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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Rocket launch site, Alcântara, Brasil

e-chains and chainflex cables are used on this mobile assembly hall.

In order to assemble rockets protected from external influences, they are located in large assembly halls that can be moved away on rails for the launch. In order to ensure that the rocket launch takes place smoothly, both the heavy-duty 8840 energy tube for energy supply and highly flexible chainflex cables are used.


  • What was needed: energy chain E4/4 designed as energy tube and as a heavy-duty version, chainflex cables
  • Requirements: the chain solution must work reliably over a long travel of almost 50m at high travel speeds, strong temperature fluctuations and an extremely high level of dust during the rocket launches.
  • Industry: aerospace, aviation
  • Success for the customer: the E4/4 energy chain is designed as a tube and optimally protects the cables. It is perfectly designed for long travels and high loads. The chainflex cables in the e-chain are specially designed for chain applications and offer a long service life.
Energy chain rocket launching site


The Alcântara location in Brazil, directly on the Atlantic coast, is only 240 kilometres south of the equator, making it a perfect launch site. The rockets can reach the earth's orbit faster and consume less fuel. It saves costs and enables the carrying of heavy loads.
In order to safely move the assembly hall, which clears the launch site for the rocket launch, and to ensure the smooth operation of the rocket launch, a suitable energy supply system was needed, as well as the cables. The requirements for the system are high, for example, a 49.8 metre long travel with a travel speed of 0.08m/s and acceleration of 3.0m/s2. The push-pull force is 3,508N.  In addition, the system is exposed to strong temperature fluctuations, which can range between -2 and + 40°C on site, as well as a high level of dust during the launches of the rockets.


Today, the rocket launch site relies on the E4/4 series energy chain in heavy-duty design as an energy supply system. For additional protection, the e-chain is completely closed, i.e. designed as an energy tube (type 8840). This additionally protects it from external influences such as the high dust levels during rocket launches. Special roller chain links make E4/4 into a true specialist for long travel distances. This specification is rounded off by its long service life and ease of maintenance, should a cable need to be replaced.
The cables themselves, which are inserted in the chain, are highly flexible chainflex cables such as the CF300.UL.D motor cable, which is specifically designed for very high stresses. The chainflex products combine technical advantages with economic aspects, as they offer a clear guaranteed service life at a cost-effective price. The cables for movable applications are specially designed for use in energy chains.

Rocket launching site
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Energy chain rocket launching site Energy chain 8840HD.30.200.0

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The terms "igus", "Apiro", "chainflex", "CFRIP", "conprotect", "CTD", "drylin", "dry-tech", "dryspin", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-skin", "e-spool", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "igutex", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "readychain", "readycable", "ReBeL", "speedigus", "triflex", "robolink", "xirodur", and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/ Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany and where applicable in some foreign countries.

igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsubishi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention on this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH