What we call carbon fiber is actually a composite material with carbon as the main material, and carbon fiber composite material is not the only material in bicycle frames, rims, and carbon bars. This is because the ultra-high rigidity of carbon fiber is a prerequisite for the process. When the material is a 100% carbon fiber composite material, it is very fragile and has a tendency to tear in the fiber direction. In order to exert its rigidity, the carbon fiber (cloth) is dipped in epoxy resin before molding, forming a composite material.
However, the carbon fiber contained in the carbon fiber resin is expensive, generates a large amount of CO 2 during the production process, and is difficult to handle, so the environmental load is high. Therefore, methods of recovering and recycling carbon fibers from used carbon fiber resin moldings are being studied. Carbon fiber recycling is beneficial to the production of carbon fiber frames.
Manufacturing steps of carbon fiber frame
The first is to weave yarn and make carbon yarn into carbon fiber composite materials of various specifications. The process of weaving yarn is similar to weaving cloth, that is, carbon yarn is woven into various carbon cloth raw materials through mechanical weaving according to technical standards, and then carbon The cloth is soaked in the corresponding resin solution and then dried and molded to fix the carbon cloth. It is interesting that in order to prevent the deformation of the carbon yarn, it is sometimes stored in cold storage.
The carbon yarn is scientifically cut, and each piece of carbon cloth is marked in detail. Each carbon fiber frame is made of hundreds of different carbon cloths. Large pieces of carbon cloth will be roughly cut into sheets that are easy to handle. A-frame is made up of more than 500 individual carbon cloth collages. Each model requires a specific type of carbon cloth, and even if the same mold is used, the amount of carbon fiber cloth varies.
Once again, it is the coil material, that is, laying the cut carbon fiber prepreg on the core material in a specific order and angle to make it initially have the shape of the frame, waiting for the next step of curing, the coil material operation of the Ruibao factory is closed. It is carried out in a clean room, and the environmental requirements are very strict. Since some commercial secrets and technical patents are involved, only a small part of the complex process can be seen here.
Entering the forming stage is to place the rolled product in the forming die and extrude it at a high temperature. The carbon fiber die is also a link where technology and cost are concentrated. It is necessary to ensure that the die and the frame have the same thermal expansion rate, which is important to ensure the frame. Accuracy plays a very important role, especially in today’s increasingly demanding manufacturing precision of bicycles.
For the parts that cannot be integrally formed, they are formed by special glue between the parts, and then fixed into a complete whole by high-temperature baking. At this time, the glued frame will be clamped on a special carbon fiber fixture and sent to the curing oven for curing. When the curing process is completed, the frame can be taken out of the curing oven and removed from the fixture.
Finally, the frame is hand sanded and refinished, drilled, etc. After sanding and trimming, the frame is ready for final painting and decals, with wet transfer decals being done before varnishing. Then a beautiful and powerful carbon frame is complete.
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