igus announces energy chain made entirely of recycled material
Motion plastics company igus has announced a range of energy chains made of recycled materials. The E2.1.CG cradle-chain is a range of e-chains made from the company’s new igumid CG material.
From extreme weather and natural hazards to marine pollution, the climate crisis is getting worse and more and more people are becoming aware of it. “Even the purchasing decisions of our customers are increasingly being shaped by ecological considerations,” said Jörg Ottersbach, Head of the igus e-chains business unit. “That is why we have put a lot of effort into product development in order to be able to produce more resource-efficiently — without sacrificing product quality.”
igus says that testing in its own test laboratory shows that the new e-chain has almost the same technical properties and load limits as an energy chain made from the standard igumid G material. The new range is available in five series and 28 chain types.
The cradle-chain uses, among other things, recycled material from the company’s ‘chainge’ recycling program. As part of this program, igus has been collecting used energy chains from its customers since 2019 so they do not end up in industrial waste. This service is offered for both igus e-chains and chains from other manufacturers. So far, more than 32 tons of material has been collected across 13 countries. For 2022, igus has set itself the goal of increasing this total to 500 tons.
Scrap material is sorted by type, cleaned and processed to new quality. This is possible with the help of a chemical analysis and formulation tuning — a process in which material is optimised for the desired properties, therefore enabling constant product quality. The post-consumer material igumid CG is then used to make the recycled cradle-chain — without any loss of quality in terms of wear behaviour, stability or bending fatigue, according to igus.
According to the Environment Product Declaration, the sustainable raw material cycle also reduces CO2 emissions by 28%.
“The focus should not be only on first use of products, but also the reuse of raw materials,” said Ottersbach. “We see a lot of ‘cradle-to-cradle’ potential and strive to reprocess as many raw materials and discarded products as possible so that precious resources are not wasted, but used wisely for as long as possible.”
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