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Rolo bikes creates road bike frame using HyperWorks

News International-French

29 Aug 2014

Altair announced that Rolo Bikes, a European manufacturer of road bikes, has used its computer-aided engineering (CAE) HyperWorks Suite to design, optimize, and develop its last bike.

In addition to the use of HyperWorks, Rolo Bikes’ engineers were supported by Altair ProductDesign, Altair's engineering services division, in the design, optimization, and the virtual testing process of the bike. The objectives of the project were firstly to optimize the frame to achieve performance for weight, stiffness and comfort; and secondly to develop an efficient virtual testing process to analyze the performance of future bike frames both from Rolo and other partner companies.

Rolo Bikes had already created virtual test jigs to replicate the European Committee for Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation or CEN) tests as well as the Zedler stiffness tests using HyperWorks, and had correlated a baseline frame model to physical tests. The baseline model weighed 829g but was extremely difficult to manufacture. Initial virtual analysis of the baseline design highlighted several areas of concern where the frame was under particularly high stresses. The optimization stage of the project wanted to address these high stress areas in a weight efficient way while ensuring a manufacturable design.

To optimize the carbon fiber frame, Altair ProductDesign utilized a three-step approach, during which the shape, thickness, direction and location of each layer of composite material was fine-tuned until an optimum solution had been reached. Each stage was performed using HyperWorks design optimization solution, OptiStruct. At the end of this three-step process, HyperWorks was again utilized to analyze and validate the optimized frame against the CEN and Zedler tests. The resulting composite layup created a component that is manufacturable based upon Rolo’s hand layup construction process employed in its European based manufacturing center, all within cost targets.

The composite optimization process reduced the weight of the frame from 829g to 792g. Additional material tweaks by Rolo’s manufacturing team reduced the weight even further resulting in a final weight of just 710g. The design met all performance and safety standards with the stiffness, durability and performance being enhanced significantly over the target values.

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