Steel as a material for energy chains is still going strong, as many satisfied KABELSCHLEPP customers experience in daily operation. Highly rigid and sturdy, the ancestor of all cable chains remains to be first choice for many applications. Little known though, steel chains are maintenance free.
In engineering, steel is indispensable delivering properties like sturdiness, heat resistance, durability, impact and corrosion resistance. Also for cable carriers, demanding operation conditions have shown steel to be first choice. This is why KABELSCHLEPP has continuously upgraded its STEEL LINE to latest specifications, offering bespoke solutions for demanding and extreme applications.
Chains for offshore applications are one example. A steel chain is corrosion and UV resistant. With maximum durability due to material properties and specific design, steel chain withstands high mechanical stresses, high loads and long unsupported travels. These very capabilities make steel chain indispensable for use in tough environments such as tunneling machines. They have to withstand high levels of contamination, and mechanical abrasion up to the point of falling debris. Decades of experience in product and applications have resulted in a sophisticated product offering based on design considering extreme and demanding operation conditions. KABELSCHLEPP designs include chain bands and links with diverse geometries, amongst them an open stroke system with self-cleaning properties to reduce wear and to increase longevity. This also allows maintenance and lubrication free designs; STEEL LINE does not require maintenance downtimes.
Another benchmark are high ambient temperatures in industrial kilns, foundries, forgeries or steel mills in general. Dependent on type, KABELSCHLEPP steel carriers will withstand continuous temperatures of up to 600 °C, and stainless variants can even master peak temperatures of 1,000 °C.
Temperatures in steel mills are fairly high in general. There is the brief, but high radiant heat of billets and condensate humidity generated by the process. Stainless steel chain fitted to material handling device in these processes has been in operation for decades, without any failures. Plated steel carriers are used on forgery manipulators, having to manage temperatures as well as additional loads of 60 – 70 kg/m. Some larger steel carriers such as KABELSCHLEPP’s Series S 7000 can even bear cable and hose load weights in excess of 500 kg/m over unsupported spans of several meters. Nor can hot chip or spark be of detriment to the functionality of a steel chain. Also, steel chains withstand chemicals and radiation, making them destined for use on handling robots in chemical processes, like acid baths or galvanizing, and of course in the nuclear industry.
Steel carriers don’t even suffer from being trodden on, which appears a common issue in applications placed near ground levels.
In summary – for heavy duty applications, steel is the very choice. Any other application is covered by the KABESCHLEPP portfolio of plastic or plastic-aluminum products. Then again: it is the application determining choice of material.