Energy chains for extreme conditions
Cologne-based innovation driver igus, known for its low-wear high-performance polymers, is igniting a veritable fireworks display of innovations. Among them are some highly specialized energy chains for use under extreme conditions.7 Sep 2022
At a time when many things are being called into question - above all energy production from fossil fuels - it is important to realize from time to time that we will have to swallow some toads for a little longer than we and, above all, the climate would like. This includes plants in the oil and gas industry, both onshore and offshore. But renewables are also increasingly going where the conditions are harsh and demanding. Anchoring the foundations of offshore wind farms requires work that is hardly less demanding than extracting oil and gas.
Hard bread in heavy seas
The frequently changing conditions on land, but especially at sea, therefore demand a lot from construction components of such plants. Whether salt water, vibrations, dirt, extreme temperature differences, high mechanical stresses or the risk of explosion - almost all components are exposed to extreme conditions during drilling and production operations. Suppliers for such components are therefore required to meet maximum quality criteria, as it is not only the equipment used that is at stake, but usually also human lives and the prevention of environmental disasters.
Et hätt noch jot jejange (It's still the same)
The Cologne-based company igus is one of the recognized specialists in particular for energy supply systems, cables and hoses. The innovation driver from the Rhineland - for the year 2022 alone, 175 new or optimized solutions can be found in the extensive portfolio - meets the challenges just mentioned with its plastics expertise acquired over decades.
Whether on the cantilever or in highly dynamic pipe handling - igus has the right products for these special places of application. In land drilling rigs or offshore drilling rigs, the Cologne-based company not only ensures a reliable energy supply system - thanks to its own engineering team and DNV- and NEK-certified chainflex cables, igus is also a provider of ready-to-connect complete systems, tailored to very individual requirements. The aforementioned pot of innovations thus also includes components that are intended to meet the requirements described even better.
The first energy chain made of up to 100 percent recycled material.
With the cradle-chain E2.1.CG, igus is celebrating a world premiere. The first energy chain made of recycled material was created on the basis of the igus chainge program, which collects discarded plastic drag chains and energy chains instead of disposing of them with other products via industrial waste. The special feature here is that igus basically accepts all energy chains, including those from other manufacturers. The goal behind this is to recycle as much of the collected plastic as possible, either in the company's own production or by using a recycling partner who feeds the material into a new recycling process. The igus team itself separates sorted material on site and processes the material that can be used for its own production into regranulate. By the way, igus compensates suppliers of discarded material with a voucher, which is calculated according to the weight of the chains sent in.
This makes it possible to produce the cradle-chain E2.1.CG from up to 100 percent recycled material; only in individual cases do small quantities of new material have to be added if required. The Cologne-based company christened its recycled material, which according to the igus developers is actually supposed to have new material quality, igumid CG. As usual, igus has plenty of information material available on its website for interested parties, but as always, the Cologne-based company is also open to a direct approach.
Heavy-duty roller chain for maximum service life with optimized design
The new igus heavy-duty roller chain P4HD.56R is designed in particular for requirements that will apply to container cranes of the next generation and the one after that. That means longer and longer travels, higher dynamics, short load cycles, zero failures - at least that's what it says, in a nutshell, in the specifications of the manufacturers of ship-to-shore container cranes for energy chains on the crane bridges. According to igus, the new P4HD.56R is supposed to meet all these requirements - with maximum cost-effectiveness.
Hybrid energy chain YE - Strong, vibration-resistant and compact
The hybrid energy chain YE in itself is not entirely new in the igus range. Its material mix of lightweight plastic and sturdy steel is generally considered the ideal compromise for coping with high unsupported travel. The YE system was developed from the requirements of construction machines and hoisting platforms, i.e. the highest possible unsupported length with compact dimensions and the lowest possible weight. Another special feature of the YE system is a design that dispenses with screws, rivets or bolts because these could come loose under vibration.
New from summer 2022 are now YE hybrid chains with an inner height of up to 112 millimeters (maximum inner height previously 56 millimeters), which can accommodate correspondingly more or more strongly dimensioned cables. In addition, an optional cover system is now available for some sizes, which protects the inside of the chain even more reliably from external influences.
Modular energy chain system e-loop
The e-loop modular energy chain system from igus is used to safely guide cables in suspended applications. Developed as an alternative to the service loop, the e-loop is thus ideal for three-dimensional applications. For this purpose, the e-loop is said to combine the advantages of a plastic energy chain with those of a high-strength traction rope, with the traction forces being transmitted through the traction rope inside the chain to the connecting elements and the structure. As a result, the cables inside themselves remain completely strain-relieved. The modular e-loop chain made of high-performance plastic also offers a defined bending radius and is said to withstand vibrations and impacts.
New in 2022 is the new e-loop ELP.TD.300 for top-drive applications. Unlike previous versions, the outer chain link of the ELP.TD.300 consists of only a single injection-molded part, which is said to further reduce the risk of so-called "drops." Side openings also simplify the filling of lines. Added to this are other advantages such as easy maintenance, long service life, and weather resistance.
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