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Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composite Wheels for Motorcycles

Published on September 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM

High performance pre-impregnated carbon fibre reinforced composite materials (prepregs) from Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG), part of Umeco Composites Structural Materials (UCSM) - a Division of Umeco plc, are being used by Blackstone Tek (BST) of South Africa to manufacture an extensive, exquisite range of motorcycle wheels used by road and race enthusiasts across the globe.

BST, an established ACG client, selected the Group's medium temperature moulding prepregs for its autoclave processed carbon composite motorcycle wheels, which represent a typical weight saving of 47% over their conventional aluminium counterparts, with no decrease in strength.

Courtesy of Blackstone Tek and Harwood Performance Source (www.blackstonetek.com and www.bikehps.com).

The wheels are a work of art and an amalgamation of extraordinary technical expertise, outstanding lay-up skills, laminating techniques, and the application of high performance, lightweight prepreg materials. BST has skilfully applied a combination of ACG's high Tg MTM58B prepreg for the rim and structural MTM57 prepreg for the integral spokes. To quote BST, the wheels are lighter . . . the bike is lighter . . . handling is improved . . . rider fatigue is reduced . . . the wheels have a lower moment of inertia . . . the bike is more responsive to the rider's commands . . . acceleration is more responsive . . . braking is more efficient . . . the ride is safer.

Moreover, the wheels provide a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, high gloss carbon fibre finish. The accompanying image depicts a set of Ducati motorcycle wheels supplied by UK based Harwood Performance Source Ltd, UK distributor for a range of BST products. ACG is a prominent global manufacturer of optimised composite solutions to the automotive, aerospace, marine, space, motorsport, defence, and alternative energy markets. The Group offers a range of epoxy, cyanate ester, bismaleimide and phenolic prepreg systems for structural and tooling applications, backed by network of dedicated sales and support agencies.

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