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`Whispering` energy chain stays mum
Published:  01 July, 2000

`Whispering` energy chain stays mum

Energy chains may not seem noisy as they unroll in a steel plant, but they can easily irritate people in quieter environments. Chain-maker Igus has tackled this problem with a new design that, it claims, reduces chain noise to almost inaudible levels.

Normally, noise arises in three regions:

• at the inner stoppers that define the track position and the radius of the chain;

• when laying down a chain on the back of a liner or in a guiding trough; and

• when energy chains glide over each other because of uneven gliding surfaces.

Following a research programme, Igus has incorporated a braking system to deaden the noise of the stoppers. The brakes also reduce the rattling noise of chain links in the radius that usually occurs during rapid movement.

Independent tests by a German test authority have shown that an energy chain with the sound deadening elements has an noise level of 66dB(A) compared to 72dB(A) for a similar chain without the noise suppression. The tests also showed that rival products produced noise levels in the range 76-78dB(A). The sound-deadening techniques have been applied to Igus` new E4/100 energy chain.

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