Successful use of a 10m unsupported plastic chain

Volker Beissel | 2. April 2020

A gliding application frequently looks better than an unsupported energy chain. This is not just because the straight line of the upper run, but also because the sag leading to the chain drop is eliminated. This allows unsupported systems to better use the space at the end of the travel.

But at high fill weights in particular, an unsupported plastic energy chain gives out at about 5m. The igus guidelok system can help. It retains all the advantages of plastic chains, and the unsupported components are added. It allows up to 49kg/m of fill weight on a travel of up to 50m. The total maximum fill weight is almost 2.5 tonnes. The addition of a second reverse e-chain allows about five tonnes of cables and hoses to be transported.

Such a system consists of three components: e-chain, supporting trough and guidelok support

The E4.56, E4.80, and E4.112 series e-chains can be configured as usual and supporting trough and supports added. These chains must be mounted without screws or lubrication, of course. The guidelok system also allows the use of e-tubes. They require much less assembly time than alternative products on the market do. The hinged lids provide the interior cables with optimal protection while keeping them easily accessible.

That all sounds great – where’s the catch? It is that the guidelok supports are about 280mm wider than the energy supply’s outer dimensions. There is no other catch.

That is why this system is especially popular in gantry-style machine tools. It often requires a great deal of effort to overcome your reservations and switch from proven steel chains to plastic with guidelok supports. By the time the cables have been inserted, however, any reservations will have disappeared.

Technical information:






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