claim outdoor use, but few are capable of withstanding extended exposure to the outside plant transmission environment. Many cable management solutions utilize polyamide molded components. Let’s explore how to choose the best options.
Polyamide (PA), commonly called nylon, is intrinsically hygroscopic. This means it is susceptible to environmental moisture and will fluctuate its water content based on the relative humidity. Hot and humid environments = soft, flexible nylon. Cold and dry environments = more rigid nylon. This fluctuation is especially problematic in a support device. Added complications are a dynamic environment from wind oscillations and intense UV exposure from constant sun. To counter these destructive influences, innovative materials have been developed that withstand the elements for true outside applications.
PA6/12 is a formulation of nylon specifically designed for extended UV exposure and galvanic corrosion. It is a recent entrant to the cable management market and this formulation has exceptional properties for outdoor performance at a moderate premium over standard nylon prices. It offers the overall best value for performance compared to other materials, especially in smaller or more vulnerable components. PA6/12 has the additional benefit of a reduced carbon footprint due to lower energy consumption in processing. Panduit is the first to bring this innovative solution to a range of cable management products such as cable ties.
Weather resistant nylon (PA66UV)
Carbon is added as a stabilizer to standard nylon to provide an extended resistance to UV exposure. This is a good option for cost; however, the improved resistance is moderate in thinner components. In intense UV environments, this option is best suited for larger or thicker components that do not have flexible sections. Panduit has an extensive line of products featuring UV resistant nylon for nearly all cable management needs including a comprehensive line of cable support products like the aerial support tie.
Acetal has great environmental capabilities. This thermoplastic is naturally resistant to UV degradation and offers very good chemical resistance. It has the longest track record for real world use in outdoor applications as it has been used in telecom applications for over 40 years. Panduit offers an innovative line of strapping in acetal that provides excellent strength and versatility due to the strap and head design.
Identifying the right material for the application
Black is the standard color for so many of the cable management products on the market. This can make it difficult to distinguish between appropriate materials for challenging outdoor conditions. Understanding the differences between material properties is the first step, then choosing the product that is most effective for the application becomes clearer. Panduit offers the largest selection of materials and product types to make installations simpler. The Panduit product selection guide makes it easy to pair the right product to the application.
Simple solutions for fast, flexible installations
Panduit is a global leader in cable management products, offering a wide selection of cable ties, specialty application ties, mounts, clamps, and tools. For outside plant applications, Panduit offers various solutions in both application-specific styles and materials. When attaching cables to aerial support systems, there are a few solutions that offer speed, flexibility, simplicity and, most importantly, durability for extended outdoor use. Recommended solutions tailored to outside plant installations include Panduit aerial support ties, Dura-ty™ extruded strapping system, UV resistant edge clips, and high-performance locking ties in PA6/12 material. While there are many additional styles, these types have been specifically engineered for aerial support applications and extreme outdoor resilience. Each solution is created to speed the installation and make the process simple and flexible so fewer components are needed.