Industrial Cat 6A cables withstand continuous flex and torsion applications

Lapp USA says its EtherLine cables combine Category 6A Ethernet’s 10 Gbit/sec data transfer rates with continuous flex and torsion performance suitable for robotics, machine vision systems, wind turbines and other industrial machines.

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Category 6A cables can provide fast data transmission rates in Industrial Ethernet systems, yet these cables usually cannot withstand the continuous flex or torsion requirements associated with moving machine applications. New from Lapp USA, the EtherLine CAT.6A cables remove this limitation. Previous continuous flex industrial Ethernet cables offered a maximum data transfer rate of 1 Gbit/sec. In an industry first, the company says its new EtherLine cables combine Category 6A Ethernet’s 10 Gbit/sec data transfer rates with continuous flex and torsion performance suitable for robotics, machine vision systems, wind turbines and other industrial machines with motion systems.

To raise the bar on CAT6.A continuous flex performance, Lapp USA reports that its engineers had to solve a tricky shielding challenge. Category 6A cables generally operate at frequencies as high as 500 MHz, which predisposes them to electromagnetic noise and interference (EMI). A conventional shielding system capable of warding off EMI at these high frequencies would have made the cables too stiff for continuous flex or torsion applications, notes the company.

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The company says its engineers instead created an entirely new cable shielding system that strikes a balance between EMI protection, flexibility and the mechanical strength to withstand the high strains associated with continuous flex or torsion. The company says that this new shielding employs a proprietary wrapping process that winds aluminum compound foil around individual twisted pairs at an angle optimized for shielding performance. In addition, the cable has a copper braid reinforced with a foil-laminated fleece. This high-quality screening, which Lapp claims is the first of its kind, ensures extremely reliable data transfer.

The EtherLine CAT.6A cable comes in two different versions, one optimized for continuous flex and the other for torsion. The continuous flex version is suitable for use in cable tracks and has been tested for more than one million bending cycles. Available with either PVC or PUR jackets, both versions of the EtherLine CAT.6A cables offer: compliance to the Profinet standard; resistance to UV and flame; and performance in damp or dry operating environments. New RJ45 and M12 x-coded connectors designed specially for Lapp's EtherLine CAT6.A cables are also available. For more information, visit www.lappusa.com/ethernetCAT.

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