Monday, July 14, 2008

DT Swiss Wheel Manufacturing

A recent article in RBA throws light on the wheel manufacturing process at DT Swiss at their Switzerland plant site. So pictures are entirely courtesy of the RBA staff. By the way, DT Swiss has a really cool website!

The wheels are extruded (See Extrusion) to lend a starting billet stock the uniform cross sectional shape of the final design. The resulting coils are then cut into rim sections. (Too much extrusion gives you too much material, and too thin an extrusion gives you a final structure that can be prone to cracking and premature failures)

Expensive dies are used in the process to give this shape. Now you know where much of the costs associated with a new design comes from.

The rim sections are welded to form a single unit.

The conventional way to make butted spokes is through drawing them but DT apparently uses rotary forging to make better spokes. Rotary forging gives some good material properties in the grain structure, I would believe. Anyone opposing this idea? Comment below.

There are some more pictures in the original article so click here to follow.

Finally, this may be a little off topic but take a look at how rotary forging is used in the manufacturing of automobile rims. Its a pretty cool article.

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