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Development status of titanium in bicycle industry

Titanium used for bicycle and wheelchair frame is formed in the middle of the 80's, the application of titanium is developing fast, but due to the small market began to become hot, the application process of titanium in the world to slow down.

1, bicycle frame

In the last few years because of cuts to defense and aircraft industry has a floating, the three companies in the United States to use a l Ti-3 production of 2。5V pipe to the bicycle industry, but the production of the world is a bicycle frame 3AI-2。5V less than three Boeing 747 aircraft with titanium (130t)。 There are nearly 50 production of titanium bicycle company, 90% of the world's total titanium frame from several original equipment manufacturers (OE), half of the remaining 10% is produced by the United States, America has long is the largest titanium bicycle production and consumption country in。2015 years is likely to be the highest annual sales of titanium frame, it will produce 17000 side titanium frame, a total weight of about 82 tons of materials, including titanium tubes, rods and plates。 When more and more cyclists began to understand the benefits of titanium, but feel shy, with air quality pipe production Ti-3Al-2。5V frame, each pair of price Lattice between 1600 and 3 $500, the bicycle price from $2, 400 to $6000。 In the past four years, industrial pure titanium tube and non aviation use penalty -3AI-2。SV (movement) made of titanium alloy frame is popular, some exercise and titanium frame retail lowest price per pair of $1000, the whole bike lowest $1700。

2, bicycle parts

Bicycle component refers to the connection on the frame of crankshaft locator, a foot pedal, handlebar, titanium parts industry than the penalty - 3 does 1 - 2.5V frame industry develops quickly, most of the parts is of Ti-6AI-4V production, the majority of the components with a bar or sheet machining out. Parts of Ti-6A1-4V buy force is a 2.5V frame of bleeding of the Ti-3 1/31997 years about 10t. Casting parts can be sb becomes more common, but the development may than machine parts development slow, titanium suppliers began to provide cheap material for the titanium parts manufacturers, most of this low-cost bike grade material is actually eliminated aviation materials.

3 wheel chair frame and components

Wheelchair Market in many aspects different from bicycle market, the most important difference is currently only a small amount of titanium of the wheelchair frame production, most of which are compared with seamed industrial pure titanium pipe production, wheelchair total titanium purchasing power is about 55t. currently in the United States, only a small number of companies have sufficient research funds for research and development in the development of titanium wheelchair or the purchase of materials. And cheaper aluminum wheelchair, advantages of titanium wheelchair, now except for titanium screws, bolts, titanium wheelchair parts industry has not yet formed, although there is a market, but very small, consisting of only a small amount of consumption of components.

4, material requirements

Compact, good stiffness, light weight is bicycle and wheelchair to the general requirements of specification driven, titanium is often not the best materials, and cast and wrought aluminium more popular, if down the price of titanium metal matrix composites (MMCs), may become the some of the aluminum market substitutes.

Self frame frame material is very simple, but the motion characteristics is the key, the choice of materials complex in some aspects, most of the means of transport, structural elements and internal facilities and operating elements are separated, until recently, all bike frame requirements with structural integrity and suspension function。 There is no a titanium alloy is designed especially for bicycle, only some of the material is improved for a bicycle, most people consider is, reduce costs, and to accept the titanium parts in the face of the main problems is rigid rather than cost。

Ti-3Al-2.5V is the most commonly used titanium alloy, although it is developed for aircraft hydraulic system, but due to the formability, corrosion resistance. High fatigue strength to weight ratio and good extension rate to meet the performance standards for the bicycle market, compared with other titanium alloy, the biggest advantage of Ti-3Al-2.5V is yielding strength and tube forming easily, the disadvantage is the price and the modulus and density ratio difference. To want the Ti-3Al-2.5V extrusion for the dominant position of the frame material is not easy.Ti-6AI-4V attractive, its strength and modulus are than the Ti-3Al-2.5V higher, but processing into bicycle frame as a small diameter tube difficult.Ti 15V-3Al 6Cr-4Mo-4Zr easily molding, but the higher density, lower modulus offset it on the strength of improve the merit.

Wheelchair frame

Wheelchair frame material and bicycle frame is basically the same material is aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium and steel, dry chair frame should as far as possible not heeling。 But not tilt frame caused by riding and handling problems, the frame driving astringent, also stiff frame often leads to only three wheels touch the ground。 This is because uneven ground or frame is not perfect due to, and only three wheels with and lead to the wheelchair can't be straight driving, is not easy to manipulate。 Correct design of titanium wheelchair with by torsional flexibility improved traction, manipulation and fatigue of users such as titanium also has resilience。 Although, the higher the density of a Ti-15V 3Al-6Cr-4Mo 4zr。 But the bending properties, and so on and Ti-3/%1-2。5V as ceiling arch 1 force。 Secondly it lower modulus and Ti-3Al-2。53/ frame compared to improve the flexibility and comfort。

5, market development

If you are interested in the development of titanium titanium industry in the sporting goods industry, including bicycles and wheelchairs, not only to producers of publicity, but also to the end user product publicity in.70 titanium frame after the failure, although due to the excellent performance of the Ti-3A1-2.5V pipe made of titanium reputation has increased, but it is vulnerable to the threat of entering the market is cheap the industrial pure titanium frame, titanium frame and some small production companies plus, they do not have the knowledge and resources necessary to create successful titanium products, which will affect the reputation of titanium in the bicycle industry and other areas of consumer goods, a few years ago, this problem has been encountered in the yacht industry, titanium in the market of high-tech sailing discredited, titanium is still being in the game the authorities banned the use of sailboats, such problems can be avoided by propaganda.

6, research and development

The bicycle and wheelchair industry with the yacht industry, the technology is better than mature in the aviation industry, most companies spend on research and development on than on sales, so if the factory want to bike manufacturer selling materials, it must do some responsibility for the study. The wheelchair and bicycle is 100 years use of steel as material, few aspects need to be improved, so only a handful of engineers engaged in research, in general, steel pipe factory bike manufacturers than the frame for how to produce a durable bicycle frame about much more. Most of the research on the applicability of titanium alloy in special applications has been the producer to carry out air the work, but the bike industry can also not willing to invest in research. Therefore titanium manufacturer if you want to improve their market share. Must support the design process of consumer products, the company must be aware of the long-term development of the company must recognize the long-term development will come from education is very important.

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