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RWTH Aachen tests vibration behaviour of energy chains
Energy chains are used in production equipment, robots and tooling machines to guide and protect cables and hoses. Sometimes vibration can occur on the support channel and at the towing arm during the movement. The laboratory for tooling machines (WZL) and business operations RWTH Aachen carried out a study: "vibration investigations on energy chains". The results were that the E6 energy chain from Igus stood out due to minimum vibration and maximum smooth running.
The WZL tested five energy chains on a highly dynamic linear test stand with direct drive. The E6 energy chain and the 380 series from the E4.100 standard program both from Igus were investigated as well as three comparable energy chains from other suppliers. The energy chains all had interior widths from 100 to 105 mm and interior heights from 42 to 52 mm. The speed of movement and acceleration of the system were varied (speeds of movement: 25 m/min, 50 m/min, 100 m/min and 200 m/min; accelerations: 10 m/s2 and 20 m/s2). The vibration near the energy chains was measured at 6,000 Hz, using 3-axis acceleration sensors on the towing arm and in the support channel.
The energy affecting towing arm is up to 28 percent lower with the Igus energy chain E6 than with the other energy chains tested. The RWTH Aachen found the E6 to have the lowest vibration level by far. In line with this proof of smooth running, an official report prepared by the TUV Rhineland shows that the E6 is also extremely quiet. During laboratory tests in the company's technical centre, the energy chain was tested at 37 dB (A) self-supporting at 1 m/s.
The key design feature of the E6 is that the classical pin/bore connection have been replaced by a resilient polymer spring .The so-called polygon effect that can occur when an energy chain is unrolled, is now reduced to a minimum. This leads to extremely low noise development and almost vibration-free running of the energy chain. This is ideal in the combination with linear motors, for example, where extremely high accelerations can be achieved with the E6 whilst keeping a smooth motion. The resilient spring element of the E6 energy chain was successfully tested in the Igus laboratory for 220 million cycles.
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