There are many types of tray cable. They vary in shielding, insulation, jacketing, and many other features. This variation is what makes tray cable versatile and specified for many industrial applications. However, because of the wide variation of the cable, it is essential to know which tray cable you need and what features are essential for your project.

Here is a simple guide to tray cable types.


Referred to as both XPTC and XLPE Tray Cable, this cable features a cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulated conductors with a PVC outer jacket for superior corrosion resistance. XPTC tray cable is used as power and control cables in dry and wet locations and can be installed in cable trays, raceways, and open air. It is weather and exposure resistant and is suitable for use in direct burial, and for class 1, Division 2 hazardous locations.
Our XPTC cable standards include:

  •  ASTM
  • UL 1277
  • Direct Burial, Sunlight Resistant, Gasoline and Oil Resistant II Jacket
  •  ROHS
  • Exposed Runs Rated (TC-ER)

XHHW tray cable is a robust cable made with a thermoset insulation. It is a cross-linked polyethylene building wire with high heat and water-resistance. XHHW tray cable experiences less deformation in high heat and overcurrent situations giving the installation a higher level of protection against short circuits and fires. Given the durability of the XHHW tray cable and its resistance to chemicals and abrasions, it may be ideal for use in harsh environments such as oil and gas refineries.

Other applications of XHHW tray cable include:

  • OEM
  • Industrial applications
  • Mining
  • Refineries

This cable features a cross-linked polyethylene (XLP) insulation and a PVC outer jacket for superior corrosion resistance and extended use in high demand applications. The XLP material has greater resistance to environmental stress cracking, cut-through, ozone, solvents, and soldering than either low- or high-density polyethylene. XLP is a 600-volt tray cable designed for use in conduit, cable tray, or direct burial. It exists in a multitude of constructions including multi-conductor, multi-pair, and grounded.

XLP/XPTC tray cable can be installed in free air, in raceways, or direct burial. It can be used in rough environments hence approved for wet or dry locations as well as Class 1 Division 2 hazardous locations. XLP tray cable is intended for use in environments where flame retardance, moisture resistance, and chemical resistance are critical for the operation.

Common applications of XLP tray cable include:

  • Industrial
  • Telemetering
  • Utility
  • Control
  • Power lighting

2. VNTC/ THHN Tray Cable

VNTC cable is constructed using THHN or TFFN conductors and has a PVC outer jacket. It’s a flame retardant multi conductor cable specifically approved for installation in cable trays. The VNTC cable comes in a variety of wire gauge sizes e.g. 12-2 vntc tray cable and 18-10 vntc cable. They are suitable for use in Class I and II, Division 2 hazardous locations and can be installed in ducts, wireways, troughs or tray, wireways and in air if supported by a messenger. It is also suitable for direct burial.

VNTC cable is typically cost-effective hence used in a wide variety of commercial and light-industrial applications.

Our VNTC standards include:

  • ASTM
  • UL 1277
  • Direct Burial, Sunlight Resistant, Gasoline and Oil Resistant II Jacket
  • ROHS
  • Exposed Runs Rated (TC-ER)- this allows the cable to be used in extended runs, or open wiring from tray without the use of conduit.

VNTC/THHN cable is a less robust cable compared to the XHHW. It could be said to be a cheaper alternative to the more expensive XHHW. However, it exhibits reduced resistance to heat and moisture, making it more prone to attack by rodents and ants. The cable’s insulation is made with thermoplastic materials that are subject to damage in high heat conditions.

THHN tray cable comes in a variety of wire gauge sizes and conductors. One of the most common ones is the 4-3C THHN-PVC tray cable with ground. This cable is also known as the multi-conductor THHN cable. It is rated at 90°C dry, 75°C wet and it provides outstanding sunlight, cold bend, and cold impact resistance.

Some of its applications include:

  • Approved for direct burial
  • Can be used in Class I, Division 2 hazardous locations
  • Permitted for Exposed Run
  • In free air, raceways, or direct burial.

3. Power limited Tray Cable

Also known as PLTC, these cables are robust and highly durable. They have superior temperature characteristics and are approved for and marked “Sunlight Resistance.” They are suitable for installation in wet or dry locations with conductor operating temperature up to 250°C and can be approved for use in Class I and II, Division 2 hazardous locations.
PLTC cables are typically used in applications that require power-limited circuits such as an alarm system. One of the most common industry markets where they are found is the mass transit industry.

Common Applications of PLTC cables include:

  • Industrial Control Systems
  • Computer Interconnects
  • Intercom Systems
  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Burglar Alarms
  • Business Machines
  • Cash Registers

4. Wind Turbine Tray Cable

Wind Turbine Tray Cable, also known as WTTC, is designed for environmentally friendly wind turbine applications. These cables are intended to be installed in cable trays or raceways within wind turbine generators. With the harsh conditions encountered in wind farms, the cable is designed to withstand the rigors of these extreme conditions. WTTC cables are designed utilizing high performance insulation and jacket material that combine exceptional oil resistance with outstanding cold temperature properties.  They are also suitable for installation in tight spaces.

These cables can withstand the effects of:

  • Flexing and vibration (abrasion resistant)
  • Temperature extremes
  • Oil exposure
  • Humidity
  • High EMI emissions

All Kris-Tech tray cables are UL 1277 compliant, have a UL direct burial rating, carry an exposed run (ER) rating, and comply with NEC 9.2 and 9.3 standards.

Click here to view our downloadable tray cable spec sheets 

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