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igus® e-chain system® E4.1 - One for All

Here is why igus® E4.1 is the most versatile und trusted e-chain® series in the world.

igus® E4 technologies and engineering for long service life, high stability, ease of installation and modularity
Save away many new costly additional components with the E4.1 e-chain system®.

1... Double lock

Guarantees excellent holding strength with simple and simultaneously safe opening mechanism

... max. holding strength up to 2,700 N
... openable with a screw driver easily and quickly

Functional principle

Double-lock mechanism  
Double-lock mechanism

Proven and extremely secure snap-open system. You loosen the crossbar by two simple lever movements. The crossbars thus reliably hold even with thick filling and can still be easily opened.

igus® tested

tensile test  
Rip-off test

The max. holding strength of each crossbar is tested in practice with a tensile test. This can also take place under the influence of oil or other liquids.
Test 3577:Pull-out strength Cross bars:
> 2700 N

Application example

System E4 in a coal excavator

Side-mounted turned 90° with high filling. Crossbars hold securely and remain accessible.

2.1... Vertical, rectangular stop dogs

For maximum force absorption and thus high stability for large unsupported lengths

... max. fill weight unsupported up to 600 kg/m possible
... max. unsupported lengths (FLB) 7.0 m (+25% with the optional XXL material)
"Up to 25% more fill weight compared to the predecessor (igus® E4/00 and E4/4 systems)"

Functional principle

Double, rectangular end stop dog  
Double, rectangular end stop dog

More than two stop dogs cannot be, or can barely be synchronized. Due to a rectangular shape, the force distribution is much better than in a round stop dog (surface pressure formula, p = F/A). The complete E4.1 range has the double, rectangular stop dog.

igus® tested

Breaking test in the igus® laboratory  
Fracture test at the igus® laboratory

We test each energy supply system for pressure/breaking force with the help of a Zwick testing machine in the igus® laboratory in order to be able to provide reliable information on the max. fill weight and unsupported length.

Application example

Travelling column milling machine with series E4.42

The tongue and groove of the e-chain® provides the high lateral stability, which was necessary for the high lateral acceleration of up to 8 m/s² through the X axis.

2.2... Vertical stop-dogs and large pins

Better force distribution and thus higher push/pull forces and loads possible

... push/pull forces up to 7000 N possible
... additional loads up to 600 kg/m and more possible
"In comparsion of the predecessor (igus® Systems E4/00): 20% longer free span"

Functional principle

Double, rectangular end stop dog  
Vertical stop-dog and large pin

Due to the offset stop-dogs, the force is directed through three points, namely the two stop-dogs and the large pin, instead of the force being absorbed centrally. This reduces the load on the individual elements, the pin and dog-stops to around 1/3.

igus® tested

E4.1 endurance tested over 96 hours  
Endurance test lasting 96 h - maximum unsupported lengths

The maximum load over a period of 96 hrs is tested. The photo shows an E4.1 with the optional material "XXL", which enables the maximum unsupported length to be increased even more by +25% to approx. 8 m.

Application example

E4.1 energy supply systems for extendable heavy load transporter

This telescoping three-axle semi-trailer truck of Goldhofer AG, Memmingen is extendable from 20 to 62 meters. The design of the stop dogs and tongue and groove ensure that the energy chain withstands 30 percent more pull/push forces.

3... Large pin/hole connection

High push/pull forces and less wear through precise tolerances

... travels over 800 m possible
... accelerations of 10 m/s² and more
"In comparsion of the predecessor (igus® Systems E4/00 and E4/4): Ø 56% higher tensile strength"

Functional principle

Large pin/bore connection  
Large pin/bore connection

Large pin/hole connections with tight tolerance provide a high push and/or pull force absorption potential. Due to the tight tolerances and the resulting, almost complete zero backlash, very high accelerations can be achieved and there is very little wear.

igus® tested

E4.1 during a tensile test in the Zwick testing machine  
Tensile test with Zwick material test equipment

We test each energy supply system for pressure/breaking force with the help of a Zwick testing machine in the igus® laboratory in order to be able to provide reliable information on the max. possible travel and on possible acceleration values.
Test 3992:A tensile force of more than 30,000 N is possible

Application example

The world's longest travel with igus® e-chains® and chainflex®-cables at CEZ Group, the Czech energy supplier.  
The world's longest travel with igus® e-chains® and chainflex® cables

The world's longest travel to date with plastic e-chains® from igus® has been designed and delivered for CEZ Group, a large Czech energy supplier. The travel is 615 m. The stable pin and hole connection enables such long travels thanks to the high degree of absorption of pull/push forces.

