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Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:59 pm
by dogrange
Does anyone want to offer any thoughts on when and how today's carbon fiber technology will be superseded for bike applications? I heard a radio story on graphene, which sounds like it has the potential to be everything carbon fiber is now and more (super high strength-to-weight, etc.), but it sounds like it is still experimental and won't trickle down to consumer applications like bikes for, at best, a long time. Anyone have thoughts on next steps in the bike industry, materials-science wise?

Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:59 pm
by Weenie

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:15 pm
by Velofreak
graphene will enter micro processors and so on some day in the future, maybe 10-20 years. it could enter bike industry in 50 years maybe... maybe 100 years. Maybe 200 years... I have no clue.

A graphene frame could weight 100grams, or much much less... it's supossed to be 100-150 times stronger than steel... maybe 7 grams per frame...

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:49 pm
by Craigagogo
First a 7 gram frame then space tether! :beerchug:

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:20 pm
by artray
I wonder what the limit of a frame/bike weight would be, when it would just be to light and would be of no use?

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:25 pm
by ticou
If I was charman of graphine inc, I'd be knocking out the bike tubes yesterday. Even this steelist would comply.

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:05 pm
by inertianinja
i think i remember reading that the problem with graphene is that they can't make fibers long enough for big commercial applications yet. they can make short, strong strands, but nothing that would be weavable like carbon fiber.

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:28 pm
by stephen@fibre-lyte
As far as I'm aware, Graphene is simply a carbon material one atom thick. If you multiply all those one atom layers up to a thickness to suit a bike frame, it will most likely weight the same as a carbon frame does now.

The only thing I'd like to see is a super stiff super light material that looks nice....oh wait, we have one of those.....ok, that can't be broken. If only! :D

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:53 pm
by CamW
I could be completely wrong but graphene doesn't strike me as the greatest frame material. Carbon Nanotubes on the other hand I can see working. When they get them long enough to weave sheets out of them I think we could see some big gains.

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:59 pm
by djconnel
Graphene is a single layer of graphite. It has interesting quantum mechanical band structure properties when cut into ribbons. But as of a few years ago when the last time I paid attention to it people were making "multi-layer graphene". Errr... that, by definition, is graphite. But it sounds sexier. The problem is even one-atom differences in the ribbon width can have a big effect on band structure.

Anyway, for bikes it may have extraordinary in-plane characteristics, but of plane, it's just an atomic sheet. If you stack them you just have graphite. If you roll them into tubes, you have carbon nanotubes.

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:49 am
by Velofreak
stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:As far as I'm aware, Graphene is simply a carbon material one atom thick. If you multiply all those one atom layers up to a thickness to suit a bike frame, it will most likely weight the same as a carbon frame does now.

The only thing I'd like to see is a super stiff super light material that looks nice....oh wait, we have one of those.....ok, that can't be broken. If only! :D


I think, if you make a graphene frame, 100 times thinner than a carbon frame, that would be in the order or 10 times stronger than carbon... sounds impossible to manufacture today. but using a material that is 100-150 times stronger than steel, with the large thickness of carbon, sounds quite ackward, right?

if you make ten layers of graphene, 1 atom thick each, paralel, separated another atom or two... it will never be graphite, it will be walls of graphene... and about creating weaves of it, i wonder how people already know it should be applied as a fabric...

You know, if alien exists, they won't have two arms and two legs and two eyes. that would be a very impossible casuality... same here, impossible to happen but if it happens, it will be a complete different approach, i think...

Re: Beyond Carbon Fiber, Graphene or . . . .

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:49 am
by Weenie