How to prevent cable failures in energy chains

Written by: igus | Published:

Modern automation applications, such as high-speed pick-and-place, often take standard electrical cables beyond their limits. As a result, they can suffer from corkscrew-like deformation, broken copper strands and damaged jackets. When this happens, electrical disruption or failure is possible and, in the worst-case scenario, production stoppages can occur. In order to prevent cable failures, energy chain specialist igus developed its own fully optimised cable range called chainflex. In this week’s video, igus demonstrates the differences between standard and chainflex cables.

First of all, chainflex cables are designed to take high tensile stresses as the internal cores are bundled with shorter pitch lengths around the centre core rather than in layers. A gusset-filled, pressure extruded inner and outer jacket, rather than a hose extruded jacket, help eliminate any fraying and unravelling of the cores. Further protection is offered by using a shield with optimised braiding angle around the extruded inner jacket. This provides torsion protection as well as prevents electro-magnetic interference, which normally occur in moving applications when the screen can open up.

The lifetime of chainflex cables for a given application is easy to find out. Using the data from 2 billion test cycles igus performs in its laboratory each year, the free online tool service life calculator offers an accurate prediction of the service life of cables.

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