ORLANDO, FLA. — A carbon-fiber-composite mountain bike won the $5,000 Best of Show honor in the Composites Fabricators Association's 1997 ACE awards.
Super Surf Ltd. of Hong Kong is ramping up production in its China factory of the monocoque full-suspension bike. Super Surf plans to begin selling the bike in December or January under the trade names Red Hot in the United States and Magma elsewhere. Development began in late 1995.
``The bike in the show is a continuation of our successful `hard-tail' bike,'' said Francis Wu, managing director.
Hankuk Fiber in Pusan, South Korea, prepregged two-by-two twill weave and unidirectional carbon fiber for the seamless frame. No joints are used.
The process involved an inner wax mold and outer steel mold, a molding temperature of 284§F and a six-hour post cure in a high-temperature oven. Wu said the structure thickens at the joint area and thins in the middle of the tubes to maximize the properties and minimize the amount of material being used.
The China plant employs 250, mainly making windsurfing equipment, but is branching into snowboarding, motorized paragliders and mountain bikes, he said.
Winners in four other ACE categories received $1,000 each.
Creative Pultrusions Inc. of Alum Bank, Pa., won the Market Viability award for a fiber-reinforced bridge deck, trademarked Superdeck. Reinforced modules including pultruded components are placed transversely to traffic direction and, in a quick process, can replace concrete decks.
Connelly Skis of Lynnwood, Wash., won the Quality of Manufacturing award for a compression molded recreational wake board. A&P Technology Inc. supplied braided fiberglass sleeving that is pulled over a foam core.
Contemporary Products Inc. of Menomonee Falls, Wis., won the Technical Innovation award for a hay baler side panel made with toll-compounded soybean-based resin and glass. CPI made the panel using atmospheric-pressure molding.
Talon Malaysia SDN BHD of Sydney, Australia, won the People's Choice award for a lightweight chair that has carbon and glass fibers over a molded polyurethane foam core. It was made in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, using resin transfer molding.
Contest sponsors Alpha/Owens Corning LLC of Collierville, Tenn., and GLS Corp.'s composites materials division in Woodstock, Ill., presented the awards Oct. 31 at Composites '97. ACE stands for Award for Composites Excellence.