Cyclists look for lightweight, strong bicycles frames and, seeing as cycling is a clean mode of transportation, many also look for the materials in the frames to be sustainably sourced and manufactured. REIN4CED and DIEFFENBACHER have partnered to develop both sustainable bicycle frames and environmentally conscious composite manufacturing practices.
REIN4CED’s Feather hybrid thermoplastic material reinforces carbon frames with thin steel fibers, minimizing the potential of breakage in a crash. Additionally, the thermoplastic material can be reused or recycled at the end of the bicycle’s life.
The innovative automated production process of the bicycle frames was developed using DIEFFENBACHER’s Tailored Blank Line Fiberforge and Fibercon systems with UD tape laid to ensure proper fiber orientation and to manage complex blanks and thickness variations. The blanks go to the thermoforming line, containing an oven and a DIEFFENBACHER Fiberpress, to be formed into shell parts. A monocoque frame is assembled and fused, and the excess material is removed and shredded for recycling.
Johan Miermans, CEO of REIN4CED. Commented, “Our technology and industrialization partnership with DIEFFENBACHER is intended to further intensify and deepen our existing collaboration. Together we want to bridge the gap from pioneering product design and development, over automated production, to mass production of next-generation frames for leading bicycle manufacturers. Our customers will benefit from the nearshoring of production to their assembly plants and evidently also fast and flexible product deliveries as well as the possibility to offer their end-consumers a durable and sustainable alternative to current carbon bike frames. Afterwards, we will expand on our collaboration towards the mass production of other high performance composite products in sports & leisure as well as industrial, automotive, and aero industries.”
Christian Dieffenbacher, CEO of DIEFFENBACHER added, “Long-term, trusting partnerships with our customers are one of our core values and the basis of our entrepreneurial success. Knowing the needs and challenges of our customers is thus essential for us. We consider ourselves a sparring partner for REIN4CED in their efforts to pioneer the market for next-generation bicycle frames. Technology and process leadership drive our ability to help them achieve their business goals. We improve continuously to help customers like REIN4CED seize new market opportunities, master the transition to digitalization and benefit from highly efficient system solutions for the sustainable production of composite components such as thermoplastic carbon bicycle frames.”