“This Limburg Bike features so many innovations,” says Menno Smeelen, project leader for the 100% Limburg Bike project. “‘The tubes and front fork are made of interwoven carbon and super-strong Dyneema fibre from DSM. The connecting pieces used in the prototype are now made of titanium, printed with the purpose-built 3D printer here at the campus”.
Ultra-light and super strong
“One of the things that make it so unique is the knowledge and skills of Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL) and Brightlands Materials Center that have made it possible to 3D print using magnesium for the first time,” continues Mennp Smeelen. “We also have a prototype with connectors made of recyclable plastic reinforced with carbon fibres. One of the other innovations is the development of a new bio-based adhesive joint to attach the connecting pieces to the frame. The combination results in a super-strong yet ultralight frame that is virtually unbreakable.”
A consortium of several regional companies has been involved in the development of the first prototype, including carbon specialists Eurocarbon and CeraCarbon. They have succeeded in interweaving the DSM fibre Dyneema with carbon using a new method. Belgian Cycling Factory, owner of the Ridley brand, played a decisive role in the design.