Polymer energy chain manufacturer, igus, has introduced a new lighter weight e-chain for cable management/protection applications with large unsupported lengths and high fill weights that was previously the domain of larger, more expensive energy chains.

The manufacturer’s “L” Lean variant has been specially designed for users for who its industry standard E4Q is too large. From the seventh robot axis in linear robot applications to machine tools, the igus E4Q-series energy chain has established itself in recent years in demanding applications with large unsupported lengths and high fill weights.

The problem is that, in applications with medium loads (machine tools, woodworking, car washes etc.), the E4Q is oversized. One of the benefits is you have a larger inner fill area with the same outer specifications as the E4Q equivalent e-chain.

“To offer users the advantages of the E4Q in these applications as well and at a lower price, we developed the L version – the E4Q.64L,” says igus South Africa managing director, Ian Hewat. “Depending on the width, the low-cost version of the energy chain costs between 15% and 20% less than the E4Q.”

To reduce costs, the igus designers have modified the E4Q’s design. The aim was to strike a balance between low dead weight and maximum robustness. The side links are narrower than those of the E4Q, reducing the weight. The bionic design, which dispenses with any material that has no load-bearing function, was retained.

Tests in the igus test laboratory prove that the E4Q.64L has an approximately 30% greater breaking moment than the 14240 series, which is also used for unsupported applications. This results in up to 20% more length with the same fill weight.

The chain can also be operated in two bending directions by replacing the outer link with a special RBR link. This gives it what is known as a reverse bend radius (RBR), which means that circular movements can be implemented (on a robot’s axis 1, for instance).

Unlocked on both sides, the crossbar can be lifted out with little effort. The other advantage is that an extensive product range of crossbar widths is directly available, so that the E4Q.64L has been offered in 29 widths between 100 and 500 millimetres since the start of market launch.

 

Ian Hewat
igus South Africa
Tel. +27 11 312 1848
ihewat@igus.net

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