4... Scale on opening crossbars and option to engage separators

Simple pre-configuring with interior separation provides for a secure hold even in "side-mounted" applications

... Simplifies fitting with interior separation elements, which can be clipped in place in 5 mm increments
... Completely level, no cable wear due to scale

Functional principle

Scale on crossbars  
Scale on crossbars

Scalable crossbars are standard for all E4 models. As a result, preconfiguring with interior separation elements is easier and the assembly time is shortened. The separators with catch-tabs can be placed in the crossbar in 5 mm increments and will reliably hold in place (approximately. 25 kg holding strength of the separator in locking position). Spacers are not necessary for laterally rolling applications.

igus® tested

Table showing cable wear on plastic crossbars  
Cable wear

We conduct long-term tests on all chainflex® cables for wear, and service life in continuously moving use. We also test customer-specific cables in order to predict the system service life.

Application example

E4 e-chain® and chainflex® measurement system cables for large machining centre

Numerous chainflex® cables neatly laid and mounted turned 90° in an E4 e-chain®. The interaction of energy chain material and jacket material is a decisive factor for the service life.

5... Swivelable lids

For quick insertion of the cables from both sides

... good access from top or bottom
... swivelable lid. Lid and bottom can be removed

Functional principle

Hinged covers  
Hinged covers

The lid of the closed R4.1 e-tubes can be easily opened and removed. As a result, it is easy to insert cables and the e-tubes can be closed so that they are very effectively sealed off from the environment.

igus® tested

Results of tests of the impermeability of igus® e-tubes  

Not only easy openable but also extremely well sealed. Tests in the igus® laboratory verify the excellent impermeability of the e-tubes.
TestA = igus® RX-e-tube RX40.100.100 251,900 cycles
B = igus® e-tube
256,132 cycles
C = Test tube 01 250.907 cycles
D = Test tube 02* 2,600 cycles
*Test stopped after 2,600 cycles

Application example

Application example: E4 tubes in machine tools  
E4 tubes in a machine tool

Thanks to the E4 tubes, cables are guided safely and protected against dirt and dust. In this application, an igus® locking clip for holding a hydraulic hose was fitted.

6... Quick-release crossbars

25% time saving through quick-release lock while opening and closing

... holding strength up to 500 N tensile strength
... reduce assembly times by 25% - 80%

Functional principle

Quick opening crossbars  
Quick opening crossbars

"Nipple through the strap" system - two fastening straps on top of the crossbar can be unlocked manually or by screwdriver. Lateral "sliders" then release the crossbar from the side plate of the e-chain®

igus® tested

Comparison of assembly times

Opening in one workstep, no second step necessary. 25% faster assembly than standard crossbars. Even higher holding strength.

Application example

E4.1 e-chain® in a feeder

Good accessibility to the cables saves valuable assembly time. Not only when first filling the e-chain®, but also in case of a potential replacement during operation.

7... Tongue and groove

For a high degree of stability during lateral acceleration and for high torsional rigidity due to interlocking feature

... additional loads of almost 7.7 kg on 2 m unsupported
... ideal for side-mounted applications or high torsional forces

Functional principle

Tongue and groove design  
Tongue and groove design

The chain links are "hooked into one another", which provides for extremely high torsional stability of the e-chain® and for high unsupported lengths even in side-mounted applications.

igus® tested

Break test with Zwick material test equipment

Here we also test every system for maximum load capacity to get reliable information on service life, which is also incorporated into our online service life predictor.
Test 4099:2 m E4 e-chain® with 7.7 kg additional load

Application example

Unsupported application

An E4 e-chain® hangs unsupported on this reflecting telescope. The stable design and the tongue and groove provide for a safe energy supply system even in this installation type.

8... Inner/outer link design

For straight run and high parallelism and high stability

... alternately inner and outer link provide for a very straight run
... exact parallelism of the e-chain® hinges support the durability

Functional principle

Tongue and groove design  
Inner-/outer link principle

igus® tested

Inner/outer link principle of an E4.1L e-chain®  

The inner and outer link principle is tested in the case of all E4.1 e-chains®.

Application example

Assembly on site on long travel

Neatly guided in a guide trough with the same minimum clearances to the right and left. Important for the durability of the entire system.

9... Cable-friendly plastic crossbars

For even higher service life of the cables through rounded design

... Cables have the longest durability with plastic crossbars
... no plastic deformation with external impact force

Functional principle

Cable friendly polymer crossbars  
Cable friendly polymer crossbars

Smooth, cable-friendly inner contour and rounded crossbars provide for a long service life of the cables and hoses. The combination of the tribo-optimized plastic of the crossbars with the jacket material of the used cables proves to be the best matching pair for the service life of cables in tests.

igus® tested

Table comparing the wear of igus® cables to that of competitors' products.  

Cable wear on plastic crossbars: Jacket made of a wide variety of materials show the best wear results with plastic crossbars. Moreover, compared to aluminium crossbars, they cannot be structurally deformed when force is applied from outside.

