TE Wire & Cable Thermocouple Solutions Blog


5 Reasons to use Gas-Block Cables in Power Generation Applications

Posted by Pat Durkin

Apr 2, 2014 8:40:00 AM

 In power generation applications, the cabling used must meet ATEX and IECEx (Class 1 Div 2) standards. ATEX (ATmosphères EXplosibles) is an EU directive that mandates compliance requirements for the safe operation of mechanical and electrical equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive environments. IEC 60079-14 further delineates these requirements as applicable to ATEX cable products used in these applications.


In potentially explosive atmosphere applications like power generation, a compound sealed Barrier Gland is currently used to meet this directive. However, a combination of TE Wire’s Gas-Block Cable and a flame proof gland with an elastomeric sealing ring can meet the same compliance.


There are at least five reasons this solution is better than using filled glands:


  1. Use of filled barrier glands where compound sealing is required is no longer necessary. By using Gas-Block Cable with a flame proof gland, the need for compound sealing is eliminated to comply with the IEC/EN standard. Only an elastomeric sealing ring is needed.
  2. Since a sealing compound gland is no longer required, the installation process is simplified resulting in significant time saving.
  3. Complete elimination of cure down-time. The curing process of compound filling usually requires 8-24 hours.
  4. Less possibility of assembly error. In the event of error, having to move an installed sealing compound gland requires significant labor time and results in lost revenue.
  5. Using Gas-Block cable in combination with a sealing ring gland allows for length readjusted during installation. If the cable is a little short to reach the terminal strips in a connection cabinet, just loosen the fitting, pull more cable through, retighten the gland and you have the necessary seal once again. With a compound gland, once it is set, it may be too late for adjustments, resulting in lost time and money.


Recently, a leading manufacturer of gas turbine engines eliminated filled glands by converting to TE Wire’s Gas-Block cables.  They’re now saving 45 minutes of assembly time with every filled gland they replace (averaging 10 hours saved per engine).  They’ve also eliminating several hours of idle time spent waiting for filled glands to cure, yielding an overall improvement in manufacturing throughput without the need for additional capital or manpower.



Topics: hazardous environments, Gas-Block, Power Generation, ATEX Cable