igus has developed energy chain solutions that guide cables safely in the smallest of installation spaces, a trend that will become a critical component in the rapidly changing automobile industry.
The energy chains from igus could be used in automobiles with windshield wipers, window rollers, tailgates, cornering lights, seat systems, sliding doors, center console controls and displays and loudspeakers. igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I.
The electrification of vehicles is steadily increasing, due to new requirements of vehicle owners, trends in autonomous driving and e-mobility. Simultaneously, stress on electronics is increasing with car sharing, which means that safe and reliable energy supply must be implemented.
According to a Forsa survey, 33% of motorists spend more than an hour in an automobile each business day. Due to increasing mobility, this trend will likely continue in the coming years. Motorists are also demanding more requirements for their vehicles, with an increasing use of electrification. Evolving trends, such as autonomous driving, ride sharing, and e-mobility, also figure to increase the reliance on cables, and the need for safe and lightweight energy supply systems.
Electronic systems in automobiles must withstand new stresses. In the globally growing car-sharing concept, for example, doors must be locked autonomously by means of a chip before each journey. The requirements for autonomous door systems are therefore increasing, from a standard 200,000 opening and closing cycles to 500,000 cycles, a 150% increase. The number of seat and mirror adjustments per day also increases during car sharing and further stresses automobile energy systems.
With the variety of moving parts, fail-safe and long-lasting guidance of moving cables in small spaces is an important requirement in today’s automotive trends. Energy chains from igus are optimal in the fast-growing market due to their ability to protect and guide cables, even at extreme temperatures. The high-performance plastic from which they are made ensures that they are not only free of corrosion and lubrication, but also quite light. The wear resistance of the igus e-chains proved successful in an Arizona sand test, which provided an excellent measure of resistance to dirt sensitivity.
igus’ e-chain E2 micro is designed for minimal installation spaces and is already used in electric sliding doors. The e-chain is available in various sizes for a wide range of application scenarios in the automobile, from the windshield wipers to the tailgate. The E2 micro is optimally suited to ensure energy and signal supply lines safely.
With a size of 4.5 mm, it is the smallest plastic energy chain in the world and is suitable for the most confined spaces. The e-chains of the E2C.10 and E2C.15 series are made from the high-performance igumid G and are resistant to temperatures of –40° up to 80°C. They can implement accelerations of up to 3 m/s².
With its small pitch, the micro ensures quiet performance and its relatively large connecting pins provide long service life. Due to their low weight, their use is particularly suitable for highly dynamic applications.