Cope Cable Tray

Cope Cable Tray, or ladder tray, is a viable alternative to conduit, and is used to support electric power, signal, control, instrumentation and communication cables. Cope Cable Tray is fabricated in a wide range of styles, including wire mesh, ladder, ventilated trough, and solid-bottom trough. 

Selecting the Proper Cope Cable Tray System

A number of factors must be considered when selecting the proper Cope Cable Tray system and planning the installation:

• Material and Finish

• Types of Cable Tray

• NEMA Class

• Cavity Size – Load Depth/Width of Tray

• Length of Straight Sections

• Radius of Fittings

• Cable Tray Support Locations

• Electrical Grounding

In this Cope Cable Tray Tech Talk article, we will focus first on selecting proper materials and finish.

Materials and Finish--The material selection is based on the environmental conditions and economic considerations for the project.  Cope Cable Tray is available in the following materials:

Steel – Pre-Galvanized--Hot Dip Mill-Galvanized steel (ASTM-A-653-G90 CQ) is zinc coated by a hot dip process. Steel strip from a coil is fed through a continuous zinc coater which cleans, fluxes and coats the steel with molten zinc. After cooling, the steel is recoiled.The pregalvanized coating conforms to ASTM A-924 and provides 1.25 oz. zinc coating/sq. ft. of material. That is, 1.25 oz. total weight of coatings on both sides of one sq. ft. of material. Mill galvanized ladder is generally used indoors or in locations not exposed to the elements or corrosives.

Steel – Hot Dip Galvanized After Fabrication--In hot dip galvanizing after fabrication (HDGAF), the finished part is immersed in a bath of molten zinc (ASTM 123). This method results in complete zinc coverage and a thicker coating than pregalvanized or electro-plated steel.  The zinc coating is typically 2.6 MIL or 1.5 oz./sq. ft. of surface area. This is the coating of choice for applications where protection from severe corrosion is a design factor.

Stainless Steel--Type 304 and Type 316 stainless steel material in accordance with ASTM-A-240.

Aluminum--Aluminum material in accordance with AA-6063-T6. Aluminum ladder trays are suitable for most outdoor applications and offer reductions in total installed costs.


For extremely corrosive areas, Unistrut Service Company of Ohio offers Cope Cable Tray in fiberglass.

Special Finishes--For extremely corrosive areas Unistrut Service Company of Ohio can also supply a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) coating over aluminum or uncoated steel.  This is applied using the fluidized bed process to a nominal thickness of 12 mils.  Weathering steel is also available; contact Unistrut Service Company of Ohio for availability.

Learn More About Cope Cable Tray

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