An In-depth Analysis for Optimal Cable Tray Support Span

Erkan Oterkus(University of Strathclyde)
Sung Wuk Jung(University of Strathclyde)


Nowadays, it is crucial to reduce the cost of the overall project so that the competitiveness of offshore oil and gas without compromising on quality or safety can be achieved. This study investigates how to define the longest cable tray support span considering constructability in order to reduce the number of supports which is a chief cost of a cable tray system. This study presents not only material and geometry frequently used for cable tray but also the formula to estimate the maximum cable load which can be installed within cable tray. To verify the longest span without increasing the strength(thickness) of cable tray, finite element modelling approach was employed based on ANSYS and comparisons were made between numerical analysis and simplified hand calculation. The constructability for the longer span obtained from finite element analysis has been validated in view of manual handling of the cable tray. It is shown that the optimal span suggested in this paper can lead to a better economic benefit without degrading the constructability. For instance, as the span is longer, the cost of material as well as construction manpower can be saved. It is also expected that this approach will contribute to enhance the competitiveness of offshore oil and gas.


Cable tray system; finite element method; ANSYS; oil and gas; offshore

Full Text:



Sieminski, A. 2014. International energy outlook. Energy information administration (EIA), 18.

IOSS. 2015. IOSS Introduction [Online]. Available: [Accessed].

Ekstrom, C.-M. & Wesley, D. 2017. Lateral-torsional Buckling of Steel Channel Beams. Division of Structural Engineering Chalmers University Of Technology Gothenburg.

Kalupa, C.J., 1977. Guide for design of electrical cable tray systems [J]. IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, (6), pp.533-538.

Desmond, T.P. and Dermitzakis, S.N., 1987. Effective-length factors for buckling of cable-tray supports [J]. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 103(3), pp.313-332.

Reigles, D.G., Brachmann, I., Johnson, W.H. and Gürbüz, O., 2016. Test-based approach to cable tray support system analysis and design: Behavior and test methods [J]. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 302, pp.27-36.

Masoni, P., Pasquale, G.A., Mazzieri, C. and Morgana, A., 1989. Seismic tests of cable tray systems.

Huang, B., Lu, W. and Mosalam, K.M., 2017. Shaking table tests of the cable tray system in nuclear power plants [J]. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 31(4), p.04017018.

Khalid, M. and Baofeng, H., 2019. Performance-based Earthquake Engineering Methodology For Seismic Evaluation Of Cable Tray Systems For Nuclear Power Plants.

De Normalisation, C. E. 1993. ‘ENV 1993-1-1 Eurocode 3, design of steel structures, Part 1.1—General rules and rules for buildings. European Committee for Standardization, Brussels, Belgium.

EN, B. 2005. 10088-1: 2005,«Stainless Steels-Part1: List of stainless steels». CEN.

EN, B. 2014. 10088-2: 2014. Stainless steels: technical delivery conditions for sheet/plate and strip of corrosion resisting steels for general


Oglaend. 2020b. Oglaend system product [Online]. Available: [Accessed].

NEMA 2017. NEMA VE 1-2017 Metal Cable Tray Systems. National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Commission, I. I. E. 2006. IEC 61537: Cable management–Cable tray systems and cable ladder systems. Geneva (Switzerland): International Electrotechnical Commission.

Association, N. F. P. 2011. NFPA 70: National Electrical Code, NationalFireProtectionAssoc.

University of Alberta. 2020. Buckling [Online]. Available: [Accessed].

Waters, T. R., Putz-Anderson, V. & Garg, A. 1994. Applications manual for the revised NIOSH lifting equation.

B-Line. 2020a. Cost saving calculator [Online]. Available: [Accessed].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Erkan Oterkus, Sung Wuk Jung

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
: +65 65881289 :