Bio-based corrugated tubing combines resistance with environmental benefits

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  • Material: halogen-free flame-retardant polyamide 11
  • Free of damage even after 16 million cycles in flexibility test
  • To withstand extreme conditions in paint robot applications

Reiku‘s corrugated cable protection tubing made from renewably sourced plastic can be considered as an environmentally friendly alternative to products made from conventional oil-based materials. And it also offers advantages in application: under a continuous series of bending cycles, which is typical for many industrial robots, this bio-based tubing features the highest service life of all corrugated cable protection tubing in the company’s product range.

Material: halogen-free flame-retardant polyamide 11

The corrugated cable protection tubing, available in nominal widths of 12 – 70 mm, is made of halogen-free flame-retardant polyamide 11 (PA11). This bio-based engineering plastic combines very good mechanical properties under static and dynamic load with high temperature and chemical resistance. It is also abrasion-resistant. As it is produced primarily on the basis of castor oil obtained from the seeds of the tropical castor oil plant, also called the miracle tree, it has a better CO2 balance than polyamides based on fossil energy sources.

Free of damage even after 16 million cycles in flexibility test

In internal trials, corrugated bio-based tubing with a nominal width of 70 mm remained free of damage even after 16 million cycles in the flexibility test, which corresponds in practice to a service life of around three years. With the development of this corrugated tubing, the company has demonstrated that top performance cable protection is ensured, also in view of dwindling oil reserves.

Tubing withstands extreme conditions in paint robot applications

One of the first users is a German company called B+M Surface Systems, a leading supplier of fully automated painting plants and paint application systems for surfaces with very high quality standards. The company uses the resource-conserving bio-based corrugated tubing from Reiku as standard for its latest painting robot generation, Type T1 X5. The tubing is mounted on the outside of the robot arm, ends on its third axis, and protects the cable and wiring packages that supply the head of the robot and its atomizers with control signals, energy, air, coating material and rinse media. The 6-axis jointed-arm robots from B+M Surface Systems normally operate in three-shift rotas and continuously perform fast, three-dimensional movements with high axis speeds and accelerations. To achieve a long service life for all the relevant components, the cable protection system must be able to withstand these extreme stresses. For this reason, the robot manufacturer has opted for the corrugated bio-based tubing, which is optimized for such high dynamic loads. After now more than 12 months of continuous industrial application, B+M’s experience has been very positive. Over this period, the company has installed around 1,000 m of corrugated bio-based cable protection tubing NW70 and has so far not had a single report of failure.

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