Re: [CR]RE: Dead Horse Materials

Example: Events:Eroica
From: "Kurt Sperry" <>
To: (Richard M Sachs)
Subject: Re: [CR]RE: Dead Horse Materials
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 19:20:15 -0500

Richard M Sachs <> wrote:
> (Kurt Sperry) writes:
>"There seems to be a presumption about that steel as an
>engineering material is no longer being developed."
>"While the elasic modulus of steel is pretty hard to bump up,
>it's "strength" properties such as yield strength and ultimate
>tensile strength are still the subject of ongoing development."
>***      ***
>unless i misunderstand the CR list 'company line', it's not the
>steel that is missed as much as it is the perceived care and emotion
>that once accompanied the material's transormation into a bicycle
>frame. that is, it's not 'steel' that needs further development,
>it's the notion that methods from an era two plus decades ago
>should be resurrected...that's what i see as the 'dead horse'  issue.
>steel for fine framemaking is plenty strong enough.
>Richard Sachs Cycles
>No.9, North Main Street
>Chester, CT 06412 USA
>Tel. 860.526.2059


My understanding was that Chuck's position was that steel or if you prefer ferrous frames will never be seen in the top-level peloton again primarily because they cannot be made competitively light v Ti, CFRP, Al alloy etc. This I assumed to be because he feels that steel as a material is intrinsically incapable of being built up into a practical frame at the weights seen in those other materials. If that is the case you may be talking past each other.

My intention was to point out that steel (or some variation thereof) is still being developed as an engineering material and to mention a couple of possible development avenues that might lead to competitively light frames being built of it. When it comes to mass specific mechanical properties, all the alloys of widely applied engineering metals are to me surprisingly similar. The only exception I am aware of is Be alloys such as Brush Wellman's AlBeMet and some of the newer MMCs which are a different catagory IMO.

For consumer use where long term reliability is a major factor, steel's excellent resistance to cyclic fatigue makes it still a fully competitive choice as a frame material from an engineering standpoint even weight considered.

Kurt Sperry- Riding ferrous frames if not ferrous wheels still! In cloudy but dry Bellingham WA