The outer jacket of a cable provides protection against various adversities such as mechanical stress, temperature or chemical substances with which the cable comes into contact. For chainflex cables, igus offers the jacket materials PVC, PUR and TPE. In doing so, igus ensures that the mixtures of the jacket materials are adapted to the requirements, low in adhesion and highly abrasion-resistant. Depending on the application and external conditions, you can choose between different jacket materials.
The PVC jacket is the most cost-effective jacket material, which, by its nature, is designed for low to moderate loads and is ideal for ambient temperatures of +5°C to +70°C. Like all igus jacket materials, PVC is a very abrasion-resistant material mixture for use in energy chains. PUR, on the other hand, is also notch-resistant and offers high temperatures, which is ideal for use in machine tools. In addition, there is an extended temperature range of -25°C to +80°C and a high UV resistance. By contrast, the material TPE achieves the highest UV resistance and oil or organic oil resistance. The temperature range is from -35°C to 100°C.
PVC or polyvinyl chloride is a very versatile thermoplastic material and is often used on flow and assembly lines as well as in packaging technology or lighting technology due to its chemical structure and the low flammability of the material. Due to their high strength and good insulation properties, PVC cables are popular even for thin insulation. PVC is resistant to constant moisture and also salt water. In the case of fire of a PVC cable, an additive such as chlorine in the jacket material releases halogens, which can pose a danger to humans.
In the low voltage range (up to 1,000V) PVC is also known as the material with the best price/performance ratio. igus offers PVC cables in non-oil resistant and oil-resistant compounds.
PUR or polyurethane, on the other hand, is a halogen-free and self-extinguishing thermoplastic elastomer and has become increasingly important among the cables in recent years. Up to a certain temperature, PUR is very rubber-like, which makes PUR very interesting for cables, as it is very resistant to bending due to this behaviour. There are the properties of a strong jacket material such as notch strength, low abrasion values and cold flexibility. In addition, compared to other materials PUR has an essentially better chemical compatibility. PUR cables from igus are resistant to oil and coolant and, due to their composition, do not contain any toxic halogens which could be dangerous in case of fire. PUR cables are a popular material for machine tools, in plant construction, in cement plants, in the paint industry and in the automotive industry.
TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomers and is the generic term for numerous subcategories. TPE-U materials are mainly used for flexible cables, since they can withstand mechanical loads very well and a high resistance to external influences such as chemicals or temperatures. TPE is generally suitable for a temperature range of -35°C to +100°C. Moreover TPE is halogen-free. By adding halogen substances, TPE can also be produced as a flame-retardant material and is therefore UL 94-HB compliant. Especially in harsh environmental conditions or permanent movements, they are often found in energy chains in use. TPE cables are a popular material often used in crane applications, material handling or low temperature applications.