Long Travel Energy Chain Systems
Where a cable drag chain or energy chain can no longer support the weight of the cables in its own, it will require some sort of support. This is often referred to as a long travel application.
The chain requires support where the "free carrying length" of the chain has been exceeded.
This can vary hugely from one energy chain to another. A lightweight plastic chain may require support if it is more than a couple of metres long, whereas a heavy duty steel energy chain can be self supporting for ten metres or more.
The hoses and cables inside the energy chain are obviously also a contributing factor. The more weight in the energy chain, the more the free carrying length will be reduced.
For all energy chains that have a travel length of 20 metres or more then it is likely they will require some kind of support. There are various ways that this can be provided.
Probably the most common solution for a plastic energy chain that requires support. In this case the plastic chain will sag down and then slide back on itself. This system is effective and economical, but it also has limitations. For longer travels ( 50 metres plus ) or in applications where the cables or hoses are particularly heavy, it can require a large amount of force to get the chain moving. This force can be reduced by using low friction sliders. However, for very long travels or for heavy cables / hoses then alternative energy chain systems should be considered.
The Marathon systems is a combination of guide trough and retractable rollers. Friction is kept to an absolute minimum. Ideal for applications with travel lengths of over 100 metres or where there are high travel speeds.
If the environment requires a steel energy chain then a carriage solution can be used. Here the chain travels on rollers on a supporting frame that moves along with it. This keeps friction to an absolute minimum whilst allowing long travel lengths to be achieved.
For even longer travels, where steel chains are necessary, it is possible to use a system of rollers that roll and support the chain on a specially designed trough section. When the chain is in the flat position the rollers fit into specially designed housings. The spacing of the rollers is such that the energy chain will supported throughout the length of the travel.
This unique design allows for long travel solutions to be manufactured completely from steel or stainless steel.
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