Application example

Coal excavator

Even in such rough applications, like here in a coal excavator, the wear naturally plays an important part. Among others hydraulic cables are guided in the e-chain® and a failure becomes really expensive.

10... Cable-friendly interior separation

For higher service life due to rounded base

... nearly halve the cable wear
... less parts, more possibilities

Functional principle

Cable friendly polymer crossbars  
Cable friendly polymer crossbars

Smooth, cable-friendly and rounded contours ensure a long service life of the cables and hoses. With a few standardised parts, better and more cable-friendly interior separation is possible.

igus® tested

Wear test in the igus® laboratory  
Wear tests

With the new rounded separators, the cable wear was reduced almost by half.
Test 3748:Separator 301 versus new version 45.1. In this case as well, the combination of plastic and jacket material is shown to be the best choice.

Application example

Plastic crossbars help to increase the cable service life  

Here, the rounded plastic crossbars help to increase the cable service life.

11... Sound brake

Dampens noise of the stop dog and rolling

... Noise level from 33 dB(A) possible, 44 dB(A) measured with igus® E4 series
... many series certified by TÜV Rheinland

Functional principle


Simple principle but extremely effective. A wedge-shaped contour in the e-chain® stop-dog dampens the stop-dog noises of the e-chain®.

igus® tested

Noise test in the igus® laboratory  

We test many igus® e-chains® in our own laboratory for noise emission. Many series are also checked by the TÜV. The noise levels of igus® e-chains® are between 33 db(A) and 46 dB(A), for example.
Test 4381:E4.32 with operating noises under
44 db(A) stop-dog noise, at 1 m/s

Application example

e-chain® with dampening pads for noise reduction  
Even more silent with dampening pads

If the unrolling noise has to be reduced even further, the optional dampening pads can help. They enable a reduction of up to 5 dB(A).

12... Wear pad

For long service life even on long travels

... 10,000 km and more running performance is guaranteed
... for long travels and high service life
"In comparsion of the predecessor (igus® Systems E4/00 and E4/4): 30% more gliding surface"

Functional principle

Wear pad  
Wear pad

igus® tested

Distance endurance test in the igus® laboratory  

Every e-chain® is able to complete a travel distance of at least 10,000 km and often much more. This is a promise that we have been giving for years.

Application example

Longest travels with e-chains®

Reliably solve long travels with igus® e-chains®, like the E4 series here in a gantry crane, guided in an igus® guide trough for 220 m.

13... 1,244 chainflex® cables and more than 4,000 harnessed drive cables from stock

... From 1 metre, no cutting charges, no minimum quantities
... chainflex® works or money back
... 36 month guarantee

Functional principle

Animated film of chainflex® cables in motion  
Variety of cables

Flexible cables in energy chains or robots need special characteristics to last through many cycles, high speeds and accelerations, as well as demanding environmental conditions. Electromagnetic compatibility and compliance with standards and guidelines such as NFPA 79, UL, CSA, VDE, Inter- and Profibus are also taken for granted today. The igus® chainflex® product range contains the appropriate cables for very different applications.

igus® tested

Test of chainflex® cables in the igus® climate chamber  
Extensive tests of all chainflex® cables

All chainflex® cables are always tested under realistic conditions. Fitted in an e-chain® as well as in motion, like here in the igus® climate chamber at -40°C.

Application example

chainflex® in use in an automatic CNC multiple-spindle lathe  
Reliable on all axes

In this CNC multi-spindle lathe, every single working position must be securely supplied with media, energy and signals. High freedom of movement in all axes require a high durability and reliability of the cables.

14... Good protection against dirt and chips up to 850°C

For the protection of your cable

... hot chips up to 850°C cannot burn themselves in
... extremely impermeable design and nevertheless easily openable

Functional principle

igus® energy-tubes protect against dirt and chips up to 850°C  
For the protection of your cable

igus® energy-tubes have been used successfully for protection against chips for almost 20 years. Dust, dirt, oil, aggressive environments, moisture, low temperatures and high temperatures have no effect on the robust plastic energy supply systems. Chips thatare up to 850 °C hot simply bounce off the optional HT material - they cannot burn into the material.

igus® tested

Statistics regarding the burning in of chips in relation to the chip temperature  
The amount of chips that have burned into the material in relation to the temperature

20 g of hot chips (200 to 850 °C) was placed on different materials. The graphic shows the amount of chips that have burned into the material. The test winner is igumid HT with hot chips up to 850 °C

Application example


High-temperature e-tube inside the machine guides and protects the cables in the hot chips area.

15... Wear allowance

Long service life even in the case of laterally rolling applications and where the travels are long.

