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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    New question here. Could a better Ibis be built out of a thermoplastic composite like Tegris?

    Tegris: Thermoplastic composite takes on carbon fiber

    It seems like this materials could be good for frames. As far as engineering, it seems like there are pros and cons in the mechanical properties of this material as compared to carbon fiber. However, this material is much cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, thus I think it it worth considering. I'd think that any drawbacks in terms of this materials properties could be compensated for in design. In the end, the cost is what matters most and I think that whichever bike company decides to capitalize on this first will have quite a leg up over the competition.

    I'm posting here because I have a Mojo SL and I like Ibis bikes, so anything they use to make a better product is good for me, too.

    Hans, if you see this thread could you comment on whether Ibis has looked into the possibility of using this type of material? Is there any major constraint that I've overlooked?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Am I mis reading? Or does it say it has 50-80% less flexural strength (bend strength, or fracture strength)?

    Right there tells me why they don't use it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    GT made bikes out of thermoplastic in the mid nineties. They were fragile and a lot broke. I am sure there has been advancements in the product since but as it has not been jumped on by the bike industry there may be other factors holding them back from using it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dreicha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    the new trek fuel ex frame is more than "super light" ( 1760 grams or 3.88 lbs)

  5. #5
    bike rider
    Reputation: Lelandjt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Back in the 90s when thermoplastic was tried I was under the impression that it's carbon fibers in a nylon (or similar polymer) matrix, basically just a different type of resin. The idea was to improve impact strength and by using loose fibers in resin it could be injection molded, rather than hand laying to reduce cost. However, that method produced heavier, weaker parts than traditional layups and more recent resin advancements have improved impact strength.
    Keep the Country country.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Tegris is Polypropylene. Nice material for recycling.

    The comparison to CF probably does not show the high performance materials used in the bike industry. The typical numbers for CF tensile strength are 12+ times higher than what is shown on the Tegris material properties page on the website.

    It would be cool to be able to use a thermoplastic, but from what we've seen so far they are better for panels and cases etc. This looks like a good competitor for fiberglass and stamped metal panels.

    When they achieve the right material properties, it will still take a pretty big effort to change over the process and machinery, but you're right, it would probably be worth it to figure it out. The laptop case guys and car guys are on it as we speak ; )


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