Technology of Composite Bicycle Frames

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Technology of Composite Bicycle Frames The definition of technology is systematic treatment/application of knowledge to produce something (Webster’s1496). I will take this definition and describe the technology of making a bicycle frame. Composites structures are defined as : “...constructions utilizing admixture or blend or a compound of distinct parts or elements of various available materials to produce a resulting structure of the highest possible strength to weight ratio ...” (Moynihan ). For this paper “composite” will mean a plastic resin reinforced with structural fibers. In this paper I will be comparing composites against other methods of building bike frames. First we will discuss the structural advantages of building a bicycle with composites. Using composites you are not limited to certain shapes as if you were using metal tubing. Most metal bike frames are tubes of standard sizes and standard wall thickness. With composites, you can differ the thickness of the wall of the frame. If you want more strength in one area, you just add more material in that area. By changing the wall thickness in composite layups, you will change the strength of your frame in a localized area. Metal tubing construction is mostly limited to constant thickness walls. Because of the constant thickness the metal bike frame will end up being heavier than it needs to be. Composites do most of the things metals can do in a bike frame. Although, often the way you go about building with composites is different than if using metals. With composite construction a mold has to be built to form the required shape and then the fibers and resin are held in the mold to harden. With metal tubing construction, off the shelf tubes a... ... middle of paper ... ...n of a Graphite/Epoxy Submarine Hull” Human Power Technical Journal of the IHPVA Contents of Vol 10, No. 4 Fall 1993: 19-23 Wanttaja, Ronald J. Chapter 6, “Composite Construction” Kitplane Construction Second Ed. 1996. 215-261 Moynihan, Jim “Composite Construction and Advanced Materials” Human Power Technical Journal of the IHPVA 1981: Part 1 4-16, Part 2 8-12 Rinard, Damon “How I made a Carbon TT Frame e-mail: Rinard, Damon “How I made a Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composite Bike Frame in my Garage” e-mail: Scion Industries “Composites” website 5857 Wright Drive Loveland, CO 80537 Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition 1966 pp1496

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