igus® heavy-duty rol e-chain for long service life on cranes

igus® develops P4HD rol e-chain with wear-resistant materials, quickly replaceable side parts and smart monitoring

December 1, 2021 – A new e-chain from igus® meets the demand for more from energy supply systems in new generations of cranes.

The heavy-duty P4HD rol e-chain offers longer travels, high accelerations and speed along with reliability. The rol e-chain is made of highly abrasion-resistant materials, and includes roller links as well as a triple stop-dog system to minimize wear and further reduce energy demand. All parts can be replaced if maintenance is required, and smart plastic sensors to monitor service life can be integrated into the pin/bore connection.

igus®, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I.

Faster, longer, heavier fill weights

E-chains in new generations of ship-to-shore cranes are getting faster, longer and need to carry heavier fill weights. The trend required igus® to develop a solution to meet increasing demand. That led to the design of the P4 rol e-chain.

“Especially for these emerging trends in the world of cranes, we have already developed a new rol e-chain with the longest service life,” says Jörg Ottersbach, e-chains Business Unit Manager at igus® GmbH.

Depending on the application, the e-chain has a service life of up to 15 years. For this purpose, igus® relies on tribologically optimized high-performance polymers. In order to further reduce abrasion at all points of the chain, igus® made several design refinements.

A triple stop-dog system and a symmetrical design are among the refinements. The integrated rollers reduce the required drive energy by 57 percent compared to a gliding chain. The rollers run on top of each other in a staggered manner. The comb-like autoglide crossbars keep the chain in its track, increasing the safety of the system and reducing costly unplanned downtime.

In the new pin/bore connection, igus® uses its expertise from polymer plain bearing technology and relies on a proven iglide material, which also significantly increases the service life of the chain. “Tests in our in-house 3,800 square meter laboratory conclude that the P4HD has up to 50 percent longer service life than its predecessor series P41.56,” Ottersbach says.

Fast and predictive maintenance

In case of maintenance, all parts of the chain can be replaced 1:1. Existing P4 energy chain systems can also be quickly retrofitted with the new chain thanks to identical dimensions. This reduces the effort, costs and materials required for maintenance. As an option, the P4HD can also be fitted with smart monitoring sensors.

From a defined wear limit, the sensor sends a signal to the igus i.Cee:plus module, by which the maintenance of the rol e-chain can be planned in advance. It is integrated into a side part of the chain, which does not lead to any restrictions in the usable inner width. When the crane has reached the end of its service life, igus® takes the chain back in the scope of the chainge program and recycles it according to type. In return, the customer receives a voucher to purchase new igus products.

Learn more about the P4HD rol e-chain here

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