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igus® inc.

PO BOX 14349

East Providence

RI 02914

+1 800 521 2747
+1 401 438 7270

System E4-1

igus® technologies and tricks

For long service life, high stability, ease of installation and modularity

Eliminate costly components with the E4-1 energy chain system.
E4-1 - the standard for almost any application area.

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1.1... Vertical, rectangular stop dogs

For maximum absorption force and high stability in large, unsupported lengths

... max. unsupported additional load possible up to 403.2 lbs/ft (600 kg/m)
... max. unsupported lengths (FLB) 26.2 ft (8.0 m), +25% with optional XXL material

Details of working principle

Double, rectangular end stop dog  
Double, rectangular end stop dog

Two or more stop dogs cannot, or can barely be synchronized. Due to a rectangular shape, the force distribution is much better than in a round stop dog (surface pressure formula, p = F/A). The complete E4-1 range has the double, rectangular stop dog.

igus® tested

 
Fracture test at the igus® laboratory

We test every energy supply system with a "tweak testing machine" at the igus® laboratory for compressive/breaking strength to provide reliable specifications on maximum additional load and unsupported length.

Application example

 
Travelling column milling machine with series E4-42

The tongue and groove of the energy chain provides high lateral stability, which was necessary for the high lateral acceleration of up to 26.2 ft/s² (8 m/s²) through the X axis.

1.2... Vertical stop dogs, large pins

Better force distribution resulting in higher push/pull loads are possible

... push/pull forces up to 1,573 lbs (713 kg) possible
... additional loads up to 60.5 lbs/ft (90 kg/m) and more are possible

Details of working principle

Double, rectangular end stop dog  
Vertical stop dog, large pin

By shifting the stop dogs, the force is guided through three points, namely the two stop dogs and the large pin, instead of absorbing the force centrally. This reduces the load of the individual elements, pins and stop dogs, effectively to 1/3.

igus® tested

 
Endurance test over 96 hours for maximum unsupported lengths

The maximum load is tested over a period of 96 hours. The photo shows an E4-1 with optional XXL material. With this material, the maximum unsupported length can further be increased by 25% to approximately 22.9 ft (7 m).

Application example

 
E4-1 energy supply systems for extendable heavy load transporter

This telescoping three-axle semi-trailer truck is extendable from 65.6 to 203 ft (20 to 62 m). The stop dogs and tongue and groove design ensures that the energy chain withstands 30% more pull/push forces.

2... Double lock

Guaranteed high holding strength in a simple, but secure opening mechanism

... max. holding strength up to 6,744 lbs (3,059 kg)
... can be quickly opened with a screwdriver

Details of working principle

Double-lock mechanism  
Double-lock mechanism

E4-1 offers an extremely secure snap-open system. You loosen the crossbar by two simple lever movements. The crossbars reliably hold, even with thick filling, and can still be easily opened.

igus® tested

tensile test  
Tensile test

The maximum holding strength of each crossbar is tested with a tensile test.
 
Test 3992:Pull-out strength crossbars - crossbars:
> 30,000 N
Test 3073:E4-1 pull-out strength, 55% higher than its predecessor E4/00

Application example

 
System E4 in a coal excavator

Side-mounted and turned 90° with high filling of cables. The crossbars hold securely and still remain accessible.

3... Large pin/hole connection

High push/pull forces and less wear through precise tolerances

... travels over 2,624 ft (800 m) are possible
... accelerations of 32.8 f/s² (10 m/s²) and more are possible

Details of working principle

Large pin/bore connection  
Large pin/bore connection

Large pinhole connections with tight tolerances provide a high push and/or pull force absorption. Due to the tight tolerances and almost zero backlash, very high accelerations can be achieved with little wear on the system.

igus® tested

 
Tensile test with Zwick material testing machine

We test every energy supply system with a "tweak testing machine" at the igus® laboratory for pull force to provide reliable specifications on the maximum possible travel, and also to get achievable acceleration values.
 
Test 3073:More than 5,845 lbs (2,651 kg) tensile strength possible

Application example

 
The world's longest travel with igus® energy chains and Chainflex® cables - travel of 2018 ft (615 m)

The longest distance in the world covered by an igus® energy chain was designed and delivered for a power supplier in the Czech Republic, the CEZ Group. The energy chain spans 2,018 ft (615 m).
 
