Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Techniques in Bicycles, Article 1 of 3
How to Make a Carbon Fibre Bike Frame From Start to Finish 1. Patterns machined from tooling board. Once the design of the frame and the pattern has been decided on, it can then 2. Finishing and sealing the patterns. Post machining, the pattern will need smoothing out by sanding the surface. Dec 31, · How I Built a Carbon Bike Frame at Home (and a Bamboo Frame Too): I have built this carbon composite MTB frame in using simple building method which is described in this Instructable. Of course, this method is not suitable for mass production, but if you plan to build just one or two frames for yourself, it i.
A version of this article was originally published in Triathlete Magazine. Q: I am looking frxme buy a new carbon bike and I am wondering how price relates to what I get? Being the same material, how different can they really be? I am just looking for a good value and want to take advantage of all that carbon can offer. A: The common perception is that fibrs and parts built of the same material are all pretty similar.
This is a huge mistake, as all frames and components are quality dependent and carbon fiber is arguably the most quality dependent material of all. There are two general forms of carbon manufacturing techniques used in frame construction:. Bladder molding what is a good pokemon team consists of taking carbon and resin substrate, putting it fkbre a preset mold usually made of aluminum or steelexerting pressure from guide signs are what color inside with an inflatable bladder think blowing up a balloon in a jar ho, and curing.
During curing, the carbon and resin harden and hold the shape of the mold. Foam core molding uses a similar process, but heat activated foam applies the internal tp pressure instead of what is a 427 small block chevy rubber bladder.
Some form of molding can be found in almost every frame on the market. Many mass produced frames use a monocoque bladder mold where the entire frame is molded at one time. Other designs use a combination of molded lugs that are bonded or wrapped with other molded, roll-wrapped or filament wound tubes see below to create a frame. The primary benefits of molding are that any shape and carbon lay-up an engineer designs can bow built and, once the molds are paid for, production costs are minimal.
Mass production is feasible as bladder molding is much like baking a what does opportunities for advancement mean — you mix the ingredients lay-up the matrixput it in the oven the moldand bake pressurize and cure.
The primary drawbacks to one-piece monocoque molded frames are that the shape and geometry of the frame can be changed little to none once the mold is made and it can be difficult to apply consistent pressure to the entire structure during molding. While roll-wrapping and filament wound construction are different processes and have some different limitations and benefits, they are often used to construct similar structures.
In each case, carbon fiber is rolled or wound around a steel or aluminum mandrel in the shape of the end product. The carbon is wrapped with heat shrinking tape to create pressure and is then cured pressurized and heated until hard. Once cured, the tape is removed and the hardened part can be sanded to its final diameter and shape. This is similar to how metal frames are built, except that instead of metal and torches, carbon fiber, pressure and heat are used. Roll-wrapping and filament winding are more time consuming than bladder molding and can be difficult frxme use for mass production.
However, when done properly, mske allow for great tunability and customization makee both ride quality and frae geometry while minimizing voids. Arguably more important than the manufacturing technique a builder uses, the care and skill applied during the engineering the recipe and the assembly the baker of the frame, in combination with the quality fibrs the carbon fiber used the ingredientsare crucial to the end result. Like all ingredients, carbon needs to be stored and maintained properly to maintain quality.
In its raw biks, pre-preg is carbon fiber that has been pre-impregnated with resin and is stored framme sheets that are ready for the builder to cut, lay-up, shape and cure into the end product. Prior to use, pre-preg carbon fiber needs to be stored in a controlled environment that is below 0 degrees Celsius to prevent premature curing of the resin. In addition to proper storage, if the assembler does not use care to keep the work area, cutting tools or molds hkw free, the final product will be compromised.
Ingredients only become a cake after proper mixing and baking and carbon framee only achieve their potential when the resin and carbon fiber are layed-up and cured ideally. It is quicker and less expensive to minimize engineering and limit heat and pressure treatment processes when building with carbon.
While a rideable frame may still result, a poorly engineered frame that is improperly treated will not be as strong or ride the same as fiibre frame that is well engineered and properly treated. Frequently, part of what you pay for in a higher grade carbon frame is not only better grade materials, but also the assurance that rrame frame was engineered and manufactured using refined and proven processes that minimize contamination and maximize the integrity and ride quality of the materials.
In the end, an aerospace grade frame only results mske aerospace grade materials, aerospace grade engineering and aerospace grade assembly processes are all used simultaneously. Shop intelligently and remember, the best made bike in the world will not do much for you if it does not fit you well. Have a professional fit and rider matched bike search done first and then consider the quality and ride of only farbon options that fit you well.
In the next articlewe will bite into carbon fiber quality, grading methods, and the murky marketing that often surrounds the subject. From first time riders to Olympians, Ffibre has helped thousands of athletes achieve their cycling and triathlon goals. Ian develops much of the Fit Werx fitting and analysis protocols and is responsible for technology training and development.
