Looking at the environment in which electric cables are being installed, these cables are being subjected to stress from time to time. In this automation world, the machines are designed to operate much faster than previous generations and incorporates vision and numerous sensors. This new operating environment can stress cables and cable-management equipment beyond design capabilities.
Cable stress has a direct impact on the reliability of automation equipment. Understanding what causes cables to fail in high-flexing applications allows us to take appropriate precautions during the design phase to optimize the system’s reliability. Each time a cable bends or flexes, its copper conductors and shields are stressed. Copper has poor resistance to repeated stressing, even if the stress is kept below its ultimate yield point of 15 percent elongation.
What is Flex Life?
The term Bend strength is used to describe the test result when a single wire or bunched or stranded conductor is subjected to a constant reverse bending process until the conductor breaks. Also, called as “Flex Life“. Measurement of this process is normally carried out according to the standard method as described in ASTM B470. The results demonstrate the failure behaviour of conductors that will be used in constantly changing environments and applications. Identical constructions made of different materials can be tested and the results compared.
Flex Life Cables
Wire and cable is often required to withstand mechanical motion and maintain useable properties. New England Wire Technologies has considerable experience in design and materials to extend flex life in standard and rigorous use situations.
Conductors with finer stranding will survive a larger number of bending cycles without suffering fatigue in comparison to a conductor manufactured with a coarser single end wire.
High tensile strength copper alloys can be used to increase longevity with little impact to conductivity and other electrical parameters while tinsel can be used for ultimate flex life when resistance is not an important parameter.