The stable pinhole connection enables long travels thanks to high push/pull force absorption.

4... Scaling of the crossbars

Simple pre-configuring with interior separation provides for a secure hold, even in side-mounted applications

... facilitates the mounting with interior separators
... absolutely even, no cable wear due to scaling

Details of working principle

Scale on crossbars  
Scale on crossbars

Scaling visible, but not "tangible". Standard for all E4 crossbars. Facilitates the pre-configuring with interior separators, in-turn saving valuable assembly time.

igus® tested

 
Cable wear

We test all chainflex® cables for wear and service life in continuously moving operations. We also test customer-specific cables, so that we can predict the service life of the system.

Application example

 
E4 energy chain and Chainflex® measuring systems for cables and large machining centers

Numerous chainflex® cables positioned and mounted, turned 90° in an E4 energy chain. The interaction of energy chain material and jacket material is a decisive factor for long service life.

5... Swivelable lids

For quick insertion of cables from both sides

... good access from the top or bottom
... swivelable lid. The lid and bottom can be removed

Details of working principle

Hinged covers  
Hinged covers

The lids of the enclosed R4-1 Energy Tubes can be easily flipped open and completely removed. This helps the easy insertion of cables. R4-1 Energy Tubes already close very tightly.
 
Test> tightest igus® Energy Tubes IP tested:

igus® tested

 

Not only easy to open, but also extremely tight. Testing at the igus® laboratory shows how tight the Energy Tubes are.
 
TestA = igus® RX Energy Tube RX40-100-100 251,900 cycles
B = igus® Energy Tube 68-10-100-0
256,132 cycles
C = Testing tube 01 250,907 cycles
D = Testing tube 02* 2,600 cycles
*Test aborted after 2,600 cycles

Application example

 
E4 tubes in a machine tool

Cables are safely guided and protected from dirt and dust. In this application, an igus® snap-on clip was installed to guide a hydraulic hose.

6... Quick-release crossbars

25% time savings using the quick-release lock for opening and closing the energy chain

... holding strength up to 112 lbs (50.8 kg) tensile strength
... reduce assembly times by 25% - 80%

Details of working principle

Quick opening crossbars  
Quick opening crossbars

Two fastening straps on the top of the crossbar can be unlocked manually or by using a screwdriver. Lateral sliders then release the crossbar from the side plate of the energy chain.

igus® tested

 
Comparison of assembly times

Opening in one step, no second step is necessary. 25% faster assembly than standard crossbars. Even higher holding strength.

Application example

 
E4-1 energy chain in a feeder

Good accessibility to the cables saves valuable assembly time. Not only when first filling the energy chain, but also in case of a potential replacement during operation.

7... Tongue and groove

For high stability in cross accelerations and high torsional stability through "grip"

... additional loads of almost 17.6 lbs (8 kg) on 6.56 ft (2 m) unsupported lenghts
... ideal for side-mounted applications or high torsional forces

Details of working principle

Tongue and groove design  
Tongue and groove design

The chain links are hooked together, providing extremely high torsional stability in the energy chain and for high unsupported lengths even in side-mounted applications.

igus® tested

 
Break test with Zwick material test equipment

We test every system for maximum load capacity to get reliable information on service life, which is also incorporated into our online service life calculator.
 
Test 4099:6.56 ft (2 m) E4 energy chain with 16.9 lbs (7.7 kg) of additional load

Application example

 
Unsupported application

An E4 energy chain hangs unsupported on this reflecting telescope. The stable design and tongue and groove provide for a safe energy supply system in this installation type.

8... Inner/outer link design

For straight runs, high parallelism and high stability

... alternate inner and outer links provide for very straight runs
... exact parallelism in the energy chain hinges support the durability

Details of working principle

Tongue and groove design  
Inner-/outer link principle

igus® tested

 

Inner/outer link design in all E4-1 energy chains.

Application example

 
Assembly on site on long travel

This energy chain is neatly positioned in a guide trough with the same minimum clearances to the right and left. This is important for the durability of the entire system.

