At the Hannover Messe, igus presented the E4Q, a lightweight e-chain for unsupported lengths and long travels. The chain links of the e-chain have a smooth, contoured design and a completely new crossbar concept with locking straps for weight reduction. These ensure that the new series can be opened and closed in seconds without tools. The energy chain has been specifically developed for the special requirements of unsupported lengths and long travels. The first prototype was presented by igus at the Hannover Messe 2019.
High unsupported lengths and long travels with large fill weight create extreme stress on energy chains. The igus developers have designed the E4Q e-chain intended for such application scenarios. Based on the robust energy chain standard E4.1 from igus, the new series brings along a long service life and a high degree of modularity. In order to optimise material and therefore the weight of the energy chain, shapes inspired by nature are used. The smooth, contoured design can be found on the outside of the chain links as well as on the stop-dogs. Despite material recesses, the new development has a high strength and stability comparable to the E4.1 series.
Another special feature of the E4Q are the crossbars. These can be opened and closed completely without tools. On the top of the crossbar, there are two hollows for the fingers, by which the locking hooks can be easily pulled up. Unlocked on both sides, the crossbar can be removed with little effort. This allows the easy opening and closing of the chain even in a guide trough and accelerates the filling of the e-chain by up to 40 percent. Another advantage: The new crossbar has significantly higher pull-out forces than its counterparts in the locked state thanks to its innovative type.
Due to the special design of the e-chain, this is very quiet in the movement. However, if the user desires additional noise reduction, igus has integrated an optional system in the inner horizontal stop-dog for the E4Q. These are two connected balls that dampen the impact during the radius and extension stop. The balls are made of a new noise-optimised and soft material that further reduces the sound level without restricting the stability of the stop-dogs.