My contact person
igus® Ireland

51A Caswell Road

Brackmills

Northampton NN4 7PW

+44 1604 677240
igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

The largest test lab for moving cables

25 years of experience and more than 250 tests conducted simultaneously in an area of 3,800 m²

The chainflex® laboratory concentrates on special experiments and tests that are not covered by the relevant normal standards and laboratories but are absolutely necessary for determining the service life and functional capability of moving cables. [Uncover linktext="Read on..."]
There have been, and still are, a virtually infinite number of cable suppliers, who also sell cables claiming to be "chain-suitable". For customers, however, the question increasingly arises as to how suitable for use these cables really are and when they can be expected to suffer damage of some sort. The often used experiments and tests indicated in standards are only rarely relevant to the very special requirements of customers as these special applications simply cannot be described with standards.
 
The igus® laboratory has dedicated itself to looking into exactly these customer requirements. Going further than the normal standards or regulations of formulating bodies such as VDE, UL and others, igus® has created tests and manufacturing standards that are specifically for chainflex® cables and that do full justice to the actual requirements placed on cables in continuously moving applications.
 
In this context, igus® always gives consideration to different tests and evaluations:
 
1. Tests of materials In line with customer requirements, new materials for the conductors, insulation and outer jackets are developed. Whereby considerable differences that are not apparent at first glance can be discovered, especially in the case of conductors and jacket materials. To this end, up to eight different chainflex® standards are used in the tests.
 
2. Tests of the technical design These tests systematically evaluate new designs, manufacturing methods and the associated influences on service life. When these tests were performed in the past, it was found that supposedly identical manufacturing methods can lead to substantial differences when it comes to moving applications.
 
3. Quality tests during production Cables randomly chosen in accordance with certain selection algorithms are subjected to special igus® tests after the end of production and after the standards-based tests that are usual in cable manufacturing. The laboratory tests up to 10% of all completed cables in a continuous bending test and carries out the necessary structural examinations.
 
4. Long-time tests of service life These test projects, which have to be carried out over a period of up to 4 years, investigate the actual maximum service life of the selected cables.
In these tests, special care is taken to ensure continuous monitoring of the parameters so that any failure can be detected exactly when it occurs.
 
5. Customer-specific applications Customer-specific investigations in accordance with igus® standards are a special service provided.
These tests are based on customer-specific sequences of movement in the customer's application and, especially in the case of critical applications, offer the significant advantage that the tests define the limits of the product and possible improvements are made possible before the start of large-scale series production.
 
The chainflex® laboratory Different prerequisites have to be met, of course, so that the above tests can be carried out systematically and and in a reproducible manner.
In addition to the igus® test standards that define clear rules for the tests and ensure comparability, the necessary environment must be created. The comprehensive laboratory covers more than 2,750 m2 and offers these conditions:
 
More than 50 different test stands and machines can be used by the laboratory team. Very different travels (from 0.3 m to 120 m) can be chosen from and horizontal as well as hanging applications can be replicated.
 
The torsion test stands with 12 triflex® axes offer a wide variety of testing options and expand the torsion test program, which is rounded off with four different six-axis robots.
 
Special testing equipment for abrasion and media tests, which are performed under test conditions that are considerably more real than the storage and aging tests carried out in accordance with UL or VDE is especially used for the development of materials. This has made a considerable contribution towards ensuring that the igus® outer-jacket materials precisely match the materials used in energy guidance systems and thus guarantee maximum reliability.
 
However, the frequently underestimated thermal influences on moving cables can also be investigated in a special cooling container, which has a 7 m-long axis and enables temperature curves from -40 °C to +60 °C.
The great advantage of this is that it is not necessary to rely on the VDE's usual winding mandrel tests; instead, aging can be tested in continuous movement with a large variety of temperature curves. As part of this testing, the 7 m-axis can be operated with different radii and chain types.
 
All the tests, of course, whereby currently more than 600 cables are being tested, are documented systematically and effectively. The reason is that these 600 test cables mean that more than approx. 5000 measuring points have to be monitored continuously.
The monitoring systems developed by igus® are used in this process. In addition to online monitoring, they ensure documentation with extremely high accuracy, allowing wear to be detected before a failure.
This early detection - without destructive testing - is especially important for being able to draw conclusions regarding any design changes that may be necessary. All the cables are then broken down into their components in accordance with previously defined sequences, after which they are tested and documented in detail.
 
This ensures that substantiated information on all chainflex® cables exists and enables the user to make reliable plans for his cable selection.


