What Is a Cable Gland Plate?

When it comes to electrical enclosures, safety and efficiency are key. If cables and enclosure interiors are exposed to water, liquids or excessive strain, they can fail, resulting in inconvenient downtime. Cable gland plates help prevent these issues by providing a lasting, flexible seal and cable access to enclosures.

Cable gland plates are essential for enclosures requiring cable entry and exit. With the proper gland plates, you can ensure your enclosure remains sealed against moisture and damage while your cables stay organized and strain-free. Your electrical enclosures need the right gland plate size and material to guarantee everything functions correctly and complies with safety regulations.

If you’re looking for a convenient, durable component to assist with your cable applications, gland plates are ideal for your enclosure. Let’s look at cable gland plates, what they’re made of and how they can benefit your electrical enclosure.

What Is a Gland Plate?

Gland plates — also called cable gland plates and cable entry plates — are removable panels or sheets that make up part of an enclosure. These panels have a gasket and allow cables to enter an enclosure without compromising National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA) enclosure rating standards. Gland plates allow more effortless drilling and cable insertion than standard enclosure walls and can be swapped out for other plate materials and drill configurations as needed.

What Is the Purpose of a Gland Plate?

Cable gland plates allow the insertion of incoming and outgoing cables when there is limited installation space. Gland plates, like cable glands, relieve strain, protect enclosure conditions and act as durable connection facilitators. Many cable entry plates come with a pierceable membrane through which the cables are pushed. The membrane can have varied or identical entry points — different diameters allow cables of various sizes to enter the membrane.

Gland plates allow multiple cables to enter or exit an enclosure easily, reducing cable strain and maintaining the enclosure’s integrity. Additionally, gland plates can cover gaps and cut-outs from previous installations that no longer need to remain open. When a gland plate is paired with a cable gland, the enclosure is completely sealed from any water or liquid entry, and the cables are protected from strain and damage.

Gland Plate Materials

Gland plates for electrical enclosures come in several material options and thicknesses. Different materials are necessary to ensure enclosures can perform correctly without sacrificing a complete seal. Aluminum, brass and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) are the preferred materials for cable gland plates. Each has its benefits — choosing the right material allows you to maximize the durability and efficiency of your cable systems.

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is excellent for gland plates because it’s non-magnetic and lightweight. However, aluminum can become distorted when large cables are used unless you opt for a thicker plate.
  • Brass: Brass, like aluminum, is non-magnetic. It comes in several thicknesses and varieties and doesn’t distort with large cables like aluminum. Also, brass is highly malleable without sacrificing durability — it can handle much higher temperatures without losing form or strength than other metals.
  • TPE: TPE is a polymer mix with elastomeric and thermoplastic properties. The resulting material is similar to rubber — it’s highly flexible, making it ideal for cable holding. A TPE gland plate can handle extreme temperatures, allowing for a more convenient installation than traditional gland plates. Each cable is pushed through the membrane, which fits snugly to the cable and prevents liquid entry while reducing strain.

The material you choose will affect the gland plate build. Aluminum and brass gland plates come with holes for securing the plate and a smooth surface — cable holes must be drilled and smoothed on-site to get the correct cable configuration. TPE cable entry plates, however, have holes outlined on the front, allowing you to install the plate and choose where you want the cables installed without drilling multiple separate holes.

Choosing the Right Size Gland Plate

The right gland size plate is critical for your electrical enclosure. Without the correct size, you won’t get a complete seal, and there won’t be enough space for all the cables to enter. Carefully measure the spot where your plate will go — you need exact dimensions so you aren’t left with gaps or excess coverage. The right size plate keeps your enclosures secure and ensures you don’t overpay for the material.

You’ll need to consider several measurements when selecting your plate size, depending on your chosen material. For brass and aluminum plates, you’ll use the plate’s length, width and thickness to find the size you want. Then, you’ll drill into the plate according to your cable size and configuration. For TPE, it’s slightly different:

  • Plate dimensions: These are the dimensions of the entire plate — the maximum area the plate will cover once installed.
  • Cut-out: TPE gland plates list a measurement slightly smaller than the overall plate dimensions. These dimensions are for the cut-out sections where the cables will be inserted. You can’t use the space outside the cut-out dimensions for cord insertion, as they’re only there for support.
  • Cables and diameter range: These dimensions let you know what range of cable sizes can go into the entry plate. If your cords are outside of this range, they either won’t fit or will create gaps that compromise the enclosure’s security when inserted.

Consider all the above measurements when selecting and setting up your gland plate. If your cable, plate and cut-out dimensions are off, your gland plate will fail to perform correctly, making it useless for electrical enclosure use.

Explore Cable Entry Plates From AerosUSA

Gland plates are critical to maintaining safe, durable electrical enclosures. When paired with cable glands, they allow cord access into enclosures without compromising the safety and function of interior components. Without gland plates, cables are exposed to more wear and tear, and you increase the risk of water getting into your electrical enclosure. Maintaining your enclosure’s integrity and function is essential, and AerosUSA offers a range of cable entry plates to fit your unique application needs.

We’re one of the most dependable companies in the cable and wire protection industry, so you can depend on AerosUSA to provide high-quality, lasting products for your projects. Our premium products are designed by Flexa GmbH — built for high-stress industrial uses — our superior materials and design will withstand intense wear and tear.

We’re dedicated to providing unmatched customer service and rapid turnaround times — if you’re interested in our cable protection products or have any questions, contact us online today.

Reviewed for accuracy by: George Sims.
George Sims is an engineering and service-oriented leader in Cable Protection and Cable Management Products. Focus is on 100% commitment to customer satisfaction. AerosUSA is a small, agile, independent company whose focus is on our customers.