KAIAO rapid manufacturing co.,limited

Technique

Plastic Prototype for Sharing Bike's Tire

Since the second half of the year 2016, sharing bicycles, with its aim to provide a solution “the last mile travel” as well as its green concert, has become a new favorite for Chinese.  However, the real beneficiaries of the popular bikes seem to be bike manufacturers and more upstream spare parts and materials manufacturers, as compared to the operators who are still in close combat.
 
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In the face of such an emerging market, what can the plastic industry get? On these issues, KAIAO, in accordance with the years of experience in plastic materials prototypes and products, will discus the plastic prototype in sharing bikes and its development trend.
 

Plastic Material in Shared Bicycle

 
The material that may appear on a bicycle is metal, carbon fiber, plastic, rubber, leather, paint and so on. The structures that use plastic in bicycles may include the handle, taillight, and tires. In contrast, the amount of plastic consumed by tires is much greater.
 
KAIAO is a professional rapid prototyping company that makes plastic prototypes (Clear Acrylic Prototypes, for example), like bike tire prototype, handle prototype, taillight prototypes with thermoplastic elastomer TPE as early as five or six years ago for city’s public bicycles in Shenzhen.
 
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A tire plastic prototype made of thermoplastic elastomer TPE is about 1 kg with the total amount 2 kg. If calculated by the unit price of materials, a plastic bike tire prototype costs about forty or fifty yuan, and that is about 10% of the popular Mobike lite second generation.
 

Thermoplastic Elastomer TPE in Sharing Bikes

 
Traditional bicycles generally use inflatable tires which bring easy and fast ride experience. However, in order to avoid the regular maintenance and prevent the tie from puncturing, most of the public bikes use solid tires. Due to different materials, solid tires brings large riding experience for users. So, now sharing bikes companies want to make rapid plastic prototype and low volume production first so as to save cost and largely bring users a better riding experiences.
 
At present, no-pneumatic tires can be divided into two types due to the plastic materials use: one is called micro-closed-cell micro-foam polymerization resin, and currently occupies a 60% of China’s sharing bike market. However, it is too hard and lack of flexibility and results in poor  earthquake resistance, so the public praise is not as good.

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Another type of material for inflatable tires is TPE, which is considered to be a better alternative to the former foamed material. As suggested by Kaiao, more and more sharing bikes in China uses TPE as the inflatable tire and the made plastic prototypes comes with a perforated explosion-proof solid tire, which cleverly uses honeycomb round hole structure to ensure the flexibility and solve the problem of cushioning and improves shock absorption. One more thing, the plastic prototype tire made by Kaiao, runs over 5000KM at 45KM speed, in the 65-80KG pressure, which is far beyond the industry standard. It is your top way to reduce the weight of the body as well as the manufacturing costs, and the riding becomes more comfortable. 
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