How to Install the D-Track-LT ®
4 years ago
What is D-Track-LT ®?
D-Track-LT ® was developed in Europe for the Truck and Bus industry and is a complete cable management system made from flexible PVC. This unique wrap around jacketing system for wire and cable management has several advantages over Split convoluted tubing.
Because it is manufactured from a flexible PVC compound, there are no sharp edges to damage wires during the cable assembly process. The patented external closure system allows for much higher cable fill rates and easier accessibility for faster installations.
The wrap around or side entry allows for modular cable design, reducing the total installed cost (TIC), and the D-Track-LT ® closure method insures that cables are not exposed to outside contaminates, reducing total operating costs(TOC). This product is currently being used on trucks and buses manufactured by Daimler/Chrysler, DAF, Freightliner, Kenworth and PACCAR.
D-Track-LT ® is ideal for use in automotive applications where cable bundles must be protected from the rugged environment faced by constant road use. The patented expansion feature allows for cable growth as design changes occur. The track closure system is also available on many jacketing materials including extruded films and coated fabrics.
- Always size the Zippertubing jacket at least 1/8 inch larger than the maximum cable diameter. If severe cable bending is anticipated, increasing jacket diameter beyond the 1/8 inch requirement is advisable.
- Always install Zippertubing jackets so that the track faces the outside of the bend radius. Failure to position the jacket in this manner may result in the track “popping open” due to track distortion
- If the design does not call for re-opening the jacket periodically, it may be desirable to seal the track closed using ZT-TAPE. You can view the sealing procedure here.
- The most common causes of tracks “popping open” are:
- Improperly closed track
- Incorrectly sized jacket, less than 1/8 inch oversize
- Track located other than on the outside of the bend radius
The SLD tool is an inexpensive plastic slider tool designed for closing Zippertubing D-Track-LT ® products. It is primarily intended for use in low volume production line applications or field installations. The tool engages the external ears of the D-Track-LT ® extrusion and snaps the interlock together as it is slid along the cable run.
This tool makes closing D-Track-LT fast and easy while minimizing operator fatigue. The tool is used after squeezing the two track halves together manually with your fingers at the jacket end. The tool is then slid along this short section of pre-closed track. As the tool is slid along the cable run, it will pre-form the jacket around the cable and form a closed continuous tube.
ZTD-SP PLIER - For us with long runs
The ZTD-SP tool is a Stainless Steel plier tool designed for closing Zippertubing D-Track-LT ® products. It has two roller wheels which engage under the external ears of the D-Track-LT extrusion. Squeezing the handles drives the interlock mechanism together, as the operator pulls the tool along the cable the D-Track-LT jacket forms around the cable harness and is snapped together to form a continuous tube. This tool makes closing D-Track-LT ® fast and easy while minimizing operator fatigue. The ZTD-SP tool is primarily intended for use in high volume production line installations where hundreds or thousands of feet of material require closing.
Both the “SLD” and “ZTD-SP” tools will pull the two edges of the D-Track-LT ® jacket together for you, however you will find that removing any “spool set” kinks or twists and bringing the two inter-lock edges into close proximity of one another will ease the installation process. An assistant prepping the D-Track-LT ® tubing around the cable approximately 18-24 inches (0.5 meters) ahead of you will increase installation speed. If working alone, you can wrap a cable-tie loosely around the Zippertubing jacket and cable assembly to pre-form the jacket and bring the edges of the jacket close together. Slide the tie-wrap along as you close the jacket.
The ideal installation temperature for D-Track-LT ® is above 60°F (15.5°C). D-Track-LT ® consists of a very thick track section tappering out to a thin film material. As a result of this mass differential, the thicker material will tend to take the shape of the spool it was packaged on. This memory phenomena is agrevated by low temeperature and can cause the material to coil and twist as it comes off a spool. If installations must be made at temperatures below 60°F (15.5°C) you will find that pre-warming the spools in an oven at 100°F (38°C) for approximately two hours will help minimize the spool set and make the material far more pliable. If you are working with shorter lengths at low temperatures you may want to warm the material with a hair dryer to minimize any spool set memory.
When using the “SLD” plastic slider tool on long assembly lengths a great deal of friction will occur. Lubricating the tool and track surface with a few drops of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) periodically will reduce the tool friction and ease the closure process. Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) is a flammable liquid, so obtain approval from your Process Engineering Department before implementing any tool lubricant procedure.
Step 2: Slide the “SLD” tool over the two external ridges of the preclosed section.
Work the “SLD” tool down the track about 1.0 inches (25mm).
Step 3: Grasp the closed end of the interlock using your thumb and index finger, then begin sliding the tool along the cable length by pulling the tool along using the thumb and index finger of your second hand. Once 6-8 inches (10-20 cm) of track have been closed you can grasp the entire cable/jacket assembly with your hand as you pull the tool along.