Though some installers may be comfortable with jack chain, there are a number of significant differences that demonstrate how cable suspension performs better and make it a superior option for any hanging application. Here are 5 reasons why cable suspension is better than jack chain.
1. Ease of Installation
Installing cable suspension is much faster and easier than jack chain, saving up to 50% in installation time. Aircraft cable weighs less than jack chain and spools of wire can be cut to length in the field, helping reduce waste and upfront planning. Cable suspension systems also provide a multitude of connectors that provide flexibility to hanging objects in any environment.
2. Variety of connectors
With jack chain you are limited with the connection types available for the fixture and ceiling, most often some sort of hook, like an s-hook or quick-link connection. With cable suspension the options are plentiful. Cables can be looped over strut, suspended from a t-bar clip, or come with a terminal on the end and hung from a coupler, for either flat or sloped ceilings. On the fixture side, cable grippers can have a ring, hook, internal or external thread, have a cross-cable connection, attach to a v-clip, or create a loop. The possibilities are abundant and the adjustability is quick and easy.
3. Tool-Free Adjustability
When leveling and making final adjustments, jack chain requires an installer to reposition, cut links, and rehang an entire piece. The minimum height adjustment allowed is also limited by the height of a single link. In contrast, without any tools you can make the slightest height adjustments (1mm or less depending on the cable size) with cable suspension. Simply feed the cable into the gripper and it locks in place, depress the plunger on the top and the cable releases. Adjustments are fast and the connection is strong.
Jack chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The security of the entire fixture can be compromised if a single link is damaged during production, storage, or installation. Aircraft Cables, also known as wire ropes, are comprised of multiple steel wires twisted and braided into strands, which are then laid around a stranded steel core. This stranded steel core adds strength and crush-resistance to the cable. This composition is less likely to be damaged compared to jack chain and looks great suspending anything.
In certain applications, the look of the suspension may not matter as much, but in other circumstances the suspension can add to the design. Aircraft cable and the accompanying hardware, i.e., grippers, couplers, etc. add a clean, modern, and elegant look to any project and gives a perception of the objects almost floating in air.