Why do we offer a guarantee and UL certification for chainflex® cables?

UL certification

We offer a guarantee and UL certification for chainflex® cables

It is a well-known fact that igus® manufactures plastic energy chains. A slightly lesser-known fact is that igus® also manufactures cables to go into the energy chains.  This was developed as a NEED as opposed to a want. We had developed the energy chains to outperform all other chains, however, the various cables being used were failing. These failures resulted in damage such as corkscrews, broken outer-jackets and cores. The root cause was established to be that the cables simply could not handle the required movements for a long enough period.

These cable failures often caused machine and system downtime and consequently, this resulted in customers moving away from the e-chain®.

This presented the igus® developers with a new challenge: to make durable cables for our energy chains.

This required a great deal of development, experimentation and testing. Extensive research was carried out to assess properties which were important for these cables to ensure a long service life. The first chainflex® cable, the CF1, was introduced in 1988 and year on year, the igus® cable product portfolio has grown. Not only has the range grown but our expertise at igus® has grown too. We gathered feedback from customers and started to get an understanding of what our customers needed from their cables.

Testing, testing, testing

testing UL certification

Testing, as always, is at the centre of all igus® products. Tests at the birth of a new product is essential, however, we do not stop there. We test continuously to ensure that our products are the best that they can be. Our chainflex® cables are the vessels that keep machines moving and yet they are classified as C parts. In customers minds they are insignificant, until the machines stop and then they become very significant – and by then it can be too late.

So, what tests do we do at igus®?

All cables go through electrical testing to ensure their safety, this is standard. They are also subjected to tests to determine a level of mechanical stress – but there are no standard tests for energy chain cables, so we do our own. We research real-life applications in which the cable will later be used and use these examples for tests. Our testing ensures that the cables withstand a certain number of strokes with a defined radius. This is how it passes the igus® test!

We also look at tensile strength, different forces and various recurring loads. In the test laboratory, we installed various chains for different movements (long travel, short travel, etc.). The chainflex® cable movements enable us to measure things such as wear and stresses. These tests allow us to maintain a consistently high quality of cable and even enables us to offer the customers a guarantee.

In additional to this up to 36-month guarantee, we offer an online service life calculation tool. The customer can enter application parameters, and the expected service life is displayed. This works even if the bend radius is smaller than the minimum or if a significantly larger bend radius is used for a particular cable. The expected service life for alternative cables is shown, making it easy to see whether another cable is more suitable.

This guarantee represents the quality of the chainflex® cables, and the investments and time put into testing them. The guaranteed service life is based on the many cable tests collected over more than 25 years. In addition, these have been checked and confirmed and verified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a globally renowned independent external company, and we can now also provide verified UL certification with our chainflex® cables.

Why do we offer a verified UL certification?

UL certification

Let me give you some UL certification facts:

  • UL is an independent science and technology company which establishes and maintains industry-wide safety standards for mechanical, electrical and chemical products.
  • UL conducts regular product testing in accordance with applicable standards. This is followed by further audits to monitor compliance and product consistency.
  • The UL Verified mark allows consumers to verify the accuracy of marketing and promotional claims for a product, process, system or facility.

18 months ago, UL began reviewing the chainflex® cables and their audits cemented our own opinions of the cables – high quality, reliable and predictable. This has been recognised by the UL certification and we now have our own UL logo. The UL test mark with the number B129699 is an individual recognition feature. It allows the customer to look up more information online about specific chainflex® products verified by UL.

We have confidence in our chainflex® cables, an independent body has confidence in our chainflex® products, isn’t it time you tried these for yourself and see if you too can experience the same confidence?

Find out more about igus® chainflex® cables by reading our blogs here.


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