Cable Drum Handling & Laying Cables | A Guide from Nexans

Published 05 Jul 2021

Handling Cable Drums

Handling Cable Drums

Extract from Instructions for Transportation, Handling, Storage of the Drums & Laying of the Cables | Sept 2014

Cable Drum Handling

Deformation of Cable Sheath Jacket

When Handling Cables

The following information provides advice on the handling of cable drums published by Nexans – always consult with your client or local electric utility to ascertain local preferences and procedures for the Laying, Pulling & Handling of Cable Drums (LV – EHV).

  1. The cable must not be pulled with a tension above the maximum pulling tension
  2. The cable must not be subjected to a bend smaller than the minimum bending radius (given as the “minimum bending radius during installation” and not to be confused with the “minimum bending radius after installation”)
  3. The cable must not be subjected to lateral pressure that exceeds the sidewall bearing pressure

A combination or action of any of the above three items, even without exceeding any of the manufacturers recommendations, can result in the elongation of outer layer of the cable and form a “rucking” or “corrugation” of the cable sheath during installation. Deformation of the sheath during installation is known to occur when the sheath material is softened by elevated temperatures, such as the range of PVC sheathing materials, particularly when the cable is installed in warmer ambient temperatures (near and above 30°C).

Note that actual cable surface temperature can be higher than ambient temperature. It is also known to occur when the outer layer is thinner than a full sheath, such as may occur when installing a Nylon covered cable, which is covered by a thin Sacrificial Sheath.

Such deformation should be monitored to avoid an escalation to very severe puckering, which could induce the tearing of the sheath. Rucking, corrugation, and puckering can be reduced by the use of lubricating substances which will reduce the friction experienced at turns or bends on fixed deflectors and on rollers and even on long straight sections.

Note that longer runs and heavier cables will experience this deformation more often.

Corrective action includes the pausing of the installation pull and the easing of tension and pulling the affected cable length past the bend or roller or friction point that is causing the effect. Once the affected area is moved along, there is often a re‐settling of the elongated sheath and the effect is reduced. Stopping and allowing the cable to cool, will tend to set the corrugations in place and they will not easily be removed. Where this deformation takes place, there is a small reduction of the thickness where the material is stretched, but such deformation as a whole is considered to be of minor consequence. Usually, no repair or corrective action is required on the cable itself. Repair is only necessary when there is a breaking or tearing of the sheath – should you have any technical or commercial enquiries on the subject of Cable Drum Handling please do not hesitate to contact us.

 ➡ Download the Document | Instructions for Transportation, Handling, Storage of the Drums & Laying of the Cables | Sept 2014

Thorne & Derrick are Official & Approved GMP4 Contracted Distributors for Nexans Power Accessories (UK) Ltd.

Cable Pulling & Laying Equipment

Suppliers & Distributors

Thorne & Derrick distribute the most extensive range of Low & High Voltage Cable Installation & Electrical Distribution Equipment to the Power Transmission & Distribution industry in the onshore and offshore wind, solar, rail, oil/gas, data centre, battery storage and utility sectors – this includes the most extensive range of Cable Pulling & Cable Laying Equipment to enable the installation of low, medium and high voltage power cables into underground trench or duct.

We service UK and international clients working on underground cables, overhead lines, substations and electrical construction at LV, 11kV/33kV and up to EHV transmission and distribution voltages.

Key Products: MV-HV Cable Joints & Terminations, Cable Cleats, Duct Seals, Cable Transits, Underground Cable Protection, Copper Earth Tapes, Cable Jointing Tools, Feeder Pillars, Cable Ducting, Earthing & Lightning Protection, Electrical Safety, Cable Glands, Arc Flash Protection & Fusegear.

Distributors for: 3M Electrical, ABB, Alroc, Band-It, Cembre, Centriforce, CMP, Elastimold, Ellis Patents, Emtelle, Furse, Lucy Zodion, Nexans Euromold, Pfisterer, Polypipe, ProGARM, Prysmian, and Roxtec.

  • Scope –single-source supply of extensive range of products
  • Stock – a multi-million pound stock holding provides complete global supply solutions
  • Staff – technical support from a trained, proactive and friendly team
  • Delivery – UK stock turnaround with express logistics to all international destinations

Cable Pulling Cable Laying

Thorne & Derrick International distribute the most extensive range of Cable Pulling & Cable Laying Equipment to enable the installation of low, medium and high voltage power cables into underground trench or duct

Further Reading