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Thread: Scandium/Carbon

  1. #1
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    Scandium/Carbon

    THe continuing saga of trying to get up to speed on new stuff...

    IS Scandium as light as carbon? Some things being equal.

    New bike choice may be around a couple corners and a drop, but I keep reading more stuff. I'm getting nearly as confused as I am informed. There must be a breaking point--or at least a tipping.

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Scandium/Carbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    THe continuing saga of trying to get up to speed on new stuff...

    IS Scandium as light as carbon? Some things being equal.

    New bike choice may be around a couple corners and a drop, but I keep reading more stuff. I'm getting nearly as confused as I am informed. There must be a breaking point--or at least a tipping.
    A pound of carbon and a pound of scandium (alloy) weigh the same.

    How the material is used is more important than which material, and scandium is rarely used at all lately.
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  3. #3
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    Kona?
    A pound is after all a pound. To the quick then. Are scandium frames as strong as carbon at the same weight?
    Is a Kona Hei Hei DL for instance a poorer man's reaching for carbon savings?
    Or something like that.

  4. #4
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    Scandium and carbon are both strong materials and most will generally agree stronger than the typically used aluminum alloys on a pound for pound basis. The thing is probably no bike frame manufacturer decides to use these materials just to make the frame stronger, they also use them because the frame can be made lighter without sacrificing strength (to varying degrees). So to answer your question, it comes down to the design decisions that were made to balance weight savings, frame strength and manufacturing costs. I'd say this old adage still holds regardless of the materials used: light, strong, cheap - pick any two.

  5. #5
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    Yup--as I contemplate choices for a new bike pick, I'm living in the tension between my old XC weight weenie days and my new older body considerations and need for a kinder gentler bike in order to be able to stay on it for a long time.
    The choices are legion and also fascinating.
    Candy store kinda time.
    Half the fun is the seeking.
    :-)

    Thanks for the responses, guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Scandium and carbon are both strong materials and most will generally agree stronger than the typically used aluminum alloys on a pound for pound basis. The thing is probably no bike frame manufacturer decides to use these materials just to make the frame stronger, they also use them because the frame can be made lighter without sacrificing strength (to varying degrees). So to answer you question, it comes down to the design decisions that were made to balance weight savings, frame strength and manufacturing costs. I'd say this old adage still holds regardless of the materials used: light, strong, cheap - pick any two.

  6. #6
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    You should know that Scandium is very much a marketing term. There is only a very very small percentage of Sc used in the Aluminum alloy.
    Scandium is used as a grain refining additive for Aluminium. It thus enhances malleability, integrity of welds and fatigue life of the aluminium. Also gives better strength (hence why scandium alloy rocket tail fins were the only ones capable of blasting through the polar ice cap). Yes it is still an aluminium alloy. There are a lot of them. But a scandium alloy's properties lend well to aerospace and sporting equipment where lightweight structures are required. I suggest you read through some engineering catalogs about material properties to see how many different steels and aluminiums there are and how different their properties actually are.

    That being said, Scandium frames can be a great way to have a lightweight frame that isn't made of carbon. You dont have to worry about crashing it as much. They can both be made strong and light and usually dont cost as much as titanium.

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    I'll increase my knowledge of metallurgy as you suggested.
    :-)
    Thanks for the thoughtful response; it is exactly what I wanted to know.
    So its a marketing term, but at the same time yields a light strong material that better withstands the potential abuse of mountain biking on terrain without buffering balloons.
    I've got it down to 3 choices at this time--realizing they are somewhat different.
    Kona Hei Hei DL
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Yeti 575 Enduro

    Yeti is tugging a good bit harder today.

    I'm thinking that the extra weight of these bikes will be offset by the lesser energy sapping jostle.

    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    You should know that Scandium is very much a marketing term. There is only a very very small percentage of Sc used in the Aluminum alloy.
    Scandium is used as a grain refining additive for Aluminium. It thus enhances malleability, integrity of welds and fatigue life of the aluminium. Also gives better strength (hence why scandium alloy rocket tail fins were the only ones capable of blasting through the polar ice cap). Yes it is still an aluminium alloy. There are a lot of them. But a scandium alloy's properties lend well to aerospace and sporting equipment where lightweight structures are required. I suggest you read through some engineering catalogs about material properties to see how many different steels and aluminiums there are and how different their properties actually are.

    That being said, Scandium frames can be a great way to have a lightweight frame that isn't made of carbon. You dont have to worry about crashing it as much. They can both be made strong and light and usually dont cost as much as titanium.

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    Scandium is aluminum...as stated before. Don't be fooled.

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    Yup.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canyon93108 View Post
    Scandium is aluminum...as stated before. Don't be fooled.

  10. #10
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    Scandium/Carbon

    At the end of the day, carbon frames can be made stronger at the same weight than any aluminum. In addition, carbon can be better tuned for ride characteristics because it can be laid up with material exactly where it is wanted. There is nothing wrong with aluminum, but if you want the strongest bike at a weight, carbon is the only choice.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  11. #11
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    Decision is made.
    Yeti 575 Enduro build...Al.

    The only component change I'll make at kit time is a new Easton carbon bar I just bought and is still in the box. It looks like the kit picked by Yeti is great!
    I am stoked.

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