Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Longevity of Carbon

Old 03-12-07, 09:03 AM
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Humps
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Longevity of Carbon

I was checking out a forum that deals with Ferrari's and came across an article where they are discussing replacing carbon parts after ten years as the resin degrades over time. They even go into detail as saying that the carbon wears down due to UV exposure and other atmospheric conditions that I believe a carbon bike would experience more then the chassis of a Ferrari. One pic in the forum did catch my eye and it was a giant carbon frame that had sheered in half in the top and down tubes. I imagine that with carbon fibers being composed of similar properties that bikes should start to be replaced or at least inspected periodically for the carbon breaking down? Heres the link to the main article: http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=141534
any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-07, 09:13 AM
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I think the jury is still out on this one. That said, Resin will degrade over time. But Aluminum has fatigue as well. I certainly would be much more skeptical about racing on a ten year old carbon frame than I would be about racing on a ten year old aluminum frame.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:16 AM
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I'm wondering what the maintenence, inspection, replacement protocols are going to be on all the new CF airplane structural parts.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:16 AM
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Hm... I can see how that might be a problem, as resins and plastics don't usually last forever, but I would also imagine there is quite a bit of engineering that goes into those compounds to ensure that they don't break down, so I don't know. Time will tell, I guess.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:29 AM
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Who cares? I don't plan on keeping my bike for 5-6 years anyways. It'll be lucky if I don't replace it in the next 3.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Who cares? I don't plan on keeping my bike for 5-6 years anyways. It'll be lucky if I don't replace it in the next 3.
What, are you afraid of commitment?
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Old 03-12-07, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by nobrainer440
What, are you afraid of commitment?

Ask my girlfriend of 6.5 years.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:38 AM
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I work with epoxy resins quite a bit and the nude carbon frames would be the most susceptible if stored for long periods of time in direct sunlight. Say maybe 5-6 years of direct sunlight. Once the finish starts to cloud I'd start wondering. That said I'd still buy a carbon bike.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Ask my girlfriend of 6.5 years.
What's her phone number?
__________________
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Old 03-12-07, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
What's her phone number?
I think the appropriate snyde remark would be "6.5 years and no ring?" :-P. Congrats on what sounds like a good relationship though.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber
I think the appropriate snyde remark would be "6.5 years and no ring?" :-P. Congrats on what sounds like a good relationship though.

Here in Montana it's like everyone is Mormon. If you're 21 and not married or if you've been with your partner for 1+ years and are not married, something must be wrong. I hate the mindset.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:56 AM
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Concidering carbon fiber bikes have been around for more than 10 years, there must be someone here who has a picture of their melted carbon fiber bike. My guess there must be a sh1t load of Cadexs out there melting away from all that UV exposure.
Let's start a thread with BF member's melted carbon fiber bikes. My giant must be a one off as it lived more than 11 years in Australia with no ozone layer and still hasn't melted.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:56 AM
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Don't worry.
Be Happy!

Seriously, the matrix expands and contracts ALOT when:
-heated/cooled
-moisture absoprtion/desorption
while the fibers don't (as much)

So you can image there will be some stresses building up at the fiber/matrix interface evrytime its therm/hydro cycled. Overtime interface debonding may occur...its true....BUT (having manually placed CF samples into moisture chambers and ovens for accelerated testing) its a SMALL effect and it takes A LONG time.

It's not a new problem so matrix materials have been designed to be more and more resistant to this effect.

As for UV, yup it will degrade the CF, but it will degrade the Matrix much more. But the amount of damage vs the amount of exposure time is ridiculously in your favor (unless you park you bike in direct sunlight for years at a time)....

Practicaly speaking:
Don't worry.
Be Happy!


If your CF component begins to suffer from UV/moisture/thermal degredation. You should be seeing signs of this in the form of discoloration and warpage.

Just don't race or fly a CF car/bike/plane thats warped up like a potato chip and has matrix cracks and chips all over the place :-)
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Old 03-12-07, 11:02 AM
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I've been riding a CF Specialized Allez Epic since '91. It must've suffered greatly when I hopped on it at 245-lbs after a couple years off. So far, it's holding up just fine.

I've replaced my T2000 tennis racquet with a CF Pro-Staff back in '84. Still working great! How many people are playing with the T2000 nowadays?

Same with my golf-clubs and fishing-rods...

BTW - Ferrari guys are whimpy geeks...
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Old 03-12-07, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by alreadyblue
I think the jury is still out on this one.
sorry, but the jury has come in and found CF "not guilty" -there are CF frames now over a decade old with no signs of fatigue.

Automotive applications are not appropriate when considering bikes -the levels of stress, power and vibrations, as well as environment, are orders of magnitude more severe than a bike will ever see.
 
Old 03-12-07, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Here in Montana it's like everyone is Mormon. If you're 21 and not married or if you've been with your partner for 1+ years and are not married, something must be wrong. I hate the mindset.
If you're 31 and not a grandfather, you are immoral and/or gay.
 
Old 03-12-07, 11:14 AM
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My 1993 Trek 2100 carbon/aluminum frame is still going strong.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:22 AM
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Fatigue from worst to best: aluminum, steel, titanium, carbon/epoxy. Carbon parts have to be painted, or clear coated with a clearcoat that absorbs UV, because epoxy does degrade from UV exposure, and could degrade from exposure to nasty stuff in the atmosphere, like pollutants produced by a race car. Ferrari presumably doesn't paint their carbon undercarriage parts.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
What's her phone number?
Now that is funny!
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Old 03-12-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by botto
Now that is funny!

Shoo!

*waves hands*
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Old 03-12-07, 11:39 AM
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You could always try to talk to the engineers of the companies.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Shoo!

*waves hands*
almost as funny.
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Old 03-12-07, 12:46 PM
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Those Ferrari guys are probably just trying to find a new way to spend $$$.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Same with my golf-clubs and fishing-rods...
Ooh, thanks for reminding me: My father still uses the Browning graphite fishing rod he bought in 1973. Every freakin' day.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:28 PM
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Fatigue from worst to best: aluminum, steel, titanium, carbon/epoxy. Carbon parts have to be painted, or clear coated with a clearcoat that absorbs UV, because epoxy does degrade from UV exposure, and could degrade from exposure to nasty stuff in the atmosphere, like pollutants produced by a race car. Ferrari presumably doesn't paint their carbon undercarriage parts.
I would have to disagree about steel being the second worst on fatigue resistant. If the manufactur uses the correct steel the Endurance limit of the steel would be higher the the maximum amount of stress the steel would experience. In other word, steel has a certain graph that says if the stress is below this line the steel won't crack under equilibrium conditions. The graph, should you want to look it up, is called a stress number of cycles to failure curve (S-N curve). That being said if the manufactur uses the correct steel the steel frame should never break. That would sound very fatigue resistant to me and should be at the top of the list. However, scratches and other defects in materials will weaken any material and has an effect on how the material reacts. I can't comment on titanium because I haven't learned that subject.
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