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Olympic Debut - 3D Printed Titanium Handlebars

  • 2021-08-13

Olympic Debut - 3D Printed Titanium Handlebars

With the various competitions of the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan in full swing,the new sports equipment has also attracted the attention of the majority of sports enthusiasts.

Metron A. in Nottingham, UKE.Dimitris Katsanis, founder and CEO of Co., Ltd., posted some photos of their metal-printed bicycle handlebars, declaring to the outside world that their company's additive-manufactured titanium handlebars will debut at the Olympic Games.

Why choose titanium alloy?

Titanium alloy not only weighs only 50% of steel, but also has a strength-to-weight ratio that is 28.4% higher than chromium-molybdenum steel. The fatigue limit of titanium alloy is twice that of steel, and the aluminum alloy frame can't be compared with the titanium alloy frame in this regard after a long time of use. As a high-strength and low-density titanium alloy material applied to the bicycle frame, it will not only make the bicycle light weight, high strength, but also make the bicycle more durable.

Interesting is the choice of metal used in this component. The main member (the darker part) in the picture is made of 3D printed titanium (Ti6Al4V), while the extension part (the lighter, longer part) is printed with Scalmalloy.

titanium handle bar by 3D printing.jpg

What is Scalmalloy?

Katsanis said: "Scalmalloy is the strongest aluminum alloy that can be used for 3D printing, and it has an extensive material database as support.Both Ti6Al4V and Scalmalloy can produce strong and lightweight parts, but in this case, Scalmalloy has an advantage. Due to its lower density, some parts can use less material, so that the overall parts are lighter."

Scalmalloy (refers to scandium, aluminum and magnesium alloys) can significantly improve the strength of the material just by adding a very small amount of scandium to the alloy. This is an excellent performance material, developed by Airbus specifically for metal additive manufacturing. The material is widely favored by aerospace and high-level professional cyclists because of its high specific strength.

What printer to use to print these parts?

"In this particular case, the base handlebar was made on our Arcam EBM printer using Ti6Al4V material, while the handlebar extension was made on our EOS M400 using Scalmalloy," Katsanis said.

titanium bicycle parts supplier.jpg

Advantages of Titanium Alloy Handlebar

(1) Light Weight: Its strength and weight ratio is higher than the general steel frame and aluminum frame by more than 75%;

(2) No Rust: Titanium will hardly be corroded in the general environment;

(3) Good Sense of Riding: Some riders love titanium handlebars and think that the sense of riding is excellent.

It is reported that the Italian national team will use this Scalmalloy / titanium bar to manufacture the competition equipment used in the track and field events of the Japanese Olympic Games.

The British and Malaysian teams received 9 sets of different designs from Metron, and another 10 sets of different designs have been given to drivers of different nationalities participating in the road TT project.

Therefore, in general, in this year's Olympic bicycle race, there are a lot of 3D printed metal parts. There is no doubt that Metron will see more medals for their latest design.