9... Cable-friendly plastic crossbars

For even higher service life of cables through a rounded design

... Cables have the longest durability with plastic crossbars
... no plastic deformation with external impact force

Details of working principle

Cable friendly polymer crossbars  
Cable friendly polymer crossbars

Smooth, cable-friendly inner contour and rounded crossbars allow a long service life of cables and hoses. In testing, the combination of the tribo-optimized plastic crossbars with the jacket material of the cables, proves to be the best matching pair for long service life.

igus® tested

 

Cable wear in plastic crossbars: Jacket materials of different materials show the best wear results in plastic crossbars. Moreover, compared to aluminum crossbars, these are not subject to plastic deformation with external impact force.

Application example

 
Coal excavator

Even in rough applications, like here in a coal excavator, the wear naturally plays an important part. Among others, hydraulic cables are guided inside the energy chain.

10... Cable-friendly interior separation

Rounded base for higher service life

... nearly half the cable wear
... less parts, more possibilities

Details of working principle

Cable friendly polymer crossbars  
Cable friendly polymer crossbars

Smooth, cable-friendly and rounded contours provide for long service life of the cables and hoses. A more cable-friendly interior separation can now be implemented with less standardized components.

igus® tested

 
Wear tests

With the new rounded separators, the wear of the cables can be cut in half.
 
Test 3748:Separator 301 compared to new version 45-1. The matching pair of plastic and jacket material also turns out to be the best in testing.

Application example

 

Here the rounded plastic crossbars assist in increasing the service life of the cables.

11... Sound brake

Dampens noise of the stop dog and rolling

... Noise levels from 33 dB(A) are possible, 46 dB(A) are measured with igus® E4 series
... many series are certified by TÜV Rheinland

Details of working principle

Brake  
Brake

Simple principle, but extremely effective. A wedge-shaped contour in the energy chain stop dog dampens the stop dog noise.

igus® tested

 

We test many igus® energy chains for noise emissions in our own laboratory. We also get many series tested by TÜV. Sound values of igus® energy chains are, for instance, measured between 33 db(A) - 46 dB(A).
 
Test 4381:E4.32 with running noise below
44 db(A) stop dog noise, at 3.28 ft/s (1 m/s)

Application example

 
Even more silent with dampening pads

If the rolling noise needs to be reduced further, the optional dampening pads can help. A reduction up to 5 dB(A) is possible.

12... Wear pad

For long service life even on long travels

... 6,213.7 miles (10,000 km) plus in running performance is guaranteed
... for long travels and high service life

Details of working principle

Wear pad  
Wear pad

igus® tested

 

Every energy chain achieves at least 6,213.7 miles (10,000 km) of running performance on long travel - often much more. This is a "promise" that we've been fulfilling for years.

Application example

 
Longest travels with energy chains

Reliably solve long travels with igus® energy chains, like the E4 Series here in a gantry crane, guided in an igus® guide trough for 722 ft (220 m).

13... 1,030 chainflex® cables from stock

... no cutting costs, no minimum quantities
... chainflex® works or your money back

Details of working principle

Wear pad  
Variety of cables

Flexible cables in energy chains, or in robots, require special features to survive high cycles, high speeds and accelerations, as well as more demanding environmental conditions. EMC safety and the compliance with norms and guidelines such as NFPA 79, UL, CSA, VDE, Interbus and Profibus are also a necessary requirement today. The igus® chainflex® product range covers energy-chain friendly control cables, servo cables, motor cables, as well as robot cables and also bus cables, data cables, encoder cables and fiber optic cables.

igus® tested

 
Complex tests of all Chainflex® cables in moving operation

chainflex® cables are always tested in practice. This means in the energy chain or in motion, such as here in the igus® climate chamber at -40° F (-40°C).

Application example

 
Reliable function in all axes

In this CNC multi-spindle lathe, every single working position must be securely supplied with media, energy and signals. High freedom of movement in all axes requires high durability and reliable cables.

14... Good protection against dirt and chips, even against hot chips

For cable protection

... hot chips up to 1,562° F (850° C) cannot burn through
... extremely tight and still easy to open

Details of working principle

For the protection of your cable  
For cable protection

igus® Energy Tubes to protect cables and hoses are already successfully used in the chip area for almost 20 years. Dust, dirt, oil, aggressive environments, humidity, cold and heat do not affect the rugged plastic energy supply systems. The optional HT material makes the 1,562° F (850° C) hot chips just bounce off - no burn-in possible.

igus® tested

 
Quantity (g) of burnt-in chips depending on the temperature

Test:.04 lbs (20 g) hot chips 392° F to 1,562° F (200° C to 850° C) applied on different materials. The graph shows which chip quantity was burnt-in. Winner: igumid HT up to 1,562° F (850° C).

