03 Feb Types Of Raceways
A raceway is an extremely important component in the structure and design of various electrical systems such as complex data centers and blade servers. Sometimes referred to as a ‘raceway system,’ a raceway is an enclosed conduit that creates a physical pathway for electric wiring. What are the different types of raceways used for electrical work?
Raceway systems act as protection for cables and wires against different conditions such as heat, humidity, water interference, corrosion, and all types of physical threats. Playing a critical role in electric wiring, raceways are responsible for protecting the inner workings of electric systems to prevent any damage from occurring. Installed according to the National Electrical CODE (NEC), raceway systems also protect people and properties from electric hazards.
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Here at Gracon, we have over 40 years of industrial and commercial electrical experience. This includes the supply and installation of different cables and conductors for all types of conduit and raceway systems.
Our experts have extensive experience in all varieties of raceway systems such as:
- Fiberglass and composite materials
- Galvanized steel
- Electric metallic tubing
- PVC coated GRC
- Cable tray
- Ladder tray
We also specialize in cable and wire systems (XHHW, THHN/THW copper, AC, MC, HCFC, etc), electrical equipment (Square D, Eaton, Allen Bradley, G.E. Siemens, etc), and electrical installations.
Today, we will be discussing the different types of raceway systems that we have expertise in so you can learn more about each one and build an understanding of how they work.
Different Types of Raceway Systems
All in all, there are three types of common raceway systems:
- Galvanized steel (flexible and rigid)
- Non-metallic conduit or PVC (flexible and rigid)
- Flexible metal conduits
Galvanized Steel Raceway
This type of raceway system is primarily used for industrial and commercial purposes. Due to its supreme strength, galvanized steel raceways help protect wires that are located in corrosive environments. Galvanized steel is among the most popular steel types because of its extended durability, having the strength and formability of steel plus the corrosion protection of the zinc-iron coating.
Non-metallic Conduit (PVC) Raceway
Non-metallic or conduit raceway systems are typically used in homes and underground. This type of raceway is non-conductive and water-resistant.
Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC) Raceway
Flexible metal conduit raceway systems are ideal for wiring that needs to curve or turn in different directions during its pathway. These are great for areas that experience high levels of vibrations as the flexibility of the raceway protects the wires against sudden jolts and movements. One drawback of FMC raceways, however, is that they are not suitable for highly corrosive environments.
Other Types of Raceways
Altogether, very few types of conductors are rated to be used without a raceway system. Most conductors require some form of protection to prevent any damage.
With the most common raceways being a conduit, both metallic and non-metallic, and sheet-metal wire-ways featuring different configurations, let’s take a brief look at the types of raceways regularly used as well as their trade names:
- Rigid metal conduit (RGS) – These can be made from heavy-wall steel or aluminum material.
- Intermediate metal conduit (IMC) – This is typically constructed out of steel conduit.
- Electric non-metallic tubing (ENT) – This is a flexible, corrugated plastic raceway.
- Electro Metallic tubing (EMT) – These raceways are thin-walled steel conduits.
- Flexible metallic tubing – This is a flexible, spiral metal conduit.
- Nonmetallic underground conduit (PVC) – Also known as Schedule 40 (heavy wall) or schedule 20 – EB – these raceways are typically used underground within concrete.
- Surface metal and non-metallic raceways – These are wire molded.
- Liquidtite flexible metallic conduit – These raceways are flexible metal conduits and have PVC waterproofing covering.
- Cellular metal floor raceways – These are installed in underfloor ducts.
- Multioutlet assembly – These are plug molded.
- Cellular concrete floor raceways.
- Auxiliary gutters.
- Condulets and other similar fittings.
As you can see, different types of raceways can be buried underground or installed on the surface. Raceways that are buried or underground are usually installed under flooring and used in buildings that feature many cables and wires. Surface raceways are typically located in walls and found in buildings such as residential homes and offices.
From wiring new construction to installing different types of electrical products, Gracon has experienced experts to get the job done properly and safely. Get in touch now to ensure your electrical systems are protected with the right type of raceway required. We work to protect your home, your workspace, you, your colleagues, and your family.
Find out more about our services here.
Conduit vs Raceway
A common query many people have is “what are the differences between raceway systems and conduits?” When discussing wire management, both raceways and conduits are used interchangeably. However, the two are different tools that actually have different roles. Let’s examine conduit vs raceway.
Electrical conduits are metal tubes. These protect electrical wiring and cables. When wires are fed through the tubing, they are protected from moisture, dirt, and dust debris. Once the wiring has been installed into a conduit, it becomes very difficult to access. Furthermore, electrical conduits typically come in a metallic silver color meaning they are typically better suited for industrial applications.
Cable raceways are a form of electrical conduit but are far more versatile. These raceways are more flexible and suited to a wider range of applications. Unlike electrical conduits, cable raceways allow you to access the wiring inside its tube after the installation process. Cable raceways are easier to use and install and come in a wide variety of materials that can look more appealing for residential use.
Raceway systems can also be referred to as “surface mounted wire molding.” These systems act as channels for cables and wires to run through. Whether you want to mount them on a wall, over a work desk, or underground, they allow you to conceal wires and cables to make the environment safer and tidier looking.
Here at Gracon, our electric division can help conceal wires in all types of locations. Whether you want versatile cable management at home or in offices and industrial environments, our engineers will safely and properly install raceways for protection against damage and prevent any dangers.
With so many types of raceways, it can be hard to find the right one for what you want. Below is a brief summary of what raceways you should consider for different environments:
- Home – A latching raceway or corner duct.
- Offices – A latching raceway or corner duct would suffice for professional sites as well as J Channels. Wiremold’s OFR Series Overfloor Raceways are also a good choice in high-traffic areas.
- Outdoors – Wire guards are an ideal option for outdoor use.
- Commercial/industrial settings – Extruded Aluminum Surface Raceways are a good choice for industrial settings as well as outdoors. If you’re working with low-fiber, low-voltage power, or communication cables but still require greater protection than wire trays provide, Cable Runway Support Systems are a suitable option.
There are raceway systems for all types of locations from indoors to outdoors. Contact Gracon now for safe and correct raceway installation.
Gracon Raceway Systems
Raceway systems are critically important in protecting wires and cables as well as those around electrical equipment. Although they are essentially tracking for hiding cables, raceways are far more complex with many different types suited to unique applications.
If you require raceways at home, in the office, outside, or in an industrial space, get in touch with Gracon now so our experts can help protect your electrical system and keep you and those around you safe. Contact us today to learn more.