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COMPOSITE CLINIC – 5th Edition
Q: What is involved in Giant’s proprietary moulding process?
A: Once the “lay up” process has been finalised it is time for the “soft” frame to be placed into a clamshell-like steel mould. These moulds are manufactured specifically for each model and size of Giant bicycle.
These moulds are then put into a high-pressure, high-temperature oven for the frames to “cook” under strictly controlled conditions.
During this process, precise amounts of Giant’s proprietary resin matrix that were impregnated into the lay up swatches are expelled to leave just the right amount of resin remaining in the finished frame. If you leave too much resin in the frame, then you have an inconsistent frame, with voids and heavy pockets of resin. This makes the frame heavy and inconsistent in its final ride quality. If you remove too much resin, you can still have voids and you are left with a weak, unsafe frame.
Giant carefully control the three critical elements of the moulding process, temperature, pressure and time. The precise use of these three elements ensures consistent results in manufacturing composite frames.
Stay tuned next week when we go into greater detail about the critical elements of the moulding process!