Drag Chains are guides which have been specifically designed to surround and protect flexible cables such as pneumatic or hydraulic cables. Because these cables or hoses are generally connected to automated moving machinery, they help guide the chain or cable and greatly reduce wear and tear and the stress on them. They also help prevent entanglement which improves operator safety.
Some cable carriers may be capable of vertical, rotary, horizontal and three dimensional movements.
The cables lie in a rectangular cross section which most carriers have. Along the length of the carrier the cross bars can be opened from the outside and the cable may be easily inserted and the plugs attached. Inside the carrier internal separators separate the cables, and the cables may also be held in place by an integrated strain relief. The ends of the carrier are fixed to the machine by using mounting brackets.
Due to their rigid nature cable carriers will only bend in one plane, and will often only bend in one direction, and when combined with the rigid mounting at the end of the carriers this will completely prevent the enclosed cables from moving around in any undesired direction or becoming crushed or entangled.
Cable carriers also known as energy chains, cable chains or drag chains are available in many different types, sizes and styles to accommodate any performance range desired, and some of these may include;
o Low noise
o Closed cable carrier
o High load
o Temperature, water and chemical resistant cable carrier
Closed cable carriers offer protection from debris and dirt such as metal shaving/chips, and wood shavings/chips etc.
Cable carriers are commonly used wherever there is automated moving machinery which requires the transferral of energy such as electric, gas, hydraulic and pneumatic or even data. Some examples can include laboratory equipment, car washes, automated warehouse machinery, offshore oil rigs and forklift trucks.
Cable and hose chains may be manufactured from different materials to suit their desired purpose and material such as steel and nylon is used.
The length of many chains can be easily and quickly modified by the addition or subtraction of the chain links, and in some applications no additional special tools are required.