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“Ice Chain” Reduces Freeze Induced Downtime

Two moulded domes per chain link reduce the contact surface area and thus also the risk of freezing of the ice-chain. (Source: igus GmbH)

“Ice Chain” Reduces Freeze Induced Downtime

In order to prevent freezing of the energy supply, such as on inclined lifts, igus has developed a new e-chain called the “ice-chain”. With injection-moulded raised contact points, the chance of freezing is significantly reduced along with the costs of downtime and maintenance.

Inclined lifts are used in a variety of places to transport people or goods. However, regardless of its purpose, inclined lifts always require long-lasting, trouble-free operational systems. A failure would usually cause high maintenance costs due to the its height and limited accessibility. These challenges are compounded when inclined lifts are used in adverse weather conditions, such as in passenger lifts in the mountains or in construction lifts outdoors. This is because in these scenarios, operations can only be continued after a complicated process of defrosting. Thus, concepts that prevent freezing of energy chains are needed to guarantee safety and reliability under these extreme conditions.

New Design Prevents Plant Failure

There is a risk of freezing especially in systems with energy chains that are rarely moved and igus’ freeze-resistant ice-chain is best suited for such purposes. The technology powering these chains are as simple as it is effective: two raised domes per chain link are injection-moulded onto the crossbars of the e-chain along the outer radius of the chain. As a result, the contact surface area, and thus the risk of freezing, is significantly reduced. The e-chain is still safe in the guide, but it touches with only a tiny surface area and does not stick. The domes applied on the crossbars by injection moulding optimise the climate behaviour of the ice-chain without diminishing the traditionally high strength of the e-chains. The rectangular stop-dog system, which distributes the forces evenly, and the strong pin/bore connection in the side links guarantee high strength, offering large payloads or fill weights. Since the domes have only a height of 1.8 millimetres, the installation height is only slightly larger. The ice-chain can therefore be easily integrated even in confined installation spaces.

Withstand Freezing Temperatures With e-chains And Chainflex Cables

Like all e-chains for outdoor use, the ice-chain is made of weatherproof and media-resistant high-performance plastics. The material igumid G can be used in applications down to -40°C. Together with chainflex cables optimised for continuous dynamic use in energy chains, the ice-chain reliably moves applications even in snow and ice. With jacket materials made of PUR or TPE, chainflex cables provide trouble-free service even at temperatures well below freezing over a very long period of time. And if temperatures down to -35°C should actually occur, a chainflex CF29 series servo cable will still reliably supply any drive system. As part of the igus ready-chain concept, the ice-chain is also available as a complete system fully equipped with pre-harnessed cables that can be quickly installed and connected.

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