About two and a half years ago, Igus presented the first prototype from its new energy chain E4.1 series. Now the complete range of this new-generation energy chain is available for delivery ex-stock.
A further development of the well-known E4 Igus system that is in use all over the world, the new E4.1 family combines the best design ideas of the two energy chain variants E4/4 and E4/100 in one single universal product. There are a number of new design features and a wide supply range of five different interior heights from 21-80mm as well as widths from 30-600mm.
Thanks to the combination of inner and outer side-links, users are able to choose different configurations. Firstly, does the energy chain have to be designed with a high pre-tension and correspondingly large self-supporting length? Or, instead, can it be designed with little pre-tension, which is more suitable in cramped conditions or when used in vertical hanging or standing applications? The patented trick here is that the outer side link is simply turned to control the pre-tension. If, on the other hand, the inner side link is turned, the rotation of the link is changed, and hence also the direction of rotation of the energy chain. This makes applications such as zigzag chains possible, for example.
In addition, the sides of the energy chain are connected through a patented tongue-and-groove connection. This increases stability both in pull and push directions, especially when the chain is used lying on its side or when high lateral acceleration forces are acting on the chain. The torsional stability of the energy chain is also increased.
Igus has developed a completely new quick-action lock for the crossbars of the E4.1 (see photo). Users can now open and close even tightly packed energy chains using only a screwdriver, saving both time and physical effort. This new feature helps during initial assembly, repairs or retrofitting. Users do not need any screws, circlips, bolts or any other small parts that can be easily lost. And since the energy chain is accessible from above and below, servicing work can be carried out without the system having to be dismantled. Justin Leonard, Director for energy chain systems at igus, says: "This also applies to long gliding travels using guide troughs. Time-consuming dismantling is not necessary."
These new opening links are integrated with new components for dividing up the interior, which can be combined and are interchangeable. This further helps to simplify cable routing and reduce the time required for installation. Interior divisions can be installed without opening the energy chain, and separators can be inserted easily and without force. Cables that have already been inserted can be divided again later if required.
In the standard version of the E4.1 series energy chains there is a noise-dampening stop system with an internal brake. If even quieter noise levels are required, the outer radius of the energy chains can be equipped with additional sound-reducing pads. These pads are soft, dampening elements that reduce sound and vibration as the energy chain is moved.
Also available in the E4.1 supply range are various specialised chains, ranging from clean-room versions through to ESD energy chains and variants with special fire protection classifications or chemical resistance. When equipped with lids and when made from the special high-temperature material igumid HT, the chain can even withstand attack by chips heated to 850degC. The E4.1 is now also available in the new XXL material, which makes applications with 25 per cent more self-supporting length possible than with the standard version. Travel distances up to 13m can be achieved safely without the need for channels or supports.
Follow the link for more information about the E4.1 energy chain.