A wide variety of cables are used in industrial settings. Power transmission, automation and process control, and networking and communication all require heavy-duty industrial cables. Cables need to work flawlessly under high voltages and extreme stress in high-speed motion, while being exposed to chemicals, oil, fire, and temperature variations. To meet such requirements, cable manufacturers have significantly invested in research and design, but also in testing, devising product lines specifically suited to individual industry sectors or applications. To be commercially available, such cables must also meet international industrial standards compiled by various government and industry bodies.
What are Igus Chainflex® Cables?
One of the pioneers and largest global manufacturers of flexible industrial cables is Igus, a German-based company. Their chainflex® line of industrial cables was conceived more than three decades ago, as an answer to frequent guided cable failure in power delivery in high-speed moving applications. The permanent deformation of guided cables caused by excessive physical stressing led to “corkscrew” cables, which subsequently caused core rupturing and costly interruptions in production. By stranding cable conductors in bundles, around tension-proof centre cores, rather than the traditional layered bundling, the igus chainflex cable is able to withstand high loads and speeds without any deformation. The chainflex line is used in numerous industrial applications where high-motion power delivery, flexibility, data and signal control are involved. This includes a motor, servo, power, control and robot, and data cables.
Types of Igus Chainflex Cables
Igus motor cables are suitable for heavy-duty, high-speed and acceleration applications, such as automation, plant and robot construction, cable tracks, car manufacturing, control and manufacturing engineering, and other uses. Igus chainflex motor cables are available as PVC motor cable, PUR motor cable and TPE motor cable. They are sold in a single-core or multi-core cable configuration.
Single-core lead screw cables with PVC outer jackets are suitable where high cable flex is needed. This includes the packaging industry, supply systems, plant processing and indoor industrial uses. Motor cables with TPE jackets are suited for power delivery in both heavy-duty outdoor and indoor applications, like warehousing, tool machining, outdoor cranes and low-temperature settings. Their insulation is oil, chemical and UV resistant and can support gliding distances of up to 400 metres. Variants with PUR jacketing are used in extreme high-voltage applications like conveyors and heavy-duty cranes.
All motor cables are flame retardant, silicone and halogen-free, with or without inner shielding, and with high cycle ratings that uphold current industry certification. Motor cables are black in colour.
Igus chainflex servo cables are used in medium to extreme heavy-duty applications. They have an orange outer jacket and overall shielding able to withstand electromagnetic interference. Servo cables are suited for power management with higher voltage ratings, and the outer jackets in PUR, TPE and PVC coating are oil, flame, UV, coolant, hydrolysis and microbe-resistant. Extreme use examples are in underwater boring machines and oil platforms.
Igus chainflex robot cables are used in the robotic industry, where mechanical stress is very high. Robot cables need to withstand countless bending and twisting at high speeds. Igus robot and control cables are oil, coolant, impact and UV resistant and are also flame-retardant. Igus chainflex robot cables are widely used in energy chains and 3D applications.
Igus chainflex cables are used for data and communication signalling, alongside bus, coaxial and control cables and connect sensors and display units. Like other chainflex cables, they come in PVC, PUR or TPE outer jackets, offer high flexibility and tensile strength, and have high cycle ratings in moving applications, typically automation processes.
Igus chainflex cables are available for a number of specialised industries and uses. Thermocouple cables are used in industrial premises temperature extremes, Cflat motor cables are found in semiconductor assembly and machining equipment, and rail control cables in railway signalling systems.
Other cables from Igus include harnessed cables, like ethernet and fibre optic cables, and cables that are compatible with specific machine brand connections and standards.
What Makes Igus Chainflex Cables Different?
Igus are at the forefront of industrial cable design. Their chainflex cable line consists of over 1000 cables in varying dimensions, configurations and materials. Internal conductor braiding of pure copper and complex shielding designs, along with outer multi-layered gusset-filled jacketing stands up to a variety of hazardous conditions and environments. Supreme mechanical strength combined with superlative flexibility makes the chainflex cable line suitable in all types of industry. The company tests each of its products rigorously in real-world and lab environments, ensuring all cables will exceed their life expectancy, and cycle ratings. If any damage does occur, the cables are easily removed and replaced. Every igus chainflex cable is designed and produced in accordance with industrial standards including DESINA, UL and IPA.
Igus Chainflex Cables are sold through specialised industrial and cable wholesalers throughout Australia. Staff can help you determine which kind of cable you need for your purposes. Prices vary, particularly among current loading and sheathing and shielding quality, or general industrial cables to those withstanding the toughest conditions.