He is regarded as one of the industry leaders in bicycle fitting, cycling biomechanics and bicycle geometry and design. He is dedicated to making sure the Fit Werx differences are delivered daily and provides Fit Werx with corporate direction and is responsible for uniting our staff and initiatives. A version of this article was originally published in Triathlete Magazine Q: I am looking to buy a new carbon bike and I am wondering how price relates to what I get?
Text Message Number. Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Techniques in Bicycles, Article 1 of 3 A version of this article was originally published in Triathlete Magazine Q: I am looking to buy a new carbon bike and I am wondering how price relates to what I get? Allen, via e-mail Allen, A: The common perception is that frames and parts built of the same material are all pretty similar. Carbon fiber material and fkbre grading. The four different types of bike companies and how they jake the manufacturing techniques and carbon grades.
This article covers common carbon fiber manufacturing techniques used in the bike industry. There are two general forms of carbon manufacturing techniques used in frame construction: Bladder and Foam Core Carbon Fiber Molding: Bladder molding basically consists of taking carbon and resin substrate, putting it into a preset mold usually made of aluminum or steel fiber, exerting pressure from the inside with an inflatable bladder think blowing up a balloon in a jarand curing.
Material and Process Quality Counts: Arguably more important than the manufacturing technique a builder uses, the fo and skill applied during the engineering the recipe and the assembly how long does it take to diagnose autism baker of the frame, in combination with the quality of book how to be awesome carbon fiber used the ingredientsare crucial to the end result.
About Ian From first time riders to Olympians, Ian has helped thousands of athletes achieve their cycling and triathlon goals. Find out more about Ian Here. Facebook Framf message is only visible to admins.
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Introduction: How I Built a Carbon Bike Frame at Home (and a Bamboo Frame Too)
Feb 01, · I particularly like the frame jig he created out of wood to hold the foam base material. Everything began after I read the article “How I Made a Carbon Fiber Bike in My Garage” by Damon Rinard. Thanks to this excellent article, I decided to make a MTB frame, even though I’ve never dealt with carbon composites before (except carbon.
I have built this carbon composite MTB frame in using simple building method which is described in this Instructable. Of course, this method is not suitable for mass production, but if you plan to build just one or two frames for yourself, it is sufficient and you can build your own frame of a high quality.
The feeling of riding a self-made frame is great! Until now, several frames have been built by this method in the world. Frame jig - it is used to hold all parts in their exact position.
I have built the frame jig from scrap wooden rods and some lathed parts and connected with screws. You can also build e. As a template of a frame dimensions for construction of a jig, I have used my bike frame that I rode before. The completed jig was stiff enough and guaranteed the position and the alignment of the metal parts during the construction of the foam core.
Metal parts - they include an aluminum bottom bracket shell, head tube, short seat tube, cable stops, rear dropouts and a rear brake bosses. The used thin walled tubes and cable stops were made on a lathe, for the carbon frame I have purchased rear dropouts and brake bosses from the bike parts supplier. I have made them by water-jet cutting for the bamboo frame. I prefer to use Alloy for the metal parts. It is good to have all aluminum parts anodized, as then you do not need to wrap a light layer of fiberglass around the aluminum tubes and part of the rear dropouts as an insulation between the aluminum and the carbon against galvanic corrosion.
Foam core - I have used polystyrene foam to make the core of the carbon frame. But it is better to use extruded polystyrene, or polyurethane foam, which is more rigid. Later I have used the polyurethane foam which is normally used for insulation of the outer walls of buildings. Materials for laminating - I have chosen a bi-directional woven carbon cloth grams per square meter. I have used MGS's L epoxy resin with hardener for laminating.
For the carbon frame I used about 3. You can also use uni-directional carbon for the base layers and use the bi-directional carbon just for the outer layer. Supplies - I used plastic kitchen foil for covering the workbench during the wetting out the carbon, latex gloves, a small digital scale for weighing of the exact volume of resin and hardener, cups for mixing, paint brushes for wetting out, lots of electrical tape, sand paper and a good respirator during sanding.
Patience - the more the better. After I have built the frame jig and all metal parts were secured in the jig, I began to make the frame core. I had polystyrene foam rods of the necessary diameters, made simply by using hot wire foam cutter.
The cross sections of the main rods was circular, the chain stay and the seat stay were elliptical. I have wrapped these rods with one light layer of fiberglass to increase their rigidity. In this picture you can see the aluminum parts in their exact position.
The polystyrene top tube and down tube is already bonded with carved small pieces of polystyrene for the next sanding. In the front of the picture on the ground the chain stay was being prepared for sanding to achieve proper shape and bonding.
After adding all of the polystyrene rods I have sanded all of the added small parts in the places of rods connection areas to achieve soft shapes. After that I have wrapped these junctions with one light layer of fiberglass. After the curing of the epoxy resin, I have softly sanded the whole surface. After finishing the frame, you can melt the polystyrene out of the frame by using acetone, so you can save about 90 g of the weight.
