How to Choose Strain Reliefs or Cable Glands?

A strain relief or cable gland can offer protection to cables and wires by securing the cable of a power cord to a panel of electrical equipment. Both can help protect pieces of cordage from stress and damage as they run through the panel of equipment. While strain reliefs and cable glands do not relieve stain on a cable as it exits the equipment, it does reduce the strain on the electrical connections and circuitry inside the equipment.

There are a number of strain relief types, thus the first step in determining what type you need is to look at the application at hand. For applications necessitating small to medium-sized cables, several options are available. For instance, aluminum strain reliefs provide the best performance for larger cable sizes. Depending on the application, one may require a strain relief with an integral flex relief. Flex relief protects cords from stress that is applied perpendicular to the axis of its entry into the equipment. Lastly, it is important to select the correct size strain relief for the cord with which it will be used.

Another important aspect to consider when sourcing strain reliefs or cable glands is the method of attachment to the cord. This simply refers to the way in which the strain relief/cable gland and cord are assembled together. While many strain reliefs/cable glands slide on over the cord and then are secured onto the jacket, others are molded permanently onto the cable. Molded strain reliefs/cable glands bond to the cable to keep it in place while filling the junction. There is also a mechanical snap-on variety of strain reliefs/cable glands. This type is not liquid-tight and snaps into cutouts with a squared or flat side.

The materials being used for any application are very critical to the functionality of your operations. Strain reliefs/cable glands are no exception. In fact, they are available in a number of different materials, such as nickel-plated brass, nylon, and stainless steel. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a great option for equipment that is around food preparation as it does not retain oils, chemicals, or bacteria that can spoil or poison food. In particular, nylon fittings installed in a threaded connection and exposed to high temperatures should be retained with a sealing compound to prevent loosening when temperatures fluctuate.

As strain reliefs/cable glands can be threaded and assembled in many ways, there are various mounting methods one can opt for. For example, mounting threads can be threaded directly into the panel of equipment, or they can be eased through a clearance hole in the panel and secured with a locking nut. Specifically, the slide-on strain relief/cable gland is threaded and is equipped with a nut to offer two methods of attachment to the panel. The first method consists of threading a hole to fit the size being used and then threading the strain relief/cable gland into the panel. The other method requires that you determine the diameter of the cutout hole and utilize a strain relief/cable gland that is close to the size of the hole.

The last specification to look at with regard to strain reliefs/cable glands is body style. Though body styles vary between applications, the two most common configurations include dome style and flex style. Dome style strain reliefs/cable glands are designed to protect the wire from entering the equipment while flex style strain reliefs/cable glands offer flexible bend protection to the cord entering the equipment. Moreover, flex style strain reliefs/cable glands minimize the possibility of the power cord kinking when the cord is pulled taut at different angles. The spiral-shaped spring wraps around the cord, providing more strength to the cord where it is most vulnerable to damage.

If you find yourself in need of strain reliefs/cable glands for your operations, rely on Just Connectors. Just Connectors provides strain reliefs for various military and civilian applications, all of which have been vetted for quality, reliability, and functionality. Get started today with a quote request which you can access via our Instant RFQ service and see how Just Connectors can fulfill your operational requirements. 


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