08 May 2018
08 May 2018
UK-based start-up Hummingbird Bike Company has designed a compact, composites-intensive folding bike. Made primarily of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), the new Hummingbird Bike is said to be the world’s lightest folding bike at just 6.9 kg.
Key design elements included the lightweight frame and a three-point folding pattern. Type and lay-up of the composite reinforcement were discussed at length between manufacturing and the structural analysis teams. They selected carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy prepreg from Microtex Composites (supplied in the UK by Total Composite Solutions), which is hand laid up and vacuum-bag/autoclave-cured on CFRP tools. Microtex X1 Matrix epoxy system was also chosen for its structural performance and visual clarity for the frame. Loose tool inserts are used to create all mating surfaces where seat/head and bottom bracket are inserted and bonded during assembly. Fully cured resin is rated for a continuous-use temperature of 80°C. The 2x2 twill-weave, bi-directional surface piles use 245 g fabric while unidirectional backing plies are 660 g and are also used as added reinforcements in high-stress areas. It takes about 18.5 hours to hand produce each bike.
Photo provided by Total Composite Solutions
Even before officially launching the new product, Compact Dynamic, Weland Solutions has received a first signed purchase order. In the summer of 2019, the facility will be operational at Axelent based in Hillerstorp, with customers worldwide.
Tepex continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites are among the few composite materials of their type worldwide to be gaining a foothold in the mass production of lightweight components.