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Screw and Glue (Epoxy) to build a frame?

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Screw and Glue (Epoxy) to build a frame?

Old 04-20-15, 09:49 PM
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Screw and Glue (Epoxy) to build a frame?

So I was thinking (just thinking) about building a frame out of columbus steel, but I would probably mess up the brazing. I read that 90s Specialized Allez, Raleigh Professionals and Alan bikes were essentially bolted and epoxied into lugs. This seems like it would hold up. My question is how would you easily build a lug, so that the tubes can be glued in.

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-21-15, 03:48 AM
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I wouldn't do epoxy with steel. There is no reason to do it as brazing and tig welding is a far better process.

Aluminum? I think the reason why many of the classic aluminum frames used epoxy was to minimize the effect of heat on the alloys. Better techniques and alloys make that somewhat obsolete, although Alan may still make epoxy joined frames.

Bamboo? There have been people constructing bamboo frames with either metal lugs, or an epoxy wrapped lug. That would certainly be worth exploring.

Carbon Fiber. If you can get the CF tubes, they can also be joined either with metal or CF lugs, or perhaps even CF ribbon and epoxy.

I would think many of the steel and stainless lugs available would be too short for your epoxy.

If you could find an aluminum frame of lesser quality, or perhaps damage mid-tube, you could potentially cut the tubes apart to make lugs, but some of the oddball tubing shapes and sizes could be a problem.
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Old 04-21-15, 05:49 AM
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Pick the joining method most appropriate to the material.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:53 AM
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I have a couple of thoughts. The adhesives used on early bonded frames tended to deteriorate with time, causing frame failures. Modern adhesives may perform better, but those early experiences made the manufacturers gunshy. Also, part of the problem undoubtedly is different coefficients of expansion for different materials, especially in geographic areas with greater seasonal temperature variations.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:41 AM
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screw and glue makes no sense. Learn to braze, it's not that hard
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Old 04-21-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
Learn to braze, it's not that hard
Yep.

The bonded AL framemaker, Vitus, used proprietary aircraft industry materials, adhesives and processes in a carefully controlled environment.
Not exactly slapping tubes together in the garage w/ epoxy from Lowes.



Ocam's razor applies here as usual.

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Old 04-21-15, 04:23 PM
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Seems to me if you can custom build a set of lugs, then you can braze in tubes.
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Old 04-21-15, 04:26 PM
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In contrast to the previous replies, I've actually done some of this: my last frame used epoxy bonded stainless steel chainstays.



I wouldn't bother with the screws, just use the glue. A good modern heat cure epoxy will get you 30 MPa +: I use Huntsman 420 AB but in the US 3M DP420 is the go-to. You can calculate the joint socket area required from the tensile strength of the tubing.

A couple of caveats: firstly, getting a good bond requires a great deal of care and attention to surface preparation, bondline gap and heat cure cycle; secondly, the available small parts (dropouts, bottle bosses etc) are designed for brazing or welding and don't have enough surface area to bond. For that reason I brazed the dropouts on my most recent prototype but the next few will use bonded Titanium dropouts.

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Old 04-22-15, 04:51 PM
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I'm not a big fan of hybrid material frames, but obviously it's been done quite a bit in the past. I think that many people that think of this idea haven't really thought through the full implications. I think that Mark Kelly would agree that he has put a lot of work into his frames over and above what it would have taken to build a more conventional frame. In the end it's a lot easier to follow what other people have done, and that's more likely to lead to early success. I never quite understood the desire to build frames just for the sake of having built one. I can certainly see it as an end to a means. For example, at special utility bike. But someone who has never built a frame is going to have to put a lot of effort into learning to build, no matter what the tech.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:15 AM
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As unterhausen noted, hybrid material frames are nothing new. More recently companies like Specialized, Felt and Giant (and others) have tried CF tubes to steel and aluminum joints (lugs?) and for the most part have been fails.

Currently custom builders- Firefly, English, IF, and possibly others are using CF tubes in steel or Ti joints, and having great success. By viewing their bikes you'll see their methods of joining the two materials is different from that used in the past. These guys have spent mucho bucks, an countless hours getting things to work. It's not something a hobbiest type will likely pull off cheaply, or easily.

I've considered it, and might attempt it at some future point, just for the fun of it. If, and when I do, I'll build a complete frame and cut away the steel tubes that I intend to replace with CF, or use a "removable tubes" to fashion the joints around, essentially building a complete frame without the main tubes brazed in place. What's the hold-up? Cost. CF bicycle specific tubes are spendy!!! You don't want to mess many up. I'm just getting past the cost of SS tubes, so CF will wait for a bit
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Old 04-23-15, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera
Yep.

The bonded AL framemaker, Vitus, used proprietary aircraft industry materials, adhesives and processes in a carefully controlled environment.
Not exactly slapping tubes together in the garage w/ epoxy from Lowes.



Ocam's razor applies here as usual.

-Bandera
My friend tells me that his Vitus creaks when it is very hot out.
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Old 04-24-15, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Omiak
My friend tells me that his Vitus creaks when it is very hot out.
My knees do that in cold weather......

-Bandera
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Old 04-26-15, 11:25 PM
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Italian AlAn did that .. turn buckle R/L thread and tapered like pipe thread, As I Understand .

while the epoxy was not yet Cured the people in the factory turned the frame tubes drawing the lugs over the tubes.

Forks were assembled then the rake was bent.. the way the anodizing cracked was a sign of that.

Had 2 , 100% Aluminum. except for bolts for seat stay bridge,

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Old 05-04-15, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
Seems to me if you can custom build a set of lugs, then you can braze in tubes.
Im not saying it is a sufficient reason, but making lugs is easier and cheaper than making a frame with all the heat movement issues, and the fact the joints are less overbuilt. Then the epoxy bonding is a relative snap, and there won't be any distortions for heat in the final assembly.
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