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Highest safety in battery production: first energy chain to be certified for dry cleanrooms

02 August 2023

Test passes with flying colours: igus’s E6.29 energy chain receives innovative dry cleanroom certificate from research consultancy Fraunhofer IPA for ISO Class 4.

Whenever the highest hygiene standards are required, igus scores well with lubrication-free and abrasion-resistant motion plastic components. A topical example is that battery production for electric vehicles requires special environmental conditions, which are achieved through the combination of dry rooms and cleanrooms. German research agency Fraunhofer IPA has developed a new type of certificate for these requirements. 
 
The E6.29 energy chain from igus is the very first cable guide system to be tested under dry cleanroom conditions and has now been certified with ISO Class 4.
 
Lithium-ion batteries are a key modern technology that has advanced a long way in recent years. This is partly due to the growing market for electric cars. 
 
To ensure error-free production and long battery life, the battery production process must be continuously optimised. As a result of the increasing amount of automation in these systems, the need for reliable cable guide systems is also growing.
 
“Quality requirements are constantly increasing – on the part of both customers and test standards,” says e-chain and Cables Director at igus UK, Justin Leonard. 
 
“For this reason, we've been working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA since 1997, where our energy chains are examined in standardised motion sequences. This allows us to make a clear statement about the grade of cleanliness of our energy chains."

Leonard adds,"Our igus E6.29 energy chain, which has been tried and tested for many years, is now the very first cable guide system to receive a new type of Fraunhofer IPA certificate for the ISO cleanroom classification under dry room conditions."
 
Unique combination of dryness and freedom from particles

For the test, Fraunhofer IPA developed a mobile dry cleanroom “tent” together with partner the Cellforce Group. The new DryClean-CAPE is a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to classic, stationary cleanrooms and creates not only a highly clean environment, but also a production environment with low humidity.
 
The cleanroom system has two different covers, providing dryness and a particle-free environment due to separate air treatment units that are independent of one another. This unique combination provides an optimal and flexible production environment.
 
E6.29 achieves the best possible test results
The Fraunhofer IPA has now also developed a new type of certificate for the ISO cleanroom classification under dry-room conditions.
 
The E6.29 from igus was not only the first energy chain to pass this test, but also achieved the highest test results in the tent-like cleanroom: ISO Class 4, making igus one of the pioneers in this dry-room field.
 
The e-chain was tested at a dew point of -40°C, which corresponds to a relative humidity of <one percent at a room temperature of 22°C, in an ISO Class 3 cleanroom environment. This means the E6.29 e-chain is now also suitable for safe use in dry-room applications. 

The durable e-chain, made of high-performance plastics with optimised friction and wear properties, is available directly from stock as a standard catalogue part with various inner heights, widths and radii. An endurance test of the E6 crossbars is currently being carried out in a dry room in the igus test laboratory in Cologne. 

These chains have already undergone 10 million double strokes, and the tests are ongoing.


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