igus is promoting its plastic energy chains as an alternative to steel, which has been the design material of choice for many decades, for working in the harsh environments of the offshore industry. igus e-chains are tougher than steel for a given size and are much lighter. They are also inherently resistant to corrosion and weathering, and the best types are unaffected by exposure to most chemicals and petrochemicals as well as by exposure to UV light from the sun.
In areas where explosive vapours or gases may be present – that is, those areas where the ATEX Directive applies, as it does to many areas of offshore installations – igus recommends e-chains made of igumid ESD (ATEX material).
Available in many versions, energy chains provide multi-directional support for cables that provide power, services and communication to moving systems. Typical applications include drilling crane carriages, rig skidders and link spans.
igus offers a range of e-chains in different lengths and sizes, including what is claimed to be the world’s largest plastic e-chain, the E4.350, with a maximum fill weight of >100kg/m. This e-chain is predominantly used for the movement of large, heavy and stiff cables, such as those used on oil platforms.
In addition, igus holds GL (Germanischer Lloyd) approval for many of its chainflex cables, which have been designed specifically for offshore applications, including the CF113.D measuring system and CF27.D servo cables. Also available are MUD resistant according to NEK-606 (Norsk Elektroteknisk Komitee) chainflex cables, including the CF 170.D control and CF270.UL.D servo cables.
Please follow the link to watch a short video highlighting some of the possible e-chain applications in the offshore industry.