C6 e-chain: New design and abrasion-optimised materials for cleanrooms of the highest class

Treotham presents the design study of a particle-free and lightweight energy supply system

High abrasion resistance is crucial for machine elements in cleanrooms. igus has therefore now developed the C6, an energy chain designed to meet the highest cleanroom class. The new chain is specially designed for longer unsupported applications on machines and systems, and is based on the successful E6 and E6.1 cleanroom series from igus. A new connector system and a specially tribologically optimised high-performance polymer make the design study from igus even smoother, easier to assemble and virtually free of any particles in motion.

igus has developed a new energy chain under the abbreviation "C6". "C" stands for its place of use: the cleanroom - and "6" for the number of individual parts per chain link. The new energy supply system was developed by igus on the basis of its successful E6 and E6.1 energy chain series, which are used worldwide, and has now been further optimised as a study. With the new energy supply system, cables and hoses are to be guided in an abrasion-resistant and smooth manner even on medium travel distances in cleanrooms such as in electronics production, the semiconductor industry, in packaging machines, medical technology and also in pharmaceutical production. For this, igus relies on a new type of connecting system for the individual chain links, which makes the chain easy to assemble and lightweight, as well as strong and vibration-dampening. "We have reduced the contact surface to a minimum when moving the C6, so we ensure extremely low abrasion and quiet operation", explains Jörg Ottersbach, Business Unit Manager e-chains at igus GmbH. "In addition, with our knowledge of plastics for movement, we have developed a new material specifically for all points that come into contact with the cables. It further minimises friction." The new design saves 74 per cent weight compared to the previous series.

C6 to meet the highest cleanroom class

The idea for the C6 was developed in co-operation with a large electronics manufacturer and the Fraunhofer IPA. "We were pleased to be able to put the chain through rigorous tests and develop it further directly with the experts from industry and cleanroom research", says Andreas Hermey, Head of Development for igus energy chains. Test series with the new e-chain are currently running in the in-house cleanroom laboratory in Cologne. "The initial tests show the high abrasion resistance of the chain, so we are very optimistic that it will also receive cleanroom class 1", says Hermey "With the design of the C6, we are also prepared for future cleanroom requirements, which will stipulate even fewer particles than ISO class 1."

The C6 e-chain and all other igus products are available from Treotham Automation.

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