chainflex cables without PFAS: Safer for people, the environment and business

igus chainflex cables do not contain harmful PTFE and PFAS chemicals, likely to be banned by the EU – now demonstrated with the “PFAS free” seal.

Several compounds found in everyday products – per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS for short – are harmful to the environment, humans and animals, similar to the chemicals of the PTFE family. The European Union is working towards banning PFAS. By employing the “PFAS free” seal, igus is showing that its proprietary chainflex cables are free of harmful chemicals, and therefore offers its customers operational reliability in the event of a full ban.

PFAS and PTFE may sound abstract but the chemical compounds behind the abbreviations occur in many everyday applications – for example, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is better known under the brand name Teflon. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS) are found in special coatings for clothing, baking paper, fire extinguishers, make-up, but also in several plastics. Because PFAS are long-life chemicals that are difficult to degrade in the environment, and are harmful to health, the European Union is currently pushing for restrictions and potentially a ban on over 10,000 PFAS compounds. To prepare early for a ban of these versatile chemicals, industrial companies are now demanding that their plastic suppliers be PFAS-free. igus now guarantees this, and its chainflex cables now demonstrate this with the “PFAS free” seal

95% of chainflex cables are PFAS-free

The Cologne-based plastics specialist has already dispensed with these chemicals in 95% of its cables, giving customers assurance even in the event of an EU-wide ban. All chainflex cables marked as “PFAS free” are made of fluorine compound-free materials, although certain impurities cannot be completely ruled out. This means that igus already meets international requirements for PFAS – in some countries PFAS exports are restricted and subject to notification or approval. “With the ‘PFAS free’ seal, we offer customers security and continue to strongly promote igus’ sustainability pledges by avoiding harmful compounds,” explains Justin Leonard, director of e-chains and cables at igus UK.

More than 1,350 cables in the range

The chainflex cables have been specially developed for use in moving applications and can be found in many systems worldwide. They provide a safe supply of energy in common e-chain applications, and are also used in cranes, machine tools and robotics. The range has grown to over 1,350 cables in a broad portfolio of cable types: igus offers control, bus, data, motor, fibre optic cables and more. chainflex cables are characterized by high durability and robustness, which the company partly owes to its own 3,800m2 inspection and test laboratory in Cologne. Here, igus experts carry out more than two billion test cycles per year. Expertise gained from these tests is the reason why the company decided more than 10-years ago to offer a 4-year chainflex guarantee. “Longer life means customers are increasing planning and operational reliability when purchasing our cables, as well as being better for the environment,” says Justin Leonard.