LAPP will be demonstrating its first ever robot cable explicitly designed for use with direct current. The key features of the ÖLFLEX DC ROBOT 900 connecting cable are its torsional and bending strength. A visible difference from conventional ÖLFLEX cables – once the sheath is removed – is the different colour coding of the cores: red, white and green/yellow, as stipulated in the DIN EN 60445 (VDE 0197):2018-02 standard for DC cables. The materials used are no less important: The insulation of the cores is made of TPE, while the sheath is PUR. This means that the cable is halogen-free and suitable for areas where people are present, as in the event of a fire no corrosive vapours escape from the plastic. The material is also UV and weather-resistant, water-resistant and flexible at low temperatures.
LAPP is a pioneer in direct current cables
Cables such as the ÖLFLEX DC ROBOT 900 are an important component in the future of DC infrastructure in factories. Enormous amounts of energy can be saved without the switching back and forth between direct current and alternating current that was previously required.
That is why energy experts are campaigning for the construction of direct-current grids. Industry has already begun equipping production cells with them. Switching to direct current (DC) in industry could save 20 percent or more on energy. There are still a number of technical challenges to be overcome before a full direct current infrastructure can become a reality.
When it comes to direct current cables, LAPP is playing a pioneering role. Initial research work by LAPP’s in cooperation with TU Illmenau has shown that certain insulation materials are less suitable for permanent DC applications. Based on these findings, the global market leader for integrated connection systems has now presented its first worldwide DC portfolio. The ÖLFLEX DC 100 with PVC insulation is suitable for fixed installation without mechanical stress. In the ÖLFLEX DC SERVO 700, the conductor is insulated with special PVC and is intended for fixed installation and occasional flexible use. The ÖLFLEX DC CHAIN 800 has TPE insulation. It is suitable for continuous movement in cable chains and linear moving machine parts. And LAPP is now rounding off its portfolio with the ÖLFLEX DC ROBOT 900 with core insulation made of TPE and a PUR sheath.
Further research work LAPP is heavily involved in developing connection solutions suitable for direct current. As a supported partner in the DC Industry 2 project, LAPP is currently researching the long-term stability of insulation materials for cables. Other issues being addressed by the DC Industry 2 consortium include DC-compatible connectors and switches. In addition, DKE Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik (German Commission for Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Information Technology) is currently working on a standardisation roadmap for direct current within the DIN and VDE framework.
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