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White Paper: Reducing vibration of cable carriers

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Learn more at www.igus.com/energychains of a cable carrier system exhibits the so-called "polygon effect," where the chain does not form a smooth rolling motion, resulting in an angular, or polygonal, transition between links. In addition to increased wear, this also results in a "stepping" motion, which can create system vibrations. This can – in a worst-case scenario – result in material failure due to catastrophic resonance. Even in less extreme cases, the vibration caused by the polygon effect results in material wear and decreased accuracy on the workpiece. To improve upon the design of cable carriers to reduce vibration, most manufacturers rely on a short link pitch to offer smooth, quiet motion. igus ® low-vibration energy chain ® cable carriers combine a short pitch length with an advanced plastic spring element to replace the traditional pin-and-bore design. Replacing the conventional pin-and-bore design, the E3, E6, and E6-1 series of energy chains ® feature a flexible connection element that reduces the polygon effect due to their alternative geometry. This upgraded design offers extremely smooth and nearly vibration-free operation, even under high acceleration forces. The advantages of this new design were tested for effectiveness in a 220 million cycle test conducted in the igus ® test lab. The endurance test was conducted with the E6-29 energy chain system ® , with focus on the system's spring link connection. Throughout the test, the connection was subjected to more than 440 million bending cycles, and based on the results issued from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, no measurable wear or damage of any kind was recorded. Material selection and its impact on vibration No matter how specialized the design of a cable carrier system, without materials that are properly able to dampen vibrations, damage and eventual failure can still occur. Compared to their metal counterparts, plastic materials are much better at damping vibration forces, due to plastics' viscoelastic behaviors. The plastic material igumid G, which makes up igus ® energy chains ® , is a proprietary blend, made up of a reinforced polyamide 6 (PA6) base. Polymer blends like these are also able to dampen vibrations by using the interface between the material's components (ie: fibers and other structures blended throughout the base polymer) as a mechanism for reducing vibratory forces. The spring-link connection design reduces vibrations. d/2 V max Y chain link position 1 (d/2) cos (Y/2) V min Y/2 chain link position 2 As the chain moves around the curve, from position 1 to 2, the individual links (AB, BC, CD, DE) create an angular motion, changing the height of the system from d/2 to (d/2)cos(Y/2). This height fluxuation creates vibration and a rough "stepping "motion. The polygon effect: visualized

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