IDEC (Spain) provides solutions in the field of out of autoclave advanced composites. They have developed a full carbon bicycle frame using a wide range of Chomarat carbon reinforcements.
This bicycle frame prototype has been sized and designed using aeronautical technology and methodology. Its aerodynamic tubes need an optimized laminate to fulfil stiffness/weight ratio. Each tube is sized individually, and each section has different laminates. 6 prototypes have been manufactured so far.
The Project is supported by the Basque Country Government, by means of the GAITEK 2015 and HAZITEK 2016, programs of the Economic Development Department with European Regional Development Fund.
The protopype is optimized using the right reinforcements at the right place.
Chomarat products used:
- C-PLY™: a multiaxial carbon reinforcement. The spreading tows technology is used to create light and high performance thin plies which are then stitched with precise angles.
- C-PLY™ UD: a high performance carbon UD
- C-WEAVE™: a woven carbon fabric available in various weave patterns, fibers and weights for performance and visual applications.
The process used to manufacture the frame is RTM with expandable and reusable bladder and PMI internal foams.
The main advantage of RTM compared to state of the art prepreg technology is a much higher surface finish quality that can reduce the hours of surface preparation to almost zero. RTM process enables a ready to paint finish (without any superficial or cosmetic preparation, only a very light sanding) and a varnish.
Combining materials and new process IDEC achieve to reduce the weight of the frame of 400g (25% of initial weight).
Extremely improved and optimized aerodynamics and bicycle stiffness to save power and gain speed.