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What is a Cable Duct?

Alexis W.
Alexis W.

A cable duct is a form of housing for a run of cables that has to pass a traffic area such as a doorway or be run up a wall without being seen. Depending on the environment and the intended use, the cable duct can be manufactured out of a number of materials. Materials range from plastics of any color to stainless steel.

The use of cable ducting and raceways has grown highly in popularity, as many people don’t want to undergo the task of running the cable underneath existing carpeting or flooring. Further, running cable under floors isn’t an option in cases where the flooring method used is solid, such as tile or laminate flooring. Ducting and raceways, on the other hand, run both along the floor and baseboards of the room, allowing the cable to be hidden from sight and protected from foot traffic.


Industrial uses for cable ducts allow for multiple lengths of cable to be run through high traffic areas without posing a trip danger. In industrial settings, a cable duct allows many cables that are necessary for different kinds of networks to be run. They are often used for monitors that are run in sequence of each other. Examples where cable ducts are used include closed-circuit monitoring systems or computer networks that are hardwired to the server or to each other in order to function in a network-based manner.

In these industrial settings, the cable duct system allows for the wires to be hidden without having to run the cables inside walls and under different flooring. It also allows the user to avoiding running the cables or the wiring system through ceiling structures or ceiling tiles. Due to safety code issues in certain areas, running cables through floors or ceilings is not a legal option in an industrial setting, so cable ducting is the only cost-effective option for signal transfer to multiple outputs.

Most cable duct systems are extruded, which means they are formed as they are forced through a forming machine. Unless the cable ducting has been formed as a one-piece channel style unit, as in many flooring applications, the typical cable ducting system is a two-piece application. In these applications the brace or the cleat that holds the actual duct or cable cover in place is screwed to the wall or fastened by a high strength adhesive which holds the cleat in place.

Once the cleat determines the run of the ducting, the cable is run against the cleat. The duct can then be applied over the top of the cable, hiding the often unsightly cords from sight. The top of the ducting is often applied to the cleat through the use of a snap-tension forming, meaning the top cleat simply “pops” into place.

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