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  1. #1
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Aluminum *might* make a comeback...


  2. #2
    tlg
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    Interesting.

    It's fine if you want a straight tube frame. However, it still has some obstacles if you want aero shapes. You can't easily cold work 7075, so traditional hydro-forming is out. They're working on warm forming methods. It's likely "do-able" but it'll add cost and complexity to the process. Perhaps making an aluminum frame cost more than carbon and still be less aero.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._Using_LS-DYNA
    The demand for lightweight tubular products, designed specifically for transportation and recreational applications, is currently on the rise. In general, performance increase and energy cost reduction are the main reasons justifying the need for these specialty products. Hence, to reach these goals, both industries are turning to complex-shaped tubes for various types of applications. However, high performance aluminium tubes, such as 7075 alloy, provide very low formability characteristics at ambient temperature and do not have the ductility needed for hydroforming-based applications. A 1,000-ton hydroforming press, located at the Aluminium Technology Centre, was equipped with a + 600 o C heating die designed for such tube and sheet forming applications. The die has 10 separate heating zones that can be adjusted independently. The first application was employed to form a tubular bicycle component. To achieve this, a thermo-mechanical model was developed using LS-DYNA to determine the tube temperature distribution around the heating zones. To this end, conduction, convection, radiation and contact heat transfer conductance were the physical phenomena considered in the thermal model. Prior to developing the mechanical model, a heating chamber was designed and fabricated. Tube samples underwent in-chamber testing using a servo-hydraulic system at various temperatures and strain rates. With the results, an elastic viscoplastic temperature-dependent material constitutive law was used to properly predict tube strains and stresses. The finite-element model can predict the necessary tube temperature and gas pressure during the heat-based forming process, thus enabling to obtain optimum formability of 7075 aluminium alloy tubes.
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  3. #3
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    And probably a lot harder than carbon to build in compliance and different stiffness areas.
    Tom Ritchey said if he could go back in time he wouldn’t have used steel (or something to that effect).

  4. #4
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    I remember the '90s as being a hotbed of aluminum alloy marketing, especially for mountain bikes. It seemed as though every player (both big and small) had their own proprietary alloys and reasons why it was "drop the mike" time, if only they'd a "dropped the mike" back then.


    And don't forget all the alloys of Ti (hope using the term Ti doesn't cause this thread to spiral into the abyss).

  5. #5
    pmf
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    I think there's only two -- 3/2.5 and 6/4.

    How many aluminum alloys are out there? I remember Specialized even had a proprietary 'metal matrix' in the 1990's. I forget what they called it.

    I'm glad Tom Ritchey doesn't have a time machine, because I really like steel bikes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I think there's only two -- 3/2.5 and 6/4.

    How many aluminum alloys are out there? I remember Specialized even had a proprietary 'metal matrix' in the 1990's. I forget what they called it.

    I'm glad Tom Ritchey doesn't have a time machine, because I really like steel bikes.
    Specialized M2 Metal Matrix was specially formulated in the marketing department by industry experts in hyperbole. Supposedly the added ceramic dust made for a stiffer frame, not that 90's aluminum bikes suffered from a lack of stiffness

  7. #7
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    So my 2001 Scandium cyclocross frame is a sham?

  8. #8
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    I think there's only two -- 3/2.5 and 6/4.

    How many aluminum alloys are out there? I remember Specialized even had a proprietary 'metal matrix' in the 1990's. I forget what they called it.

    I'm glad Tom Ritchey doesn't have a time machine, because I really like steel bikes.
    There's 38 "Grades" of Titanium...but you only ever see Grade 5 (alias "6/4") or Grade 9 (alias "3/2.5") in bikes.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  9. #9
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    With the move to large volume tires, I see AL frames making a big comeback in mid-low level road bikes.
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  10. #10
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    What happened, did the market for crabon bikes suddenly dry up.
    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    What happened, did the market for crabon bikes suddenly dry up.
    Maybe the one factory they all come out of is starting to demand payola

    I for one loved the alu cannondales.

    Carbon cannondales just don’t feel as lively especially in the bb


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    With the move to large volume tires, I see AL frames making a big comeback in mid-low level road bikes.
    Excellent point.

  13. #13
    What the what???
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    Meh. I'm holding out for tin. Heavier than aluminum, weaker than steel, more rust-prone than Ti... it's the best of all worlds.
    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy... wait.

  14. #14
    Neophyte
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    Why no tin bikes in pro peloton?

    Jokes aside aren't some Pro Tour teams racing on the Allez right now in some situations?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Why no tin bikes in pro peloton?

    Jokes aside aren't some Pro Tour teams racing on the Allez right now in some situations?
    Sagan riding the Allez in one of the stage, can't recall which race.

    Considering that the Allez is selling like hotcakes, I'd say there are still plenty of people who are buying high-end Al frames if they're made right.

  16. #16
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Specialized M2 Metal Matrix was specially formulated in the marketing department by industry experts in hyperbole. Supposedly the added ceramic dust made for a stiffer frame, not that 90's aluminum bikes suffered from a lack of stiffness
    You can't understate that. I had a Cannondale 3.0 frame back in the 1990's. Most uncomfortable bike I've ever owned.

  17. #17
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    I imagine the only reason Aluminum will come back is to hit a price point that's in reach of potential buyers.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrac View Post
    I imagine the only reason Aluminum will come back is to hit a price point that's in reach of potential buyers.
    Let's not forget the ecological benefits of Aluminum. Its the most recyclable of all frame materials. A single Aluminum frame can be converted into a 12-pack of Budweiser cans, or Labatt's if you are in Canada

  19. #19
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    had a 7000-series aluminum Centurion Facet in the late 80s...don't recall it having a very forgiving ride.

    wasn't sad when it got pranged by a Buick.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Let's not forget the ecological benefits of Aluminum. Its the most recyclable of all frame materials. A single Aluminum frame can be converted into a 12-pack of Budweiser cans, or Labatt's if you are in Canada
    Maybe from a recycling standpoint, but from a production standpoint, AL requires a crapton of electricity.

  21. #21
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    Maybe from a recycling standpoint, but from a production standpoint, AL requires a crapton of electricity.
    Yup. Indeed that was why aluminum was such a boutique metal in the 1800s....which is why to show off, the Washington Monument originally had an aluminum pyramid on top

    https://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jo...wski-9511.html
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  22. #22
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    ..
    How many aluminum alloys are out there? ....
    Hundreds, maybe even thousands, although 6061 and 7075 in various elongation and heat treatments dominate the market. 6061 is the more ductile and easier to work, but 7075 is harder and less ductile.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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