Test number: 4428
Cable type: CFSPECIAL.182.045
Test parameter: static tensile test
Service life: 15,000% more than called for in DIN VDE 0298
chainflex® works - Proven in Test No. 4428 of more than 600 parallel experiments in the 18,840 sq. ft. test lab for flexible cables
In the igus® in-house laboratory, constant series of tests are conducted under the most difficult conditions in order to give you reliable information about the suitability of our cables for your application. Would you like to learn more about it? Contact igus® Phone: 800-521-2747
igus®, as a system supplier of energy chains and chainflex® cables for use in constantly moving energy supply systems, has been operating an extensive test lab for over 20 years.
The chainflex® lab focuses on special trials and tests that are not covered by applicable standards and labs, which are essential for determining the service life and function of moving cables. [Uncover linktext="Continue reading..."]
There have been and continue to be a virtually infinite number of cable suppliers who also sell cables for the so-called "chain compatible" market. But customers are increasingly confronted with the question to what extent these cables are genuinely suited for the application, and at what point they need to anticipate a malfunction. The tests and inspections frequently taken from the standards only apply in the rarest of cases to the specific customer requirements, since these specific requirements cannot ultimately be described with standards.
The igus® lab is dedicated precisely to these customer requirements. Through its involvement with committees that are responsible for publishing standards and/or regulations, such as VDE and UL, igus® has created tests and production standards for chainflex® cables that properly address the actual requirements for cables in continuously moving applications.
In doing so, igus® differentiates between fundamentally different tests and evaluations:
1. Materials testing: In accordance with customer requirements, new materials are being developed for conductors, insulation, or jacket materials, etc. This involves developing significant differences that are not immediately apparent, specifically for conductors and jacket materials. Tests refer to up to eight different chainflex® standards.
2. Design validations: This involves the systematic evaluation of new fixtures, production processes, and the related impact on service life. In the past, these reviews in particular have demonstrated that ostensibly equivalent production processes can nevertheless result in significant differences in moving applications.
3. In-process quality testing: In accordance with certain selection algorithms, cables are randomly selected after production has been completed and subjected to standard tests customarily used for cable production and special igus® tests. The lab may test up to 10% of all produced cables in long-term bending tests, and performs the required structural examinations.
4. Service life endurance testing: These test projects may need to allocate up to 4 years, and examine the actual maximum service life of selected cables.
The key in this case is to consistently monitor the parameters, in order to recognize failure at the right point in time.
5. Customer-specific applications: A special service consists of customer-specific testing in accordance with igus® standards.
These tests are based on customer specific motion sequences of the application, and, in the case of particularly critical applications, have the significant advantage that the tests can define the limits and any available optimizations before mass production begins.
The chainflex® lab Of course a variety of conditions need to be met so that the aforementioned tests are conducted in a purposeful, systematic, and reproducible manner.
In addition to the igus® testing standards, which establish specific rules for the tests and ensure comparability, the necessary framework conditions must be created. The 18,840 sq. ft. lab addresses these conditions:
The lab team has more than 50 different test rigs and machines at its disposal. A wide variety of travel distances (ranging from 1 foot to 394 feet) are available; in addition, horizontal and suspended applications can also be implemented.
Torsion test rigs with 12 triflex® multi-axis cable carriers provide a host of testing options and expand the torsion test product range, which is rounded out by four different six axis robots.
Special purpose testing stations for wear and media testing, which test under significantly more realistic testing conditions than the exposure and aging tests conducted based on UL or VDE, are specifically used for materials development. These have significantly contributed to the fact that igus® outer jacket materials are more specifically tuned to the materials in energy supply systems, therefore guaranteeing the best possible reliability.
Frequently underestimated thermal influences on moving cables can be tested at temperature cycles ranging from -40° F to 140° F in a special cooling container that is equipped with a 23 foot long axis.
This provides the significant advantage that the user does not have to strictly rely on the conventional winding mandrel test in accordance with VDE, but that aging can also be tested under continuous motion in a variety of different temperature cycles. For the purposes of these tests, the 23 foot long cable carrier axis can be operated with a variety of different radii and chain types.
Naturally, all tests currently being conducted on more than 600 test cables are systematically and effectively documented. After all, these 600 test cables quickly mean that approximately 5000 measurement locations need to be continuously monitored.
This early detection – without destructive testing – is particularly important when drawing conclusions about any required adjustments. After the test is concluded, all cables are disassembled into their constituent components in accordance with specified sequences, and tested and documented in detail.
This permits qualified assessments for all chainflex® cables, and provides the user with planning reliability for his cable selection.