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According to igus, its plastic energy chains are an ideal alternative to steel — the design material of choice for many decades — for working in the harsh environments of the offshore industry. igus e-chains are said to be tougher than steel for a given size and are much lighter; they are also inherently resistant to corrosion and weathering, and the best types are unaffected by exposure to most chemicals and petrochemicals as well as by exposure to UV light from the sun.

Energy chain in a drilling rig

In areas where explosive vapours or gases may be present — that is, those areas where the ATEX Directive applies, as it does to many areas of offshore installations — igus recommends e-chains made of igumid ESD (ATEX material). 

Available in many versions, energy chains provide multi-directional support for cables that provide power, services and communication to moving systems. Typical applications include drilling crane carriages, rig skidders and link spans.

igus offers a range of e-chains in different lengths and sizes, including the world’s largest plastic e-chain, the E4.350, with a maximum fill weight of >100kg/m. This e-chain is predominantly used for the movement of large, heavy and stiff cables, such as those used on oil platforms.

In addition, igus holds GL (Germanischer Lloyd) approval for many of its chainflex cables, which have been designed specifically for offshore applications, including the CF113.D measuring system and CF27.D servo cables. Also available are MUD resistant according to NEK-606 (Norsk Elektroteknisk Komitee) chainflex cables, including the CF 170.D control and CF270.UL.D servo cables.

Igus

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Energy chains are the umbilical cord of modern machines. They minimise downtime and protect, support and extend the service life of cables and hoses. The broad range incorporates more than 30,000 innovative, low-cost products. From the smallest ‘micro’ chain to the largest chain in the world, the E4.350, Igus energy chains are capable of long and short travel distances at high speeds in all axes.

Igus also has its own cable series, Chainflex, specially designed with energy chains in mind. They are highly flexible cables, offering a long service life and very small bending radii. A wide range is available, from small signal cables to large power cables, high-speed data cables and glass fibre-optic cables.

The company’s energy chains and Chainlflex cables can be delivered as a fully harnessed and pre-assembled Readychain system, cutting purchasing, warehousing and installation costs.

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