Efficient use of space in modern data centers, computer server rooms and ISP installations, is an increasingly important design consideration. This has driven the need for effective rack solutions and the acceptance of the standard 19-inch rack. While these racks come in a number of variations and configurations, they have greatly simplified equipment mounting processes.
Special Racks and Special Tools
As standardized sizes of electronic equipment and computers have made the 19-inch rack the go-to choice for rack solutions, every aspect of these versatile systems have evolved to increase efficiency and effectiveness. For example, the original racks utilized threaded holes and bolts. Some rack rails were thin for tapping, and manufacturers turned to rivnuts and various other types of threaded inserts.
Some racks were (and are) manufactured with holes set for specific classes and types of equipment. This may be the best solution for high-volume and permanent equipment installations. Examples of these situations include broadcast studios, network installations and government/military installations.
However, with a premium on flexibility and versatility in most data centers and server rooms, new fastening techniques are more practical. Additionally, it is an expensive waste to create racks with large number of tapped holes that are never used. Instead of these tapped holes and threaded bolts, many racks now use clearance-hole or round hole systems. With these racks, a bolt is inserted through the hold and then fastened with a cage nut.
The cage nut, sometimes called a clip nut, uses a steel spring cage wrapped around a nut. Wings on the cage are compressed to provide clearance and positioning. When the pressure is released, the cage fastens around the bolt and remains in place. As practical and useful as the cage nut is, it presents a challenge if the right cage nut tool is not used.
The most popular Cage Nut Tool is made to check and measure multiple screw sizes (10-32, 12-24 and M6) and provides an easy U space reference guide. The availability of this specialized tool will speed installations and prevent scraped and pinched fingers when installing or removing cage nuts.
An additional advantage of using a cage nut over threaded bolts is the ability to make minor alignment adjustments while providing secure mounting.