Types and Uses of Non-Metal Electrical Conduits
Electrical conduits are a useful cable management tool that protects wiring from external or environmental damages and routes power-distributing wires.
The tube or duct-like tools are available in metal and non-metal types. The non-metallic conduit is commonly made of PVC or plastic material. They are an excellent option to be used in those environments where metal conduits will be susceptible to rust, corrosion, or damage. They are suitable for underground usages too and for protecting wiring in walls, floors, and ceilings.
Most non-metallic conduits show excellent resilience to moisture. Some of them are also flame-resistant, and can withstand distortion and crushing caused by heat.
Types of Non-Metal Electrical Conduits
Let’s check out the types of non-metal electrical conduits used in most commercial, industrial, and residential projects:
PVC conduits are the most common type of the non-metallic conduits. They are made of a combination of vinyl and plastic. They are lightweight and cost less than other conduit types.
PVC conduits are commonly used with three different wall thicknesses in the North American electrical industry. The thin-wall variant is suitable for embedded use in concrete and the thick ones are applicable for direct burial and outdoor work.
In a word, PVC conduits are versatile, and you can use them everywhere – underground, above the ground, inside cement blocks, or submerged under water. Their UV-and corrosion-resistant features, watertight joints, and low installation costs have made them extremely popular. Besides, most of the metal conduit fittings are also available in PVC form.
However, PVC conduits are more susceptible to thermal expansion than other conduit types. So, they should be mounted to allow for expansion and contraction before installation.
Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC)
RNC is the lightest of all conduits, and demands the lowest installation cost. Its welded joints are airtight, and fittings are faster than the ones used in metal conduits.
RNC pipes are commonly available in two types – schedule 80 or schedule 40. However, pipes with different sizes and wall thicknesses are used depending on the type and nature of the electrical work. Heavy-duty pipes are also available for applying in areas where extra protection is needed.
However, RNC pipes have their downsides too. Like all non-metal electrical conduits, they can expand or contract when exposed to heat. Besides, their level of endurance to impacts is under par the metal conduits. Also, you’ll need to use additional grounding conductors with them for their non-conductive nature.
Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT)
ENT is a flexible electrical conduit. It is possible to bend the tube-like thin-walled conduit without using any special tool. Moreover, its installation is easier than RNC conduits.
Liquid-Tight Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit (LFNC)
LFNC is a type of flexible conduit mostly popular for its flame-resistant nature. It is suitable to be used in areas where other non-metal conduits are inapt for susceptibility to heat. Moreover, its ability to absorb vibration is perfect for using it in motors or other similar devices.