Installation Questions

What types of cables can be placed in MaxCell?
  • Inside or Outside Plant Cables
  • Communications Cables: Fiber Optic, Coax, Twisted Pair, Copper, Cat 5, etc.
  • Utility Cables: Power, Control, Lighting
What is the maximum fill ratio recommended when using MaxCell?

The recommended maximum fill ratio is 45%. Above that level, testing and experience has shown a marked increase in cable pulling tensions. Remember to check local codes for allowable maximum fill ratio.

How long can MaxCell be pulled?

The distance MaxCell can be pulled is affected by the type of duct structure, the number of horizontal or vertical changes within a run, the presence of incumbent cables or innerduct, and the number of sweeps or bends. The longest pull to date is 8,200 feet.

In multiple cell MaxCell packs, is there a particular order for installing the cables?

We recommend installing cables starting with the middle cell in a 3-cell configured product. This allows ease of entry into other cells at later dates.

In occupied conduit installation, is there a method to prevent tangling around existing cables?

Yes. The recommended technique is to rod an occupied conduit with a “paddle” attachment which rides on to the existing cable. See our document – Placing MaxCell in Occupied Conduit – for step-by-step instructions.

When the top two cells have cables already installed, is it harder to pull the cable into the bottom cell?

The weight of cables can be a factor in increased pulling tensions, but experience has shown this increase to be minor – less than 50 lbs. A more important factor in cable pulling tensions is the condition of the conduit. Pull length, total degree/radius, and number of bends in the outer duct contribute significantly to overall pulling tensions.

Can the cables be removed without removing the MaxCell?

Yes, MaxCell is designed so cables can be installed, removed, and reinstalled at any time.

Is lube required for placing MaxCell?

No. MaxCell is pre-lubricated and additional lubricants are not necessary. However, additional lube will ensure an easier pull which may be useful on more difficult runs.

Is lube required for placing cable within MaxCell?

Although pre-lubed, we recommend that additional lubricant be applied to the cable during installation. Extensive testing has shown that this step can reduce cable pulling tensions by 15-20%.

Does MaxCell have footage markers?

MaxCell is incrementally marked every 5 feet. The pulling tapes within MaxCell are incrementally marked every foot.

Will MaxCell twist or spiral during installation?

Using proper installation equipment and techniques insures MaxCell will not spiral. The key component of this procedure is to use a swivel between the pull rope and the MaxCell pack(s).

When installing MaxCell in OSP applications, do you install from maintenance hole to maintenance hole or pull through multiple maintenance holes?

Either. MaxCell is very easy to install and many customers pull MaxCell through multiple maintenance holes in a single pull to save time.

After MaxCell has been installed, and cables have been installed, can another pack of MaxCell be installed at a later date?

Yes, MaxCell can be incrementally installed. One pack can be installed now and another pack installed later. This is a major benefit of MaxCell. For this reason, we recommend that a spare pull rope be installed along with the MaxCell pack.

Can MaxCell be pulled over innerduct inside of outer duct?

When space is available, MaxCell can be pulled into almost any conduit structure.

How do contaminants (e.g. mud, silt, water) affect the ability to pull cable through MaxCell?

In conduits where contaminants may be suspected, we recommend flushing the duct with water prior to placing cables within MaxCell. Similar to rigid innerduct, cable pulling tensions may increase due to the presence of these contaminants.

Can MaxCell be spliced?

Although there are methods to repair MaxCell, we do not generally recommend splicing. The best solution is to place a handhole at the damaged location.

How is the conduit containing MaxCell sealed?

Standard sealing practices include inflatable bags, termination plugs, and foam applications. For watertight applications, split termination plugs are recommended. For non-watertight applications, inflatable bag termination systems are recommended. These bags, when inflated by CO2, compress to the structure of the cable placed. This method offers a silt, water, and chemical resistant solution.

  See Also Installation Accessories and Installation Instructions

  Materials Questions

What materials are used in MaxCell?

MaxCell is manufactured from internally processed polyester and nylon resins.

