For more than 20 years, igus® has been providing cables under the chainflex® brand for continuous motion in e-chains®, which are uniquely suited to do one thing well:
To achieve this, the chainflex® cables must meet demanding requirements in all e-chain® applications, such as very small bending radii, high cycle frequencies, small installation spaces, and various chemical exposures and dynamic parameters.
igus® performs basic qualifications for cables in accordance with igus® standards at its in-house technical center and test lab. These chainflex® qualification standards include test plans that ultimately result in the igus® "Class".
In addition to the typical cable specific standardized tests (such as endurance flexing cycle tests, aging, abrasions, media resistance, possibly flame resistance, etc.), materials proposed for use in series production on chainflex® cables must pass a host of endurance tests in e-chains®. These test programs, which can last up to 3 years, are always based on motion tests in and with e-chains®/e-chain® materials and comprise:
Endurance bending tests in e-chains® at room temperature and gliding and unsupported travel.
Endurance bending tests in e-chains® at sub-freezing temperatures and travel of 8 m (up to -40 °C, depending on materials)
Endurance bending tests in e-chains® in various liquid media at travel of approx. 0.5 m.
Abrasion tests Abrasion tests in combination with chain materials.
These test programs are based in standard specifications from the certification agencies and are performed in accordance with these specifications.
igus® has now comprehensively expanded its test lab for energy chains and cables to 1,030 sqm. New standard products and customer specific energy chains are constantly being tested on more than 70 test rigs.
Depending on the defined objective (e.g. double stroke), these test programs, which can last 1-3 years, are always based on motion tests in and with e-chains® and comprise:
Endurance bending tests in e-chains® at room temperature and gliding and unsupported travel. The radii are substantially smaller than subsequently defined in the catalog.
Endurance bending tests in e-chains® at varying temperature curves ranging from -40 °C to +60 °C - depending on design and material - at gliding travels and smaller radii than subsequently defined in the catalog.
Endurance torsion tests in triflex® e-chains® at ±180 °/m for torsion cables on the torsion test rig with 1 m triflex® e-chain®.
Endurance torsion tests in triflex® e-chains® with motion programs on 6 axes robots.
After a multi-year qualification of the design and the materials, the production processes are qualified and defined down to the machine level, in order to keep the manufacturing tolerance as low as possible.
Cables are of course systematically and continuously sampled from running production and subjected to a lot test. Lot testing at igus® means:
Recording and reviewing the production parameters in relation to the chainflex® cable.
Performance of endurance bending tests in e-chain® testing rigs with short, fast travels.
To make the choice easier for you, we have classified all chainflex®-cables after the criteria "requirements, oil-resistance and travel distance". The higher the number the better the cable.
Example:You are looking for a cable which resists highest mechanical requirements. The cables are also required to meet oil resistance requirements in accordance with DIN EN 60811-2-1 and DIN EN 50363-10-2. In an unsupported and gliding application, the travel should be up to 100 m.
The classification overview is used to select between:
Requirements: 6 Travel distance: 5 Resistance to oil: 3
This results in the rating of the cable – "Class 6.5.3" in this case – which you can also find in the respective product pages.
1 to 7
from 1 to 7
1 to 4
1: Flexible cables
2: Highly flexible cables
3: Chain-suitable cables without special structure (e.g. stranding in layers) for the use in e-chains®.
4: Cables with special design for continuous movement in e-chains®, medium stressing, radii from 7.5 x d, speed up to 3 m/s
5: Cables for continuous movement in e-chains®, heavy duty use, radius from 6,8 x d, speeds of up to 10 m/s
6: Cables for continuous movement in e-chains® for heavy-duty use, for radii from 5 x d, speed up to 10 m/s
7: Cables for continuous movement in e-chains® for heavy-duty use with smallest radii, indoor and outdoor applications, for radii from 4 x d, speed up to 10 m/s and more
2: Travels up to 10 m
3: Travels up to 20 m
4: Travels up to 50 m
5: Travels up to 100 m
6: Travels up to 400 m and more
7: Torsion applications
1: No resistance to oil
2: Oil-resistant accoring to DIN EN 50363-4-1
3: Oil-resistant accoring to DIN EN 50363-10-2
4: Oil-resistant according to DIN EN 60811-2-1, bio-oil-resistant according to VDMA 24568 with Plantocut 8 S-MB of DEA