I didn't do so, as I think the core helps to dampen the vibrations and shocks. I was a little bit afraid before I have added the first layer because of lack of experience. I only had theoretical and little practical knowledge of how to do it, but by following the instructions on how to mix the epoxy and how to wet out the carbon cloth it went okay. I have wetted out the pieces of carbon and I have added the first layer on the foam core. I have tried to cut as large pieces of carbon as possible.
For each tube, I have used one big piece with overlapping about 1 cm. While it was still wet, I have wrapped over the first layer of carbon tightly with electrical tape with sticky side up to provide compaction during curing. I could wrap tightly thanks to the aforementioned light layer of fiberglass, which has increased the rigidity of the foam core significantly. Before wrapping, I have perforated the tape with a pin over the whole surface. This squeezed out excess resin after wrapping. You can also use perforated heat-shrink tape for the compaction, or use vacuum bagging technique, but for me this was the easiest and sufficient method.
This image shows the excess resin after wrapping. In this picture, you can see the frame after the first layer was added and the electrical tape was removed. It began to look like a real bike frame. Approximately four-five hours after first layer had been done, I removed electrical tape lightly and I added another layer, and again, I wrapped it over with the tape.
I have tried to make as many layers during the day as possible, because after it fully cured overnight I had to softly sand the surface for the next layer. Before the last layer I have bonded the rear brake bosses and have reinforced them with few carbon layers.
During the construction, I have combined the layers diagonally and cross-wise. On the top and down tubes and seat tube, there are 9 layers; on the chain stay and seat stay there are 11 layers.
The high stress areas were covered with additional layers. I have added two more layers as I initially planned just for the safety, but if I built this frame again, probably I would not add them again. I have sanded the surface carefully before the last layer. This is the picture after the last layer of carbon. After removal of the fully cured frame from the jig, I have cut the excess carbon and I have sanded the entire surface.
Also I have bonded the cable stops and then I have sandblasted all the visible aluminum parts. I have added a few layers of wet epoxy, with sanding between each layer. The sanding is the worst part of building the frame, don't do it in your living room The whole surface was polishing for a better look. But it is better to spray some quality clear varnish over the surface. I have seen many amazing constructions made of bamboo and I have always wondered why such light, strong, stiff and elastic material is not widespread used for building of bicycle frames, although such frames were built already hundred years ago.
Since I have finished my carbon frame, I was thinking about using bamboo for my second frame. Later on, I have found an article describing a bamboo frame Craig Calfee built for himself a few years ago. At that moment I was fully determined to build it too. One year later in I have built the bamboo frame according the same method as I built the carbon frame. This was a little bit easier, as I did not need to laminate the tubes.
The most difficult part of building the frame was to find quality bamboo rods. It took me much more time than the building itself.
I have visited several dealers in near surroundings and I have tried to find appropriate rods of the necessary diameters among huge amount of bamboo. Finally I have found few rods I wanted, but frankly speaking, next time I will build such a frame, I'll rather grow my own bamboo, or fly to Asia for it. The rods for the top tube, down tube and seat tube are some Chinese species of bamboo; I was not very satisfied with the quality of the surface, which was rather scratched and there were also a few woodworm holes in it.
The rods I have selected for the seat and chain stay were some other species from Malaysia. Unfortunately the seller was not able to tell me what species it exactly was. During breaking tests of these bamboo rods I found out that when I filled the inside with the polyurethane foam which added only few gram of weight , the rigidity increased mainly of the rods for the seat and chain stay, which are the most critical parts of this frame. The frame building itself was quite quick.
I have used the frame jig I made for my previous carbon frame. Bamboo rods were fitted in miter joints together with aluminum tubes bottom bracket shell, head and short seat tube and bonded with epoxy.
The junctions in the rear part of the frame I have made from polyurethane foam and the following laminating process of the joints with epoxy resin and woven carbon cloth was practically the same as for the carbon frame. The bamboo rods, in the place of connection with the carbon were machined, so there were small shark teeth which guaranteed that the bamboo will not loose.
Also it is important to have well dried bamboo, so it will shrink later minimally. When I have built this bamboo frame, I was interested in how would it differ from my carbon frame. Above all I have expected that thanks to the unique properties of bamboo, as a natural composite, the frame would be more able to absorb road shocks and the ride would be more comfortable.
After three years in , I can write that the bamboo frame fulfilled all my expectations. The frame is excellent and still okay. Compared with the carbon frame it really does dampen vibrations better and the ride is more comfortable. The connections of the bamboo rods with the carbon joints are still rigid without any problems. I know I can expect the bamboo to shrink or split sooner or later, but I hope that thanks to the used method of securing the mutual connection between the bamboo rods and carbon joints it should not loosen in the case of shrinking and the splitting of bamboo can be easily repaired.
Question 2 years ago. The frame building instructions are great. But I would really appreciate more detailed info on building the jig.
Any help or advice in that area would be much appreciated. Thanks for the article! I totally want to try this! The frames look incredible! Your very detailed instructions give me a sense of confidence that I can do this project, hopefully. Great job!
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