Gluing The Cable Duct: DIY Instructions | Fasten Without Drilling

Gluing The Cable Duct: DIY Instructions | Fasten Without Drilling

Whether for the subsequent construction of lines, for easy inspection of the installations or for frequent changes – there are many reasons to use a cable duct. However, it is not always possible or desired to screw it to the subsurface. We explain how to glue the cable duct quickly, easily and permanently.

It is hard to imagine modern building technology without a cable duct. It summarizes installations and at the same time enables easy access for changes or repairs. Especially if no special carriers are used for the cable routes, a permanent and damage-free removable screw connection can often not be used. Instead, gluing cable ducts allows them to be mounted on wall coverings without having to intervene in the substructure. How the cable duct can be glued for hobby craftsmen and which adhesives are useful, we explain here with the help of pictorial explanations and easily understandable examples.

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The conditions

The most well-known and common practice, especially in the area of ​​industrial or commercial projects, is screwing cable ducts onto the supporting substructure, i.e. consoles or wall. The background is the mostly intensive use of cables, which in total represents a high weight. In private residential construction, on the other hand, it can be sufficient to simply glue the cable duct to the subsurface. The great advantage lies in the fact that the carrier component is not penetrated and if the cable duct is moved or removed, only the surface needs to be repaired to a small extent. In addition, gluing the cable duct is much faster and cheaper, than would be the case with time-consuming screw connections with all the necessary work steps from marking, drilling and driving in the dowels to final assembly. In order to be able to glue a cable duct, however, some basic requirements should be met:

  • Sufficient dimensioning of the cable duct for a consistent ratio of housing and thus adhesive surface to the included cable weight
  • No overcrowding of the channel, since the adhesive surfaces will be overloaded as a result
  • Load-bearing substrate suitable for the selected adhesive
  • Adhesive system that harmonizes with the material of the cable duct and the subsurface
  • correct application of the adhesive with preparation of the bonding surfaces

Common substrates

It should be obvious that you can only glue a cable duct if the substrate is able to accommodate it. But what does that actually mean? It is worth taking a quick look at the different requirements placed on the component under the duct:

1. Static load capacity

Of course, the wall to which the cable tray is attached must be able to support the weight of the duct including all cables. Ideally, there are also some reserves, so that additional lines can be added without replacing or reinforcing. This is rarely a problem with solid walls. With light partition walls, on the other hand, a lavishly used cable duct can easily lead to the plasterboard panel accommodating the duct being overloaded at certain points and deforming or breaking or even tearing off the support profile.

2. Suitability for bonding

In addition to the static load-bearing capacity of the substructure, the surface, usually the wall surface, must be suitable for gluing. Depending on the surface condition, different criteria can be decisive:

  • Wallpapered Walls: Wallpaper to wall adhesion must be able to absorb and transfer trunking weight
  • For gypsum plasterboards etc.: the weight of the duct must not exceed the integrity of the board itself, otherwise the glued areas will break out of the gypsum composite
  • Other surfaces, such as wood, stone, concrete, etc.: The surface quality must enable the adhesive to form a strong bond, i.e. it must not sand excessively, absorb excessively or react chemically with solvents in the adhesive

Suitable adhesives

To ensure that cable ducts remain securely and, above all, permanently in place even without screwing, the adhesive as a connecting element between the substrate and the wall is of fundamental importance. These requirements are placed on the adhesive:

  • Compatibility with existing materials on the subsurface and cable duct
  • Suitability for existing wall and duct surface finishes
  • Consistent performance without signs of fatigue under constant stress

Note: A certain flexibility of the adhesive is not absolutely necessary, but very helpful in the case of revision or modification work. If it hardens brittle and completely inflexible, even small movements of the cable duct, such as opening the cover, can cause bridges and cracks in the adhesive and, as a result, a significantly reduced load-bearing capacity of the bond.

The catalog of requirements mentioned above shows that two types of adhesive are used today for gluing cable ducts:

1. Double-sided adhesive tape – easy to work with and also adheres well to smooth surfaces (cable duct on the back), can be loaded immediately and without a reaction time, and is permanently flexible to accommodate movements

2. Assembly adhesive – highly resilient, flexible, also adheres to smooth surfaces, but with a drying or pressing time depending on the product

Tip: The thicker the adhesive tape, the easier it can level out the unevenness in almost every surface. So-called foam adhesive tapes, whose carrier material consists of a foam-like material with a thickness of up to several millimeters, are therefore particularly well suited!

On the other hand, other adhesives, which are often found in the DIY sector, are unsuitable:

  • “Pattex” – one-component universal adhesive: not sufficiently load-bearing, not compatible with different substrates, hardens brittle
  • Mineral adhesives, e.g. tile adhesive, adhesive mortar for aerated concrete blocks, etc.: harden brittle, no adhesion on smooth surfaces, very long setting time, in individual cases the plastic of the cable duct may be attacked by the silicic acid produced in the setting process

Glue cable duct

Now that it is clear on which substrates a cable duct can be glued and which adhesives are usually used for this due to their suitability, the actual construction is quick and simple in a few steps:

substrate preparation

  • Remove dirt, dust and grease from the adhesive surface of the duct, eg with solvent, alternatively mild soapy water
  • Remove loose dirt and dust from the subsurface, i.e. wall surface etc.
  • Mark the planned position of the duct on the wall for easier positioning

Note: If benzine or solvent is used to clean the cable duct, it is essential to ensure compatibility with the plastic of the duct. The material does not have to be affected immediately if it is unsuitable. However, the adhesion of the adhesive can be changed in the long term by changes in the composition.

Double sided tape

  • Choose the thickest possible adhesive tape to level out any unevenness in the subsurface
  • Pull off the protective film on one side and apply adhesive tape to the back of the cable duct
  • Only remove the protective film piece by piece while sticking it on, at the same time press the adhesive tape successively onto the surface, thus reducing the risk of creases and sloping adhesion
  • Pull off the second protective film
  • Align the channel according to the marking and press briefly and firmly
  • Check the carrying capacity before inserting the cables

When using assembly adhesive

  • Prepare the adhesive cartridge for use according to the manufacturer’s instructions (screw on the cannula, remove the safety device, shake or turn it upside down if necessary)
  • Apply a bead of adhesive to the back of the trunking according to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • If the flash-off time is required, wait for the specified period of time
  • Align the duct with the marking and press against the wall
  • Adhere to the required pressing times according to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • If there are additional curing times, wait until the final loading capacity
  • Test load capacity before loading with cables

Cable ducts with factory-applied tape

A special case are cable ducts that have already been provided with double-sided adhesive tape on the back by the manufacturer. The construction is even easier here, since the protective film is simply removed and the duct is pressed onto the wall. However, very thin adhesive tapes are usually used here. Its adhesive strength is sufficient, but an adhesive tape that is too thin cannot compensate for the unevenness of every wall, even to a small extent. The result is a non-continuous bond. The more intense the unevenness, the faster the areas that are actually sticking are reduced to a level that is no longer able to support the duct including the cable filling.