US NEWS - MEETING FIT-FOR-PURPOSE FLEXIBLE CONDUIT SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MACHINE TOOL INDUSTRY
The static and dynamic protection of vulnerable electrical cabling on machine tools is essential, given the ever increasing complexity and multi-operational capabilities of these machines.
As the complexity of machine tools has increased so too has the requirement to carry cabling which has resulted in Adaptaflex introducing its large diameter, non-metallic flexible conduit system, while its range of Adaptalok liquid tight systems remain extremely popular on many installations.
The offering of effective liquid tight protection as well as resistance to oil based cutting fluids and high temperatures are all important factors for OEMs when specifying flexible conduit. Depending on the given application Adaptalok, the Nylon system from Adaptaflex, with its quick, push fit, for liquid tight rating and speed of installation can, where required, be specified with swivel external or internal, metal threads and either straight or elbow fittings.
Where screening of a cable is an issue, there is a specific screen cable fitting in the Adaptalok range to accommodate this. With nominal conduit sizes up to 1½ inch, US Trade size, the Adaptalok range provides effective, flexible cable protection. Being non-metallic, this system offers significant installed cost savings, by being quick and easy to cut and fit, as well as being much lighter in weight.
Where greater cable carrying capacity is required, the new Adaptaflex large diameter flexible conduit system offers Halogen free, low fire hazard conduit
in 3 inches and 4 inches, US Trade sizes. There is a complementary range of fitting options including straight, 90º flange and a unique 90º elbow coupler. The elbow coupler provides space savings by providing a tighter bend radius around corners, facilitating a tidy installation. The 90º flange fittings incorporate smooth internal corners allowing cables to be easily drawn through the system.
Standard conduit available for the systems is Type PA Polyamide (Nylon) 6, for general purpose applications, and PI Polyamide (Nylon) 11, for where constant flexing is required in applications such as robotics. Both are available as black or gray, with other material options available on request.
To attach the large diameter flexible conduit to the couplers clamping rings are used which are designed in two halves to aid fixing and again help achieve faster installation times.
The new system is ideal for any application where protection of an increased number of cables has to be provided, such as in machine tool installations, on heavy plant or large machinery installations or where the sensitive cabling has to travel to remote control panels away from the machine. In use, the system can provide water proof sealing with the use of a dedicated sealing kit.
Suitable for the most demanding of electrical installations, a high specification range of flexible conduits is now exclusively available from leading manufacturer Adaptaflex. The conduits are made from the specialist high performance polymer ‘PEEK' - a product manufactured by Victrex plc.
These flexible conduits have the ability to route and protect electric cables in extreme temperatures from as low as -76ºF to as high as +500ºF, offering Super Low Fire Hazard (SLFH) properties and are Halogen free.
They give superior mechanical, radiation and chemical protection and a liquid tight installation can be achieved by using the appropriate fittings.
Part of the company's ‘Hi-Spec' range, the Adaptaflex PK series of flexible conduits is available in basic form as a non-metallic conduit manufactured solely from ‘PEEK'. For applications requiring high Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) screening, the ‘PEEK' conduit is over braided with a tinned copper sheath - Type PKTC. Where the requirement is for abuse resistance and high mechanical strength, a stainless steel over braid is employed - Type PKSS. The system is used extensively on demanding machine tool, industrial, rail and underground applications throughout Europe.
These conduits offer very high flexibility and meet the requirements of EN50086 -the European Standard for flexible and pliable conduit systems - in the temperature range -49ºF to +482ºF. In static applications the conduit can be used in temperatures down to -76ºF.
For many applications, Type PK conduit can be used with Adaptalok, Adaptaseal, or Adaptaring non-metallic fittings from the Adaptaflex range. Extreme temperature applications, however, require the use of Type PK or Type B nickel-plated brass fittings, which employ silicone seals.
All three types of conduit, Type PK, PKTC and PKSS are available in US Trade sizes of 5/16, 3/8, ½, ¾, 1 inch. Standard reel lengths are 164 ft (50 meters), with 50 ft and 100 ft reel lengths made to order.
“On-going development and introduction of fit-for-purpose, industry-specific systems for machine tool applications has long been part of Adaptaflex's program,” said Christopher J. Gilbert of Adaptaflex's US distributor and sister company, Icore International Inc. The company continues to work in close co-operation with OEMs to meet challenging, individual requirements.
4 December 2001
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