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Reynolds X-100 Lithium Tubing(7 posts)

Reynolds X-100 Lithium TubingTonyR
Apr 3, 2002 6:41 PM
Does any have any experience with a frame made with this tubing?
Do any of you know a frame builder who constructs with this product?
It appears to be Reynolds answer to Scandium, but obviuosly isn't nearly as popular. Why?

TR
I wondered how long that would take ...Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2002 7:41 PM
Sounds like Reynolds is applying a technology developed for the Space Shuttle fuel tank to bikes. I've speculated that this was bound to happen.

Lithium-aluminum is a little lighter (actually, less dense) than aircraft aluminum alloys, but still reasonably strong, and NASA has been fiddling with it for some years hoping to knock a few thousand kg off the launch weight of the Shuttle. At $15,000 per kilo as the cost of launching payloads into orbit, that's worth money.

The reports I've heard are that lithium-aluminum is a bitch to work with. Nearly impossible to weld with normal welding gear. Strange fatigue properties. Tends to be a bit soft. The weight savings on a bike will be slight -- it is already possible to build a bike so light that it is illegal for roadracing.
Introduced in 1999TonyR
Apr 3, 2002 7:50 PM
at Interbike supposedly. From what you are saying, it doesn't have promise beyond what one would get from a typical Aluminum frame. Thanks for the info.

I guess the question still stands, do any frame builders use the stuff? If it's tough to weld, I can guess why not.

TR
re: Reynolds X-100 Lithium TubingDrD
Apr 3, 2002 8:19 PM
Don't have experience with this particular alloy, but Al-Li alloys have been around for quite some time (since the 80's - likely earlier) - when they were being explored for application in the SST (alloys like 2090, 8090, etc.) - had good mechanical properties, but rather severe stress-corrosion-cracking problems, and corrosion issues in general (the strengthening precipitates are much more electrochemically active than you find in a typical Al-Cu-X alloy like 2024). If I remember correctly, they also had lower processing temperatures (not a big deal for a bike, but sort of an issue in something like the SST). Also - Li plays a different role in Al-Li-X than Sc does in an Al-Sc-X alloy.

As far as why it's not as popular, I think, as a rule of thumb, the popularity of a material as a frame building alloy is proportional to the total volume of marketing dollars spent on it.
I also hear it makes the ride much smoother and calmer ;-) (NM)Me Dot Org
Apr 3, 2002 9:26 PM
I also hear it makes the ride much smoother and calmer ;-) (NM)szybki
Apr 4, 2002 8:07 AM
LOL! First thing I thought of when I read the title of this post.
I also hear it makes the ride much smoother and calmer ;-) (NM)TonyR
Apr 4, 2002 9:14 AM
szybki:
I like your response best ;-).

Thanks guys, doesn't seem anymore promising, maybe less so in fact, than someof the other options out there.

TR