In view of ever-increasing speeds in cranes and similarly challenging applications, the demands made on energy chains are rising all the time. Smooth-running properties and low noise levels are increasingly needed, because many ports are moving closer to residential areas as they grow. After about three years of development work and endurance testing, Igus now has a completely new generation of roller energy chains available. The new System P4 is an energy chain series where rollers no longer roll over one another, and where all chain links have the same short pitch. Endurance tests at speeds of up to 7m/s have been carried out safely under operating conditions on an outdoor testing facility 125m long (which can be extended to 300m).
Harald Nehring, manager for energy chain systems at Igus, says: "With the P4, we now have a product available that has sufficient reserves suitable even for the fastest and largest cranes currently conceivable. We have already received our first order to install the new system on a container crane in the largest German inland port. In addition, a test is being discussed for the P4 on a testing facility 245m long in a Chinese terminal on behalf of a customer."
The low-maintenance, modular System P4 makes safe energy and data transmission possible over very long distances of up to 1000m. Specially developed for indoor and outdoor crane equipment and conveyor systems, it is particularly quiet and hard wearing at high speeds and large filling weights (up to 30kg/m). Thanks to the use of additional centre links, there is practically no weight limit. The upper run and the lower run of the chain roll offset on one another. This means the tribologically optimised plastic profile rollers are not rolled over; instead they roll on a consistently wide area, which increases the service life of the chain even more. In addition, the pitch of the chain links is now identical with and without the roller, which means the energy chain achieves particularly smooth and vibration-free movement in the radius.
Igus says the P4 System is available immediately with an inner height of 56mm and in five inner widths (200, 250, 300, 350 and 400mm); bending radii can be chosen from 250, 300 or 350mm. A version with an inner height of 80mm, and central links for unlimited widening, will be available from the autumn of 2008.