50 per cent longer unsupported length:igus expands its series of YE hybrid chains
Jen Chen | September 22, 2020
50 per cent lighter than conventional steel chains and 50 per cent longer unsupported length than energy chains made of polymer: this is what is so special about the igus YE energy supply series. It consists of polymer and steel elements and is therefore especially rigid. igus has now added two new sizes to its easy-to-install series of hybrid chains in order to make it possible to safely guide large hydraulic hoses and extreme fill weights upwards on mobile crane work platforms and construction machinery.
Cables and hoses on drilling rigs, mobile crane platforms and hoists not only have to withstand extreme levels of mechanical stress but also have to be guided safely and compactly upwards along with the machine to which they are attached. For such scenarios, users often rely on heavy steel chains. These, however, involve a lot of installation work and the risk that the complete chain will have to be replaced in the event of maintenance or repairs. At the same time, a machine shutdown means downtime costs. This is why igus developed the YE, the world’s first hybrid chain, which combines the advantages of steel and polymer with each other. “With an inner height of 42 millimetres, the YE is already being used successfully on several construction machines and telescopic arms for unsupported lengths up to 7 metres. Our customers are convinced by the modular design of the energy supply system and by its ease of assembly and installation. This is because the energy chain can be opened and closed easily”, explains Jörg Ottersbach, Head of Business Unit e-chains at igus GmbH. igus has now added two new sizes to its series of hybrid chains in order to enable longer unsupported lengths with hydraulic hoses and heavy fill weights. The YE.56 has an inner height of 56 millimetres and enables unsupported lengths of up to 8.5 metres, whereas the YE.108 has an inner height of 108 millimetres, was developed primarily for drilling rigs and can safely guide heavy and large hydraulic hoses as well as cables up to 9.5 metres upwards.
Polymer and steel – a light and structurally very stable combination
What is special about the YE series is that the supporting chain links of the new energy supply solution are made of steel and ensure high rigidity, whereas the pin/bore connection, the outer links and the crossbars are completely made of a tribologically optimised high-performance polymer. The chain is therefore rigid, structurally stable thanks to its undercut design and, at the same time, up to 50 per cent lighter than conventional steel chains. As a result of the lower weight, higher fill weights on the cantilever arm of mobile crane work platforms are possible. And due to the use of polymer, 22 per cent less energy is needed to manufacture the hybrid chain. Thanks to the modular design of the YE, there is no need for any screws, rivets or bolts that could become loose when vibrations occur. Cables can be replaced quickly due to the openable crossbars and, for the interior of the energy chain, igus supplies interior separation elements that minimise wear on cables and hoses.The energy supply system is also available as a ready-to-connect, harnessed readychain system with chain-friendly and tested chainflex cables, hydraulic components, hoses and hose fittings. All chainflex cables are offered with a unique worldwide guarantee of 36 months, thanks to the numerous tests conducted under real conditions in the in-house 3,800 square metre igus test laboratory.