igus has developed its first plastic-steel hybrid energy chain for telescopic applications, such as cherry pickers, telehandlers and boom lifts. Compared to conventional steel energy chains which are sometimes used in these applications, the new YE.42 e-chain is half the weight. It also provides up to 10m unsupported travel, which is 50% more than for plastic energy chains.
“Previously, mobile machine builders relied on rigid steel chains, which are very difficult to assemble and must often be completely replaced if maintenance or repair work is required,” said Justin Leonard, Director, the chain division, igus. “For machine operators and rental companies, servicing can therefore be costly - the YE.42 e-chain solves these problems.”
The hybrid e-chain is easy to install and maintain thanks to its modular design. It is easy to assemble without using screws, rivets or bolts, a clear advantage over steel energy chains, which may loosen under vibration. The load bearing links are made of steel to ensure high rigidity, while the pin-bore connections, outer plates and crossbars are made of high-performance plastic, which reduces the overall weight. The hinged crossbars enable cables and hoses to be installed and replaced quickly, without having to be dismantled.
igus also offers a wide range of interior separators to protect the cables and hoses, prolonging service life. Currently available from stock with an internal height of 42mm and a width of 50-400mm and a bending radius of 100mm, the e-chain is available in other sizes upon request. It is also available as a preassembled readychain system with chainflex cables suitable for energy chains and tested, hydraulic components as well as hoses and hose fittings.