EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. - July 24, 2007 - Igus® Inc., the industry-leading developer of Energy Chain Systems®, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables and iglide® plastic bearings, today announced that a high school team from Sussex County Technical School in N.J. used DryLin® T linear guide systems and igubal® spherical bearings on a student-designed and student-built submarine, which they competed in the 2007 International Submarine Race. The unique competition, aimed at piquing students' interest in engineering and teaching them about the importance of teamwork and time management, is held every other year and challenges students to set new world speed records while manning a full-scale submarine in an underwater course measuring 100-meters long and 22-feet deep.
The Sussex County Tech team used both DryLin T linear guide systems and igubal flange bearings, donated free of charge by igus in conjunction with its Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, on one the most important parts of the submarine-its propulsion system. With the help of igus components combined with the technology of a leading exercise machine company, the team of 12 took a different approach to their design. Instead of using only their lower bodies to drive the vessel, the students designed the submarine to incorporate both their upper and lower extremities in order to greatly increase the speed of the craft.
To accomplish this task, the team created a "climbing-machine" mechanism to propel the submarine by positioning and mounting the DryLin T linear guide systems at a 75-degree angle. DryLin T enabled the operator of the vessel to create a cyclical motion using both their arms and legs. This motion, because of a specially designed gearbox built by the students, supplied the sub's propeller with the power to move rotationally, an imperative part of gaining the most possible momentum during the race.
DryLin T is a maintenance-free, adjustable, profile guide rail, which is dimensionally interchangeable with most traditional re-circulating ball guides. Due to it's clear-anodized aluminum rails and gliding elements made from igus' iglide J polymer material blend, DryLin T is resistant to a wide array of environmental elements including dust, dirt and water. This construction, combined with its lightweight properties, made DryLin T an ideal solution for the dirty, moist environment of the submarine, as it did not corrode, rust or fail.
Sussex County Tech teacher and submarine-project mentor, Chris Land, vouched for igus' high-performance products and the company's unwavering support of the team.
"When I called igus, the products were in the mail that day," said Land. "It was great. The igus components simplified our design, were easy to install and never failed. We did not experience any binding with DryLin T and due to the great performance of all the products, my students were able to focus their energy on more important matters."
In addition to DryLin T, the team also used igubal flange bearings, which are maintenance-free, self-aligning and require no lubrication, on various moving parts of the sub. Land praised both the competition and igus' generosity.
"I have been involved in the International Submarine Race for three years," said Land. "This amazing event enables students to open their minds. There is no 10-pound book of rules or constrained model to follow, no wrong or right answer. Instead, it's an excellent environment rich with students sharing with and learning from one another. Without the generosity of sponsors like igus, these competitions would not be possible. I hope many companies follow igus' example."
The Sussex County Tech students, one of the only high-school-level teams to be invited to the event out of a total of 20 participating groups, placed an impressive third overall at the International Submarine Race and also boasts a first place award for innovation, a highly coveted honor at the competition.
Through its Y.E.S. Program, igus aims at furthering the mechanical design aspirations of students and educating them about the merits and benefits of plastic components. Students, teachers and engineering and robotics competitions are encouraged to contact igus for more information on how to request products or sponsorship. To learn more about Y.E.S., visit www.igus.com/yesprogram. To learn more about Sussex County Technical School, go to sussex.tech.nj.us.
Igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems. With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide. Product lines include Energy Chain Systems to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex continuous-flex cables, iglide self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin linear guide systems and igubal spherical bearings. For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.
igus, Energy Chain System, Chainflex, iglide, DryLin and igubal are registered trademarks of igus Inc.