Application example

 

High-temperature Energy Tubes inside the machine guide and protect the cables in the hot chip areas.

15... Wear allowance

Long service life, even for applications that are turned sideways

... lateral wear pads provide for a long service life
... an important criteria, particularly in applications turning 90°

Details of working principle

Wear allowance  
Wear allowance

igus® tested

 

Abrasion tests at the igus® laboratory. The service life of energy chains are tested in endurance tests.

Application example

 
Circular application "RBR" with energy chains turing 90°.

400° rotary movement in a crane head. Thereby large circle diameters with high fill weights are possible.

16... Special contour of the links

Smooth-running due to soft unrolling

... silent unrolling of energy chains improve installation

Details of working principle

Special link design  
Special link design

The contour provides for better unrolling of energy chains and a simpler installation process.

igus® tested

 

The contour of the chain links reduces the polygon effect, smoothly rolling the chain. Even a "zigzag" installation is supported.

Application example

theater  
Theater

In a quiet theater, large E4 energy chains, in a zigzag application, run as silent as possible.

17... Without pretension

by simply rotating the exterior link

... release with the same energy chain version without pretension
... no (thermal) finishing, available from stock

Details of working principle

No pre-tensioning  
No pretensioning

Due to simple turning of the inner links, an energy chain with pretension can be quickly turned into an NC version. NC versions are only required in special applications, for instance, in hanging applications and crammed space conditions.

igus® tested

 

Special products, e.g. for storage and retrieval units, are also tested here, for instance the Guidelok Slimline F System that prevents the energy chain from swinging out in storage and retrieval units.

Application example

Hanging installation in a construction machine  
Hanging installation in a construction machine

Particularly in hanging installations or crammed space conditions, energy chains without pretension are the first choice.

18... Few parts, made from one material

Quickly assembled, high dynamics and no differing material expansion

... accelerations up to 2,572.18 f/s² (784 m/s²)
... same materials

Details of working principle

Few parts  
Few parts

E4 energy chains are made from only a few parts, and are all made form the same material, which is important in high accelerations. The same material is optimal in material expansion/shrinking due to temperature differences.

igus® tested

 

Long-term testing at the igus® laboratory is done at speeds up to 32.8 f/s (10 m/s), and more.

Application example

E4 crash test facility  
E4 in a crash test facility

Extreme accelerations up to 2,571.5 f/s² (784 m/s²) require a precisely fitting and clearance-free energy supply system. This is guaranteed by the low number of parts.

19... Strain relief of electrical cables

Space reducing and reliable chainfix program

... Three times higher tensile strength of igus® chainfix clamps
... also safe under the influence of oil, coolant, water

Details of working principle

Strain relief for electrical cables  
Strain relief

Strain relief systems from igus® were specifically developed for the use in energy chain and dynamic applications. The combination of chainflex® cable materials and the in-contact plastic components of the chainfix strain relief systems from igus® are designed for high cable durability and maximum holding force.

igus® tested

 

The tensile strength of the igus® chainfix clamp is more than three times as high as conventional strain relief systems.

Application example

 

Media, data and control cables are reliably and securely strain-relieved in this ready-to-install readychain® system for machine tools.

20... Tight mounting bracket

... chip protection up to the front edge of the Energy Tube
... profile rails can be retrofitted for strain relief

Details of working principle

 
Tight mounting bracket

Retrofitted and very tight. With front mounting, the "tight KMA" keeps away dirt and chips.

igus® tested

 

With the tight "KMA" a last gap was closed in applications in working environments of machine tools. The chip-proof plastic/metal mounting brackets, with integrated profile rails, protect the cables up to the front edge of the energy chain, while providing the possibility for strain relief at the same time (with the help of CFX strain relief clips).

Application example

 

Front flange-mounted with the "all-round" fastening KMA mounting bracket (KMA: plastic-metal connection)

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