New igus material optimises insulation for chainflex VFD

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igus has developed an innovative new material for its latest generation of motor and servo cables which meets electrical and thermal specifications.

The trend for variable frequency drives (VFDs) is moving towards more compact drives with the same or a higher performance level than their predecessors. The more compact design of the motors can result in higher temperatures within the system, compared to larger ranges of the same motors. The result is that the cable heats up via the connector contacts.

"Although there are no consequences for the motor and the connected components in the short-term, serious problems might occur in the long-term,” explains Justin Leonard, the-chain director, igus. “If the insulation material for the cable does not withstand the elevated temperatures in the long-term, short circuits can occur inside the cable and in the vicinity of the connectors, which in the worst case can lead to fires. Therefore, the insulation material plays a central role in the selection of the correct servo and motor cables.”

Smaller, plastic-insulated round power connectors such as the M16 or M18 are being used more and more for the new motor designs to be able to exploit their full potential. As a result, when selecting the cable, the engineer not only has to pay attention to the right combination of number of cores and cross-sections, but also to the electrical and thermal specifications. 

That is why igus has developed a material that meets these new challenges for its latest generation of motor and servo cables. In tests, it was able to withstand a bend radius of 7.2 x d over 45 million strokes. According to the company, this makes igus the only supplier in the global market to offer long-term tested ranges of VFD and servo cables for continuous use in energy chains, which meet the specific thermal and electrical requirements of the latest generation of motors. As with all chainflex cables, the new VFD and servo cables come with a 36-month guarantee.