Is any re-grade resin used in MaxCell?

No. MaxCell uses only 100% virgin resin.

Does MaxCell contain Halogens?

Standard, Riser, and Plenum MaxCell are Halogen free.

Does the fabric degrade over time?

The materials used in MaxCell are rated for 20+ years of use with less than a 15% reduction in strength. The design of MaxCell was based upon geo-textile materials used in underground environments. The physical properties provide excellent tenacity and toughness as well as abrasion, temperature and chemical resistance. The materials used have excellent resistance to fuels and ground chemicals.

How does the product hold up to water, mud, etc?

Prolonged exposure or immersion in water, salt-water or mud will not affect the life expectancy of MaxCell.

How does MaxCell respond to heat?

MaxCell has a melt temperature of 419° F, almost twice that of standard HDPE innerduct. MaxCell is unaffected in standard OSP temperature operating ranges (-50°F to 120°F).

How does MaxCell respond to freezing temperatures?

MaxCell itself is unaffected by temperatures down to -50° F. When water freezes within a conduit, standard methods such as steam may be used to clear a pathway.

Is the Prelube additive used in MaxCell affected by temperature?

The lubricant used in MaxCell is unaffected in normal OSP temperature operating range of -50°F to 120°F.

How long does the MaxCell retain its lubricity?

The lubricant on MaxCell will not degrade nor be removed due to water or chemicals such as jet fuels.

What is the material of construction of the pulling tape?

The pulling tape is constructed from multi-filament polyester yarns.

  Strength of Materials Questions

What is the tensile strength of MaxCell?

The tensile strength of MaxCell varies by the particular product. Refer to the Literature Section for individual product specifications.

What is the strength of the pull tapes used in MaxCell?

The pull tape supplied in MaxCell has a rated breaking tensile of 1250 lbs.

Will sunlight reduce the strength of MaxCell?

Similar to rigid innerduct, UV exposure can reduce the tensile strength of MaxCell. MaxCell is shipped with a UV protective wrap on the outside to minimize exposure.

  Self-Supporting MaxCell Questions

Can I pull Self-Supporting MaxCell through bends?

Self-Supporting MaxCell is designed for maximum efficiency in straight sections. It is recommended that a new section be placed where a 90° bend is required.

Is Self-Supporting MaxCell plenum rated?

Self-Supporting is UL certified in US and Canada and also is classified as UL94 V-0.

Can you mix cables in different cells?

Yes. Cables can be mixed but the installer must verify whether cables can be placed In proximity to each other. The individual pathways of MaxCell will keep the cable bundles from coming into contact with each other.

Will Self-Supporting MaxCell reduce crosstalk interference between cables?

Self-Supporting MaxCell is a flexible fabric that contains no shielding. The product will not prevent or reduce crosstalk.

How should I pull the cables through Self-Supporting MaxCell?

The cables should be pulled horizontally from the leading end of the run starting with the middle cell and moving to the two outer cells. Self-Supporting MaxCell is designed to withstand appropriate direct downward force.

If there is an application where cables cannot be placed in a relatively horizontal direction, then it is recommended to use an assist tool such as the “Cable Joe”, “Fas Roller” or pulley and eyebolt system.

How easy is it to pull cables into Self-Supporting MaxCell?

There are many variables that effect the pulling tension of cables (e.g. bundle diameter, jacket material, weight., etc.). A good rule of thumb is that the pulling tension will rise proportional to the total weight of the cables being pulled.

  Other Questions

Is MaxCell ISO certified?

Yes. The plant that produces MaxCell is ISO 9002 certified. Documentation is available upon request.

Does MaxCell meet all building code requirements?

Plenum & Riser MaxCell meet the UL required burn tests for indoor installation (testing data available upon request). Local codes vary widely and may also apply. It is recommended that you refer to local code requirements to ensure safe network design.

Can RUS funds be used to purchase MaxCell?

Yes. MaxCell is considered by the USDA-Outside Plant Branch an accessory item for a conduit system, and as such, can be purchased using RUS financed loans. Documentation is available upon request.