WesBell THHN/PVC Tray Cable starts with the smallest size of 8 AWG and gets as big as 4/0. It comes in 3 and 4 conductor options with THHN insulation and a black PVC jacket. It's used to supply power to motors or for connection to other power devices in industrial settings. This tray cable is typically installed in tray and raceways but can also be installed as a Direct Burial cable without the use of conduit or tray.
Tray Cable Construction
The term cable confirms that there are multiple conductors that are bundled together to form the entire cable. Tray cable starts with class B compressed bare copper strands designed to be non-flexible less expensive for a one time installation. The copper is covered with THHN thermoplastic insulation resisting high heat and containing a nylon coating. The only conductor without insulation is the ground wire, typically smaller in size when compared to the rest of the conductors.
Alongside the ground wire inside the cable jacket is filler used to create a more round cable once the jacket covers the conductors. Without the filler the cable would hug the conductors and create a bumpy round cable. Finally, a PVC jacket wraps around the conductors, ground and filler to complete the cable construction.
Tray Cable Approvals
WesBell buys Southwire brand which is approved for the following: ASTM, UL1277, ICEA S-58-679, UL1685, ICEA T-29-520, IEEE 1202/FT4 and ICEA S-95-658. UL approves the cables and stamps their UL number on the cable if and when the cable is actually UL approved. Here is a statement on UL’s website per UL1277 “The conductors for these cables are described in Sections 9.2 (NEC types) and 9.3 (other conductors). Cables are surface marked with the conductor type letters and/or with the temperature and (wet, dry) ratings applicable to the insulation. Cables for direct burial are so marked on the surface. Cables that have a sunlight-resistant jacket are surface marked (sun res or sunlight resistant).” As you can see UL is very specific about the tests they conduct and how manufacturers should specify the approvals, so you can view the cable to be sure it is exactly what the website listing claims it to be.
Tray Cable Applications
Most often it is installed and left for the life of the application. Cables that are meant to be handled such as extension cords, are designed to be more flexible and easy to handle. Tray cables are far from flexible but there’s no need for the added cost in manufacturing when the cable will simply sit in the ground for its full life. Customers typically upgrade to this cable for underground use because it’s approved to be installed directly in the ground without conduit or raceway. However, it’s also quite common to put try cable in raceway, conduit or tray.
It’s used as a power supply to motors, supply to power devices in industrial settings and direct burial applications. When 3 or 4 conductors are needed and the size of the conductors range from 8 AWG to 500 MCM, tray cable is a common cable to choose.
Tray Cable Manufacturers
Several manufacturers make it and distribute it around the world. WesBell uses Southwire and Encore Wire because they are companies that seek additional approvals, have quality as main objectives and keep huge amounts of inventory on hand ready to ship. Since WesBell likes to stand behind their products we also stand behind our vendors, which means we specifically choose our vendors through their professional service and quality product. We know that we are associated with the quality of product even though we didn’t manufacture it, but we can still examine it and approve it as industry professionals and to be sure our customers receive a good product whether they understand it or not.
- Bare copper
- THHN insulation
- PVC jacket
- ICEA S-58-679
- ICEA T-29-520
- IEEE 1202/FT4
- ICEA S-95-658
- Supply power to motors
- Power devices in industrial settings
- Tray / Conduit / Raceway
- Direct Burial