Spectacular design features and special material solutions

2 min read

New energy chain series "E4.1" available ex-stock

About two and a half years ago, energy chain expert igus® presented their first prototype from its new energy chain "E4.1" series. Now, the complete supply range of this new generation of energy chains is available for delivery ex-stock.

The new "E4.1" family is a further development of the well-known "E4" igus® system that is in use millions of times all over the world. It combines the best design ideas of the two energy chain variants "E4/4" and "E4/100" in one single universal solution, with numerous new design features from the company, also with a wide supply range of five different interior heights from 21 to 80 mm as well as widths from 30 to 600 mm.

Principle of inner/outer side-link
Thanks to the combination of inner and outer side-links, the user has the possibility of choosing different configurations.  Firstly, does an energy chain have to be designed with a high pre-tension and correspondingly large self-supporting length?  Or instead with little pre-tension, which is more suitable in cramped conditions or when used in vertical hanging or standing applications? The patented trick here: the outer side-link is simply turned, controlling the pre-tension. If, on the other hand, the inner side-link is turned, the rotation of the link is changed, and thus the direction of rotation of the energy chain. This makes applications such as "zigzag" possible, for example.

Maximum stability
The sides of the energy chain are connected through a patented "tongue-and-groove" connection. This greatly increases stability both in pull and push direction, especially when the chain is used lying on its side or when high lateral acceleration forces are acting on the chain. The torsional stability of the energy chain is also increased.

Quickly installed and equipped
igus® has developed a completely new quick-action lock for the crossbars of the "E4.1". Users can now open and close even tightly packed energy chains using only a screwdriver, saving both time and physical effort. This new feature helps during initial assembly, repairs or retrofitting. Users do not need any screws, circlips, bolts or any other small parts that can be lost easily. Since the energy chain is accessible from above and below, servicing work can be carried out without it having to be dismantled. "This also applies to long gliding travels using guide troughs," says Justin Leonard, Director for energy chain systems at igus®. "Time-consuming dismantling is not necessary."

New components for division of the interior
The new opening links are ideally integrated with new components for dividing up the interior, which can be combined and are interchangeable. "They have also been developed for even faster installation and cable routing," explains Mr Leonard. This means the interior division can be installed without opening the energy chain. Separators can be inserted easily and without force needed, and cables already inserted can be divided again later.

Smooth running

The standard version of the "E4.1" series of energy chains also has a noise-dampening stop system with an internal "brake". If even quieter noise levels are required, the outer radius of the energy chains can be equipped with additional sound reducing pads, which makes quiet rolling possible. These pads are soft, dampening elements on which reduce sound and vibration as the energy chain is moved.

Plastic instead of steel from "igumid HT" to "XXL"
The "E4.1" supply range also permits numerous special solutions. These range from clean-room versions through to ESD energy chains and include variants which take special fire protection classifications or chemical resistance requirements into account. When equipped with lids and made of the high-temperature special material "igumid HT", the chain can even withstand attacks by chips heated to 850°C, says Justin Leonard. The "E4.1" is now also available in the new "XXL material". This makes applications with 25 percent more self-supporting length possible than with the "normal" version. Travel distances up to 13 m can be achieved safely without channels and supports.

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