About Carbon Fiber

Columbus Carbon Fibre Frame TubingWhy choose Carbon fiber?
The carbon fiber composite has superior mechanical characteristics. It has a great ability to decrease vibrations and by correctly directing the fibers, you obtain at each point the desired characteristics of strength and resistance. The other side of the coin is the extreme specialization and precise fields of use. The resins used in the production of carbon fiber, have usage temperature limits of 90?C. The carbon fiber composite has a thermal expansion coefficient 50 times less than that of aluminum, therefore a great deal of attention must be paid to joining the aluminum and composites. This all requires a great design effort. The product must be studied in depth in the design stage. Finished elements analysis allows us to map the strains and therefore the correct structuring of the piece. Columbus has provided in its assembly instruction manuals for the carbon parts, precise instructions to frame makers to avoid errors and problems.

Composite material is defined as a material obtained through the union of two or more materials that are chemically or physically distinct on a macroscopic level and are insoluble, having properties that are technologically superior to those of its components in one or more aspect.

There are also composite materials in nature, such as wood. The first applications of composites can be dated back to ancient Egypt when the bricks were made of clay mixed with chopped straw. Modern composites consist of the union of a filling material (matrix) with a reinforcing material. The most common are composites in which the reinforcement consists of fiber and the matrix is a polymer resin. These are very common in the aerospace industry where their superior mechanical characteristics and lightweight are highly appreciated.

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About Steel

Columbus Steel TubingWhy choose steel?
Steel ensures high performance at really low weights. The new alloys, particularly Thermacrom, give a weight close to that of the aluminum alloys, together with a perfectly balancable elastic response, that is appreciated in particular on long traits. Unlike aluminum, steel is substantially stable over time, not requiring onerous maintenance cycles. If properly rust-treated, under normal conditions of use, it has almost unlimited fatigue resistance. It allows frames to be built with excellent performances, rigid yet comfortable, suitable for any type of use.

Steel is the material that was first used in the construction of top-of-the-range frames because of its superior mechanical characteristics, most notably its superior fatigue resistance and a breaking load second only to that of advanced composite materials. Columbus research has always worked towards the customization and development of materials with characteristics intended for cycling use. The results are of international importance. Columbus's history is the creation of steels with patented formulations such as the famous Nivacrom.

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About Aluminium

Aluminium Tubing from Columbus
Why choose aluminum?
Aluminum is synonymous with lightness and lightness, combined with good strength, is the quality most appreciated in cycling. However, if not properly treated, aluminum may deteriorate in time and this may give rise to a deterioration in the mechanical characteristics. Consequently, an aluminum frame inevitably requires more rigorous production processes and frequent checks by the user to identify any superficial defects or cracks. Undoubtedly the most obvious advantage is that it withstands the action of the atmospheric agents: an aluminum frame does not rust! Also, with its excellent workability, it enables the designer to come up with the most imaginative and creative solutions.

For the production of its tube-sets in aluminum Columbus uses light alloys like Al-Zn-Mg (series 7000) and Al-Si-Mg (series 6000). The classification derives from the American Aluminum Association. The alloy elements: Mg = magnesium, Zn = zinc and Si = silicium that, properly combined between each other, form intercrystalline compounds which give the mechanical properties to the alloy. Both alloys acquire their maximum mechanical properties through a heat treatment cycle.

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