Facts:

  • Largest test laboratory for moving cables
  • 25 years of experience
  • 3,800 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

Overview of current tests

Test 4876 – CF9.15.18 control cable

CF9.15.18 control cable withstands 526,000 strokes at a temperature of -40°C

Test 5108 - CFBUS.LB.049 bus cable (Ethernet CAT6)

CFBUS.LB.049 bus cable lasts for more than 24 million strokes

Test 4221 - CF240.PUR data cable

CF240.PUR data cable withstands 30 million strokes with a bend radius of 75mm.

Test 5034 - Servo cable CF29.25.15.02.01.D

Servo cable CF29.25.15.02.01.D withstands 45 million strokes with a bend radius of 100mm.

Test 4888 - CFROBOT8.PLUS.045 bus cable

CFROBOT8.PLUS.045 bus cable withstands 15 million cycles in a +/-180° twisted energy chain.

Test 4692 - CF113.D measuring system cable

CF113.D measuring system cable withstands 32 million strokes with a bend radius of 55mm.

Test 5064 - CFBUS.PUR.049 bus cable

CFBUS.PUR.049 bus cable withstands 17 million strokes with a bend radius of 75mm.

Test 4831 - CF270.UL.25.04.D motor cable

CF270.UL.25.04.D guaranteed to achieve more than 18 million strokes

Test 4932 - CF298.05.04 data cable

CF298.05.04 data cable withstands 54 million strokes with a bend radius of 18 mm.

Test 4904 - CF38.250.04 motor cable

CF38.250.04 motor cable withstands 43 million strokes with a bend radius of 175 mm.

Test 4844 - CF211.PUR.02.14.02 data cable

CF211.PUR.02.14.02 data cable withstands 25 million strokes

Test 4901 - CF211 data cable, PVC

PVC CF211 data cable withstands 53 million strokes with a bend radius of 75mm.

Test 4853 - CF270.UL.100.1.D servo spindle cable

CF270.UL.100.1.D servo spindle cable - guaranteed to achieve more than 22 million strokes.

Test 3486 - CFROBOT8.045 bus cable (Ethernet)

CFROBOT8.045 bus cable (Ethernet cable) withstands 22 million cycles in an energy chain twisting +/-180°

Test 3479 - CF11.D measuring system cable

CF11.D measuring system cable withstands 66 million strokes with a bend radius of 75 mm.

Test 3841a - CF21.UL servo cable

CF21.UL servo cable with 20% under-bending withstands 54 million strokes

Test 3105 - CFROBOT5.501 fibre optic cable

CFROBOT5.501 fibre optic cable for robots withstands 28 million cycles at +/- 180°/m torsion.

Test 2233 - CF5.10.25 control cable

CF5.10.25 control cable withstands 42 million strokes with a bend radius of 100 mm.

Test 3089 - CFBUS.045 bus cable (Ethernet cable)

CFBUS.045 bus cable (Ethernet cable) withstands more than 77 million strokes in an endurance test.

Test 3621 - CF98.05.04 control cable

CF98.05.04 control cable withstands 139 million strokes with a bend radius of 18 mm.

Test 4009 - CFTHERMO thermocouple cable K. 001

CFTHERMO.K.001 thermocouple cable withstands 97 million strokes with a bend radius of 48 mm.

Test 4011 - fiber optic cables CFLG.2LB

CFLG.2LB fibre optic cable withstands 50 million strokes with a bend factor of 35 mm.

Test 4428 – CFSPECIAL.182.045

Special cable CFSPECIAL.182.045 Profibus achieves a maximum tensile load of 2800 N.

Test 4956 - CF430.D motor cable

CF430.D motor cable withstands 17 million strokes with a bend radius of 175 mm.

Test 4404 - Servo cable CF270.UL.D

PUR CF270.UL.D servo cable withstands 27 million strokes with a bend radius of 125 mm.

Test 3351 - CFROBOT motor cable. 036

CFROBOT.036 motor cable withstands 17 million cycles with a bend radius of 110 mm.

Test 5006a - CFBUS Ethernet bus cable

CFBUS.052 bus cable (Ethernet cable) withstands 41 million strokes with a bend radius of 100 mm.

Test 4345 - CFROBOT8.060 Profinet bus cable

CFROBOT8.060 Profinet bus cable withstands 6 million cycles with a bend radius of 145 mm.

Test 4866 - CFBUS.060 profinet bus cable

Profinet bus cable CFBUS.060 than 59 million strokes with a bend factor of 63 mm.


36 month guarantee chainflex® works – with a 36 month guarantee

36 month guarantee

Guaranteed against failure

For over 25 years, we have been conducting tests in the largest test laboratory for cables and energy chains. This allows us to make reliable statements regarding the durability and service life of our products. Find out what you can expect


More interesting tests and information


What else is tested in the test lab?

In the igus® test laboratory, through tests are performed not only for the chainflex® cables. iglidur® plain bearings, e-chains®, drylin® linear plain bearings, linear axes, lead screw modules and robolink® components are closely examined.