Energy chains and cables withstand Texan temperatures

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Igus has supplied high-performance energy chains, fibre-optic cables and power cables for a vast multi-screen display outside the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas.

Energy chains and cables withstand Texan temperaturesLocated at the Victory Plaza in Dallas, Texas, just outside the American Airlines Centre, there is an oversized moving-screen LCD display, visible to everyone passing by. The Barco Group, a Belgian leading designer and developer of large-screen visualisation systems, has developed the display with eight 26ft screens. Robust Igus E4/4 Energy Chains of the series 4040 with Chainflex fibre-optic cables, motor and control cables guarantees a safe supply of energy and data.

The maintenance-free plastic energy chain system and its cables are exposed to harsh environmental elements: extreme heat, sun, rain and snow with an operating schedule of up to 18 hours per day, 360 days per year.

Lawrence Allen, senior engineer of Barco, comments: “The Igus team rose to the occasion to help us find a perfect solution. The cables of a competitor had failed and the cables were not rated for temperatures dipping below 5degC, which then began to corkscrew and compromise the performance of the system. That could have been a potential disaster for our customer.”

Eight corrosion-resistant E4/4 energy chain systems from Igus, one for each LCD display, have been installed for one year now. The series 4040 E4/4 energy chain systems are used worldwide for long travels and where high and unsupported filling loads need to be guided laterally. A form-fitted back stop and a second solid bolt provide optimal interlinking of the chain links and lateral stability. Axial forces and torsional rigidity of the energy chain are generally increased and also the resistance against wet and rough environmental conditions.

The chain links, which consist of four parts, can be opened from both sides and are available in four inner heights (32-80mm) with an outer width of up to 600mm. Due to the large modular kit of the E4 system, the E4/4 series can be configured for numerous applications and cable fillings. In addition, there are variable interior divisions, extension frames for large hoses, elements for variable connections to the machine, and an aluminium trough system for long and very long travels.

Special cables

To guarantee high data rates for perfect pictures even after many millions of cycles, CFLG.6G Chainflex fibre-optic cables are used in the Dallas system. Fibre-optic cables with 6-12 fibres of the types 50/125um, 62um and 5/125um have been specially developed for use in energy chains. They even run at temperatures of 40degC. 20m lengths of these cables have been successfully tested in the Igus deep-freeze laboratory, installed in an energy chain.

Also the single-core motor cable CF300, which is typically used for high-performance cranes, is used for the power supply for the large-screen system at the American Airlines Centre. The jacket materials of both Chainflex cables are made of TPE to fulfil the high demands regarding temperature and low abrasion at millions of cycles.

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