Bicycle Frame:

Bicycle frames can be made on different types of materials
depending on the price and type of bike. A bike towards the lower range in
budget would be made out of aluminium,
this is strong lightweight and reasonably priced. This is excellent
for bikes as bikes are generally stored outside, aluminium doesn’t rust unlike steel. Steel isn’t used that much anymore
in bicycle frames due to it being heavy
and for its capabilities to rust. Carbon fibre however is used nowadays in bicycle frames.
This is a great composite material whichCB1  can be very effective for bike
frames. As it is lightweight and strong
bike manufactures have introduced it, this however is rather expensive compared to aluminium. The
use of carbon fibre has improved time trial race times due to its properties of
being lightweight and easy to mould making it aerodynamic. 1 Plastic
is an alternate material for bike frames as it can be very light, however plastic
is very brittle and would crack or break when taking pressure.

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Car Wheel:

Car Alloys can be made out of different materials, the main 2
materials used however are Steel or aluminium. Steel wheels are heavy and the heavier a car. If a car has
more weight it will use more fuel. Steel wheels also rust and do not look as good as aluminium wheels which do not rust.
 Steel wheels however normally come with
plastic wheel covers to improve the ascetics. Aluminium alloys are strong and reasonably light weight, the aluminium is also
easy to mould. The wheel shown on the left is an aluminium alloy and is very
aesthetically pleasing.  Nearly 100% of
new cars nowadays come with aluminium alloys.  Alloys are rarely carbon this can be an alternate material for aluminium. This
material is incredibly strong and lightweight. However it is very expensive and due to this they are only
available for an add-on price. An everyday car wouldn’t benefit from having
carbon wheels whereas performance enhancing cars such as the Mercedes GTS or
the Audi R8 would. The carbon wheels are known to increase the speed of the car
due to less weight being carried. 2 3

Task 2 (M2)

When selecting a suitable material for a bicycle frame
several factors have to be thought of, the audience of the bike, the type of
bike, the need of the bike and also the load on the bike. The material needs to
meet a criteria, before it becomes suitable for bicycles. For example the bike
will need to be able to carry the load so the material must be strong, it must
also have to able to moulded easily to ensure the bike is aerodynamic, the bike
frames material must also be lightweight as the heavier the bike the harder it
will be to ride as more power is needed to initially gain momentum. Another
point of the criteria that would need to be meet is the durability of the
material, the bikes material cannot rust and should be reasonably hard to
damage, this is due to bikes taking several hits throughout the day if it is
used on the road and locked up. A track bike would also need to be durable as
if the rider was to fall off the bike would need to be able to take a certain
amount of force.

Due to all of the above factors different bikes are made from
different materials or grade of material. A mounting bike for example, are made
with durability and strength in mind. This is due to the bike being under
pressure as mountain bikers rarely sit along with the bike having to deal will
fallings off. A mountain bike would be made out of steel or aluminium as they
are both strong and can take the shock of a jump. This is very similar for BMX
bikes. If a mountain bike was made out of carbon fibre for example, the rider
could get air off a ledge and land onto a flat surface or even worse all the
pressure could be put on one end of the bike resulting in the folks cracking or
even breaking. This has occurred before. However a road bike could be made out
of carbon fibre as they take very little shocks and they remain with 2 wheels
on the floor 99% of the time. This is similar to track bikes or time trial
bikes. Bikes at the lower end of a price range would be made out of steel due
to it being cheaper, however it is heavier so people that take biking seriously
in races or road trips would require a lighter bike, this would require less
power for the initial movement. I believe the 2 most important criteria points
that must be hit are lightweight and reasonably priced, professional bike cost
around £9,000 and they weigh around 4.5 KG. That is incredibly expensive but
amazingly light. This bike would be made out of the highest quality Carbon
fibre. In my opinion carbon fibre is a very efficient composite material that
is used at its prime in the manufacturing of bicycle frames.  4

Task 3(D1)

For one of the samples considered in task one above, justify
the selection of the new material and write an article (Min 600 words) to
explain why other materials researched were not selected.

Car alloy wheels came into main
stream cars around 1962, Abarth put magnesium wheels on most of their models
from 1962, while Ferrari introduced their first alloy, the magnesium Cromodora
Starburst, on their 275 GTB in 1964. The Corvette, the Alfa Romeo GTA, the 1965
Mustang, the 1965 Lamborghini Miura and the 1966 Fiat Dino also featured alloy
wheels. Porsche came to the party slightly later, adding their first alloy to
the Porsche 911S in 1966. They were consistent, however, and the alloy has
remained standard on the 911 for decades. Aston Martin came to the party with
an alloy on the DBS V8 in 1969, with Mercedes following a year later. The first budget-friendly
wheel available to all motorists was an aluminum alloy offered on the VW Golf,
Sirocco, Passat and Audi in 1974.Alloy wheels finally reached their peak
popularity in the 1980s, and have remained that way ever since. Although their
styling and design has evolved over the years, the benefits remain; better
stiffness, lighter weight and unique styling that puts your own individual
stamp on your car. Before the life of alloys and before the 1980’s many cars
came with steel wheels, theses wheels had very few spoke options, they had to
be painted, powder coated or covered with a plastic trim whereas the aluminum
alloys used today are very stylish and there is a wide variety of spoke options
and finishes such as chrome, clear coated, carbon print, and matt polished.5
The aluminum alloys gave the cars a better look and made the cars wanted,
nowadays almost every car comes with a set of alloy wheels as standard.  The car wheels have been a mixture between
steel, aluminum, magnesium and carbon-fibre. Steel has been replaced now due to
its properties of being heavy and having a poor finish quality. Aluminum alloy
and magnesium alloy compete, aluminum alloys are available almost everywhere in
any style and size wanted, and they are reasonably lightweight past its looks.
However its rival magnesium is lighter and also is known to look better,
however other than this there is no real difference between aluminum and
magnesium. Due to this alloys can be a mixture of the two. This creates an
ascetical pleasing lightweight strong wheel which is available for a reasonable

Wheel Weight Comparison:



Forged wheels        

7.3 kg    

11 kg

Cast wheels 

10 kg     

15 kg


Carbon fibre wheels are
available at a high price, but this price comes with many benefits. Carbon
fibre is lightest and strongest material known to man, the lightest forged
aluminum wheel is around 10 kilos and carbon fibre alloys weigh 6 kilos. The
carbon fibre wheels are essential to a super cars such as the Bugatti Chiron or
the McLaren P1. As wheels create more weight through rotating the lighter the
wheel the better. Due to this cars can reach incredible speeds in such little
times, the Porsche 918 Spyder reached 0-60mph in 2.2 seconds. Carbon fibre has
one flaw. Price. A carbon fibre alloy is around £4,500 per alloy. 6 4
carbon fibre wheels is the same price as a complete Audi A3.

Price comparison per wheel:

Material of

Price (£) set
of 4 Upper market







Carbon Fibre



seen in the table above, the listed 4 materials have been compared for price,
carbon fibre is a new up and coming material which will soon become cheaper
meaning it will replace common materials such as aluminium and magnesium
alloys. Steel wheels have now been replaced due to the properties. Despite the
price difference carbon fibre wheels are looking bright for the future. Other
materials are not used due to the properties needed, the material needs to be
strong and light. This is very difficult to find in other metals, the metal
also needs to be able to deal with heat as it will be exposed to heat off the
brake pads or disks. I believe that the best material for alloys is carbon
fibre but due to it’s the expense they aren’t efficient, therefore aluminium
alloys are the best, they are reasonably cheap and are incredibly efficient.

ü   CB1


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