Frequently asked questions about igus® chainflex® cables

Chainflex®, which could be described as a flexible cable, or a cable that endures continuous flex is an igus® own cable. Known for our effective, sustainable and flexible energy chains, igus® realised that the cables their customers were using inside e-chains® were not of equal quality. For this reason, igus® developed cables that could withstand continuous flex, harsh conditions and were long lasting. After running thousands of tests igus® developed – chainflex®.

Cables designed, manufactured and tested to work in applications subject to continuous/constant moving operations.

igus® does not manufacture cables in order to adhere to British Standards as these standards do not apply for cables for use in e-chains®, they are directed more for fixed installations. All igus chainflex® cables are manufactured to improve and optimise the life of the cable inside the e-chain®.

Depending on the specific product, chainflex® cables have a wide variety of approvals, including but not limited to:

  • DNV
  • GL
  • UL
  • CSA
  • CEI
  • CE
  • CTP
  • EAC
  • NEK 606
  • Mud-resistance
  • NFPA
  • Flame Retardant
  • Clean Room
  • Halogen-Free
  • Silicon Free
  • RoHS Compliance

The current carrying capacity will depend on the nominal cross section of the core (mm²), the core insulation material, the ambient temperature of the environment and finally the number of loaded cores carry the current at any one time.

Use this chainflex® online configurator for more information:

The maximum temperature igus® chainflex® can be used in is 100 degrees Celsius, please check our TPE outer jacket products. 

Find out more on our temperature resistant chainflex® page

The IP rating for the module connect is IP54.

For the module connect, at the moment, there are over 100 individual inserts that can be used, covering everything from power, signal, data and pneumatic.

As of yet, this is the only module connect, however, our plan is to start developing other versions in the future.

Cost is relative. Our chainflex® products are designed to work in the most arduous applications with guaranteed performance. In this way, they are highly engineered products that help remove risks to our customers and enable them to design high performing products as cost effectively as possible. Certain applications do not require this level of engineering and as such may use cheaper alternative products.

Each product type can have up to 6 different jacket materials, providing mechanically different options for the same electrical requirement. These products include PVC (standard), PVC (oil resistant), igus® PUR, PUR, TPE (halogen free), TPE (flame retardant).

See our jacket material page.

igus® guarantees the durability and functional safety of its cables, to give machine manufacturers and plants added reliability. The aim is to provide binding statements about the durability of our chainflex® cables when used inside energy chain cable carriers.

Through use of our chainflex® test lab, a laboratory dedicated to optimising and proving the lifetime of all of our chainflex® cables:

  • Largest test laboratory for moving cables in the world
  • 25+ years of experience
  • 2,750 m² test area
  • 125 test set-ups
  • More than 250 tests conducted in parallel in 58 test facilities
  • 2 billion test strokes per year
  • More than 700,000 electrical measurements per year

Our chainflex® guarantee, depending on the product, is up to 36 months or 40 million double strokes (whichever comes first). However, using our chainflex® lifetime calculation tools on our website you can gain non-binding lifetime information based on the parameters of your specific application, enabling you to select the most cost effective product that works.

igus® has a full range of cables designed for use in robotic (torsion) applications, please check our catalogue or website for CFROBOT. These cables utilize spiral screens in order to achieve up to 360° of torsion over 1m.

  • Enables continuous ethernet communication for the control cabinet to the very end of the machine.
  • Due to the new design and core configuration requirements, the cable is now 25% thinner than that of our Cat5e cables with the same data transmission rate.
  • Installation spaces can be 25% smaller than with, for example, CFBUS.PUR.045.
  • Costs are also reduced, up to 20% less than those of a four-paired Cat5e cable.

Absolutely! CFBUS.PUR.042 is a live product available from stock for next day delivery from UK stock or up to 10 working days from igus® GmbH stock.

Unfortunately not. igus® specialise in creating cables specifically designed for long lasting lifetime when installed inside energy chain / dynamic systems. We have designed CFBUS.PUR.042 to conform to the strict requirements demanded to be this Bus protocol and that will also last for up to 10 million double strokes guaranteed, but the associated equipment will need to be sourced depending on the equipment you have and require.

chainflex® express  

The cables in the chainflex® express system cover a wide range of requirements, including control, data, bus, encoder, servo, motor and robot (torsion). If you go to the chainflex® express area of our website you will be able to see which products we have for shipping within 24 hours.

Our chainflex® express cables are available with next day delivery or even same day collection if required! There are some locations that will have a slightly longer delivery time, and these are covered in our standard delivery terms and conditions.

Technically? Nothing. The only real difference is that we guarantee to keep stock of chainflex® express cables in our factory in Northampton to help support our customers who have an immediate requirement.

We guarantee to keep a minimum of 50m of stock available for next day delivery as part of our chainflex® express programme. Part-shipment and other delivery options are available on standard lead times, while this system is designed to support customers with emergency situations.

Absolutely not! chainflex® express cables and standard cables are the same thing. The only difference is that express cables are guaranteed to have stock in the U.K. ready to order. The standard price breaks are applicable for both!

The selection of predominantly PUR outer jacket cables in our chainflex® express range is purely by design. PUR has the widest application range in terms of temperature, oil resistance, regulation approvals and standards, bend radius, and many other performance figures. Therefore, we have selected a wider range of PUR cables to ensure that our customers always have a product that will work for their application.

chainflex® express is designed to support our customers who need dynamic cables VERY quickly. This may be due to a breakdown on the production line, or issues with an existing supplier, or a delivery holding up production – we know that speed is key. With the chainflex® express system, you can order online or give us a call, knowing that we will have stock to get you moving again.

Absolutely. For larger volume requirements, there is often a need for immediate stock and then regular supply to follow. In these circumstances, please give us a call and we can organise to ship the stock on a next day delivery or prepare for a same day collection where the cables are required straight away.  We aim to ensure that your ongoing requirements are organised in a way that suits you.

There are very few occasions where a chainflex® express cable is not on stock, even when it is supposed to be. On these occasions, please call us straight away and we will support you with an alternative solution of equal or better performance at no extra cost.

Ordering on the website is just one way of placing orders with igus®. If you prefer to speak to us to ask questions or simply to place an order over the phone then, absolutely, give us a call and our team will be delighted to support you however they can.