Electrically conductive energy chains speed up manufacturing processes

September 18, 2012 // By Julien Happich
igus UK now has a range of ESD/ATEX energy chains available from stock within 24 hours, enabling designers to build machines more quickly and efficiently.

There are approximately 280 ESD/ATEX chain versions readily available, including a selection of smaller 'zipper', medium E2/000, and heavy duty E4.1 and E4/light energy chains, which constantly discharge electrostatic build up in a controlled way.

The igumid ESD material has been designed for applications where any electrostatic discharges are potentially damaging, for example manufacturing or handling of sensitive electronic products and component parts. Any motion can generate friction between machine parts and consequently static electricity may build up. At contact with an earthed body these, possibly high, voltages can be discharged. While the current is usually relatively low in most cases and isn’t harmful to humans, sensitive electronic component parts can be irreparably damaged. To avoid such damage, all machine components need discharging and the entire system needs to be earthed throughout. Permanent and reliable discharging of energy chains and cable management systems is especially important to avoid electrostatic build up.

Electrostatic discharge is not only dangerous for electronic component parts – it can contribute to the combustion of gases, dusts or vapours in potentially explosive areas. Wherever such conditions exist, for example in the chemical industry, material bulk handling, or in coating lines, ESD energy chains can be used to avoid electrostatic discharges. ESD energy chains are certified according to the EX II 2 GD classifications with ATEX (ATmosphère EXplosible) guidelines for 94/9 EG for devices and systems in potentially explosive areas. This means igus ESD/ATEX energy chains can be used safely in areas where gas or dust may cause the risk of explosion. Before delivery, each energy chain is tested for 100% electric conductivity and given a compliance marking. It is also moulded in a different colour, grey instead of the standard black, for security when identifying the special parts.

Visit igus UK at www.igus.eu/ESD_ATEX