A cable that stretches? I didn’t think that was even possible but my doubts were laid to rest while at MD&M this week, when I stopped to chat with the folks at Minnesota Wire. The company was showcasing two new cool products, the first being its iStretch design, which is ideal for wearable medical devices and industrial robotics, said Tom Ashenbrenner, New Business Development Manager.
While not as stretchy as a rubber band, it was obvious the elasticity in the cable I saw on display would be ideal for robotics, where cables must flex and bend all while maintaining signal integrity. To this end, this new cable design offers extremely high fatigue resistance and provides improved flex life over standard cables. It offers up to 40% elasticity to allow for a full range of motion, and even conforms to movement when embedded in clothing.
The iStretch still allows for cable movement without affecting electrical signal integrity and is available with 1 to 7 conductors.
Also new for Minnesota Wire is its new carbon fiber iStealth lightweight cable designs, ideal for satellite applications, said Ashenbrenner. The weight reduction can be attributed to a unique shielding design that still provides the same shielding properties as traditional shielding.
As he noted, launching a satellite can cost about $70,000 a pound, so even shaving off a few ounces can be a big savings.
For medical applications, the iStealth offers radio translucent properties that are barely detectable on x-ray and other imaging equipment. Available in 3k and 12k strand and plated options, it offers high flexibility and a small bend radius.