... lateral wear pads provide for a long service life
... an important criterion, particularly in applications turned 90°

Functional principle

Wear allowance  
Wear allowance

The wear pads on the sides of the E4.1 ensure that this e-chain® also withstands heavy levels of stress and also has a long service life.

igus® tested

Service life test in the igus® laboratory  

In endurance tests, the service life of the e-chains® in an abrasion test and when the travels are long is tested. Every e-chain® can complete a total travel distance of at least 10,000 km and often much more

Application example

Circular application "RBR" with e-chains® turned by 90°.

400° rotary movement in a crane head. Thereby large circle diameters with high fill weights are possible.

16... Quiet unrolling

Quiet operation due to special contours of the links

... quiet unrolling of the e-chain® and improved assembly

Functional principle

Special link design  
Special link design

The contours ensure better unrolling of the e-chain® and easy and safe assembly.

igus® tested


The contour of the chain links reduces the polygon effect and thus rolls smoothly. Even the "zigzag" installation type is thereby positively supported.

Application example


Here it should be as silent as possible. Large E4 e-chains® as zigzag application on a theater stage.

17... Without pretension

by simply rotating the exterior link

...an e-chain® for solutions with or without pretension
...no corrective thermal processing necessary, available from stock

Functional principle

No pre-tensioning  
No pre-tensioning

By simply rotating the outer links, an e-chain® with camber can be quickly converted into an NC version. NC versions are only required in special applications, for instance, in hanging application and crammed space conditions.

igus® tested

e-chain® in a storage and retrieval unit  

Special products, e.g. for storage and retrieval equipment, are tested as well. For example, the guidelok slimline F system, which prevents the e-chains® from swinging out in storage and retrieval equipment.

Application example

e-chain® installed hanging in a construction machine  
Hanging installation in a construction machine

Particularly in hanging installation or crammed space conditions, an e-chain® "without pretension" is the first choice.

18... Few parts, made from one material

Quickly assembled, high dynamics & and no differing material expansion

... accelerations up to 784 m/s²
... same materials

Functional principle

Few parts  
Few parts

A few parts that are made of one material and guarantee the smallest possible clearance are especially important for high rates of acceleration. Use of the same material is the optimum solution in the case of material expansion or shrinkage due to temperature differences.

igus® tested


Even speeds up to 10 m/s and more are tested on the long-term at the igus® laboratory.

Application example

E4 e-chain® in a crash test centre  
E4 in a crash test facility

Extremely high accelerations of up to 784 m/s² require an exactly tailored and clearance-free energy supply system. Few parts guarantee this.

19... Strain relief of electrical cables

Space reducing and reliable chainfix program

... Three times higher tensile strength of igus® chainfix clamps
... also safe under the influence of oil, coolant, water

Functional principle

Strain relief for electrical cables  
Strain relief

Strain relief from igus® is specifically developed for use in e-chains® and dynamic applications. The combination of chainflex® cable materials and the touching components of the chainfix strain relief systems are designed for a high degree of durability and maximum holding strength.

igus® tested

igus® chainfix clamp in the tensile strength test  

The tensile strength of the igus® chainfix clamp is more than three times greater than that of commercially available strain relief systems.

Application example


Media, data and control cables are reliably and securely strain-relieved in this ready-to-install readychain® system for machine tools.

20... tight mounting bracket

... chip protection up to the front edge of the e-tube
... retrofittable with integrated C rail for the installation of a strain relief

Functional principle

KMA protects cables against chips all around  
Tight mounting bracket

Can be retrofitted and are highly impermeable. Mounted at the front, the plastic-and-metal mounting bracket (KMA) keeps dirt and chips out all round the e-chain.

igus® tested

KMA in a machine tool protects cables against chips  

With the impermeable KMA, the last "gap" in applications in the working environment of machine tools has been closed. The chip-proof plastic-and-metal mounting brackets have integrated C-rails and protect the cables right up to the front end of the e-chain® and, at the same time, enable strain relief (with the help of CFX strain relief clamps).

Application example

Application example: KMA mounting bracket on the machine  

Flanged on at the front with the KMA mounting bracket that can be attached all around

21... Flexible modular kit

... bracket for hoses with diameter up to Ø 300 mm
... extension links for widths up to 3000 mm

Functional principle

Animated film of the E4.1L with possible options and extras  
Accessory and Extensions

Available options from stock and extension for the E4.1 range.

igus® tested

E4.1L with options that can be added on  
Removable in almost any way

The E4.1 system is highly flexible and adaptable to your application. For example, the e-chain® offers extender crossbars for holding hoses with a Ø of up to 300 mm, extension links for widths up to 3 metres or different noise-dampening options. For example, pads that reduce the unrolling noise of the e-chain® down to 10 db(A).

Application example


Series ES4.80 from the igus® E4.1 range as a noise-reduced version and extension links design

e-chain® system E4.1 for almost all applications

Sample order