Why Use Cable Protection?

Why protect cables?

Stress on cables and wires in an industrial environment

Particularly cables and wires deployed on industrial applications can be subject to various types of stress. For example, mechanical stress, vibrations or motions can damage the cable and can lead to cable breaks. Such breaks can cause power supply disruptions, defective signal transmissions or even entire machine breakdowns. Another source of trouble can be electric devices causing electromagnetic faults which may lead to signal distortions or malfunctions.

Humidity, dust and corrosive substances can also damage the cable insulation material and can lead to short circuits or leakage current. This happens relatively often when cables are exposed to humid or chemically aggressive environments. Another factor not to be underestimated is stress on the lines caused by a high ambient temperature. High or low temperatures can affect the performance of cables and wires. Overheating can lead to cable failures. Low temperatures reduce the bending capabilities (flexibility) of cables. Cables can also be worn out through mechanical stress such as friction, e.g. when the cable is in motion or runs over a sharp edge.

Facing increasing electrification, it is important to consider the above stated issues and to take appropriate action in order to ensure steady reliability and effective performance of the cables and thus of the machines and of the plants. Therefore, regular inspections, proper installation techniques, the application of high-quality materials and protective systems such as cable protection systems are essential. Implementing such measures can improve the reliability and the efficiency of cables and wires which in the end leads to trouble-free power supply and or signal transmission and thus preventively avoids cost-intensive breakdowns of machines and plants.

Damaged cables on a machine lacking appropriate cable protection Non-protected cables and wires are often subject to rodent bites

What is a corrugated conduit?

Corrugated conduits made of plastics are deployed in many areas of our daily life. The production industry, the mechanical and plant engineering sector, the construction industry, the freight traffic and passenger transport sector as well as railway infrastructure systems and the shipbuilding industry use such corrugated plastic conduit. But what exactly is corrugated plastic conduit and why is it so versatile?

Materials and properties

A corrugated plastic conduit consists of flexible plastic material and features a corrugated shape. The corrugated structure provides the conduit both increased flexibility and enhanced stability, thus making the conduit a perfect fit for varied applications. Corrugated conduits can be made of various materials such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Broad protection in numerous fields of applications

One major advantage of corrugated plastic conduits is their specific properties in terms of resistance against different chemical agents and liquids. Depending on the material applied and on the composition, the conduits can also be resistant to temperature, UV radiation and rodent bites. These properties make the conduit a perfect fit for numerous fields of applications such as renewable energies, agriculture and forestry and the building industry. Also the electrical industry uses corrugated plastic conduit to protect cables against mechanical stress (shock protection, anti-crushing protection, cut and impact protection), humidity, dust and other detrimental external influences

Easy installation, easy handling

Another benefit of corrugated plastic conduits is the fact they can be installed and handled easily. They can be cut to the desired length and easily formed and bended due to their flexibility and stability.

Single-layer and multi-layer technology

Corrugated plastic conduit can be produced with a single layer of material, but it can also be produced with different materials and are then called multi-layer corrugated conduits. Such a multi-layer corrugated plastic conduit combines the best properties of the two different materials used for its production. Furthermore, in comparison to a single-layer tubing, a multi-layer conduit features an anti-abrasion coefficient. This is particularly relevant when the conduit is exposed to high mechanical stress. When the conduit has undergone significant outside abrasion, the colored inner layer becomes visible and thus indicates the rate of wear.

It all depends on the demands on your application

Corrugated plastic conduits are a cost-efficient and versatile option, suitable for numerous fields of applications. Selecting the appropriate corrugated plastic conduit follows the specific requirements of your application such as resistance to pressure, impact absorption capabilities, vibration tolerance, temperature range, environmental conditions and chemical resistance requirements.

Note every corrugated plastic conduit is equally suitable to be applied for motions, outdoor positioning, underground applications, exposure to heat or flames, or retrofitting. However, the appropriate choice and proper handling will offer a reliable and long-term solution.

A ROHRflex protective conduit in action to protect harnesses on automation machines Multi-layer corrugated conduit in the rail traffic sector applied between two railway carriages

What is relevant when using corrugated conduit as cable bunchers?

Before a corrugated conduit is applied as a cable buncher, different aspects have to be taken into consideration. First, the number of cables led through the conduit is relevant. The outer diameter determines the inner diameter of the conduit and thus the space available for the cables to be combined. Make sure the selected conduit size offers sufficient space for the cables so that the cables can be threaded and fed through easily.

The decision has to be made whether the conduit is to be a closed conduit or open conduit, i.e. a so-called slitted corrugated conduit. The slitted corrugated conduit is particularly suitable for terminated cables. You can select from the products of our ROHRflex DUO product range offering two-part conduits which are divisible and resealable, or you can choose from our comfortable FLEXAzip product range. These systems are particularly suitable for subsequent installations with long cable lengths. Ideal for retrofitting applications.

The appropriate connector for the entire protective conduit system

Our comprehensive FLEXAquick connector range provides for quick and easy assembly of conduits as a complete solution. The one-piece connector stands out due to its compact and solid structural shape and allows easy mounting and detaching without any tools. Various shapes are available: straight, 90°, 45°, Y-shape, T-shape or flange style. FLEXAquick connectors fit any FLEXA corrugated conduit and are available up to protection class IP 69K.

Proper cutting of corrugated conduits

If a corrugated conduit is to be cut to a pre-defined length, please consider the following advice. In order to retain optimal performance and tightness properties of the conduit in combination with a connector, the corrugated conduit has to be cut in a straight cut in between the corrugations by using a cutter or ideally a specific conduit cutter.


FAQ – Frequently asked questions

what are corrugated conduits used for?

Corrugated conduits are applied to tie cables into bundle and provide maximum cable protection.

What are the available diameters for corrugated conduits?

Corrugated conduits are available from diameters of 10 mm up to 106 mm when using our Multi-Conduits.

Corrugated conduits of which materials are available?

Corrugated conduits are made of PA 6 plastics or PA 12 plastics, with PA 6 plastics being the standard material. Depending on the intended application and on the requested specifications, however, different materials are applied.

What are the available colors of corrugated conduits?

Corrugated conduits have become established in different colors such as black, grey or orange.

What should be taken into consideration when selecting a corrugated conduit?

When a corrugated tubing is to be selected, the intended application should be taken into close consideration. In addition, demanded features such as flexibility, compressive strength, requested official approvals or the inner and outer diameter are relevant as well.

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.