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We assess bikes using non-destructive technology (NDT) methods like ultrasound, acoustic inspection using tools such as digital tap hammers, penetrative solvents and visual inspection. This and our years of experience allow us to assess the full extent of damage, often locating damage beyond what can be visually detected. inspection & diagnostics

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assessment & quoting

We’ll need to physically inspect the bike and use our specialist test equipment on the damaged area using non-destructive testing methods including ultrasound to confirm the extent of damage and provide a firm quote. It’s best to bring in your frame for a physical assessment, assess the right course of action to take and accurately quote.

Impact events, crashes or damage caused in transit from crushing forces often result in damage that is more extensive than it appears in photographs. The physical assessment helps us custom design the repair & refinishing solution for your bike and ensure that it’s safe to repair. Our repairs are backed by a comprehensive warranty.

inspection services

STANDARD QUOTE INSPECTION

local area assessment - no report

Our standard quoting service includes local damage area inspection using our specialised test equipment

FULL FRAME & FORK INSPECTION

assessment Report

Full frame & fork inspection using our specialised test equipment including written damage report

FULL FRAME [NO FORK] INSPECTION

assessment report

Full frame [no fork] inspection using our specialised test equipment including written damage report

WHEEL & RIM INSPECTION

local area assessment - no report

Single wheel & rim inspection using our specialised test equipment including written damage report

HANDLEBAR OR SEAT POST INSPECTION

assessment Report

Handlebar only or Seat Post only inspection using our specialised test equipment including written damage report

FORK ONLY INSPECTION

assessment report

Fork only inspection using our specialised test equipment including written damage report

* Standard quote inspections are free if you go ahead with a repair, otherwise a $100 fee is chargeable to cover our time and use of specialised test equipment.
** Full component ultrasound scan may be limited by part design and geometry. Inspection requires parts to be stripped down, which can be done by us at an additional cost.

inspection techniques

ultrasound technology

We use Ultrasound technology to inspect and assess frames and parts to understand the wall thickness of the carbon, map out damaged/delaminated areas or find defects. Knowing this information influences the repair strategy. Ultrasound provides us with a readout of sound waves that help us interpret the internal structure of the carbon fibre in a Non-Destructive manner. Ultrasound helps to find damage that cannot be seen by other methods - without removing paint. Some bike brands/ distributors or shop ask you to remove some paint to see if the carbon is cracked underneath and not just the paint. With ultrasound, we can see through the paint and between the layers of carbon.

acoustic inspection

From the simple coin test to a ‘tap test’ with an instrumented tap hammer fitted with an accelerometer, provides a quantified frequency readout that is used to detect de-lamination of the carbon fibre layup. Often these de-laminations are not revealed by visual inspection. A doctor’s stethoscope is sometimes used to detect & confirm that fractured internal fibres are present. The fibres rub against one another when flexed, resulting in an audible sound.

Visual Inspection

Taking into account the customer provided details of the circumstances of the incident resulting in the damage, a visual inspection is conducted using some or all of the following equipment – high intensity spot lamps, fibrescopes for internal inspection of tubes, magnifying glasses, penetrative solvents and use of a cotton gloved hand sweeping over the surface to feel for fractured carbon fibre ends.

tech talk: carbon fibre properties

what forces cause damage to carbon fiber?

The bike frame has been designed to be strong in the directions needed to take the loads under normal riding conditions. Carbon fibre can be designed to have directional strength or even flex if so desired. The frame would be much heavier if it was designed to have strength in all directions and be able to take loads outside of normal use. When a bike is crashed or crushed the frame is receiving forces that it was not designed to take.

Many of the latest model frames are designed to be as light as possible and have refined the manufacturing techniques so there is no excess material. Essentially durability has been sacrificed for lighter weight. Repair of damage and testing for damage is more important than ever.

As carbon fibre is made from many different layers an understanding of how the loads are received by the material and how it reacts to different loads is critical when assessing damage or bike frame.

Carbon fibre has the greatest strength in tension. Conversely, carbon fibre will fail in compression before there is a fail in tension. Often this can be on the inside of a tube and is the greatest contributor to ‘hidden damage’, i.e. no external signs of failure.

tensile loading

Under tension carbon fibre is very strong – tensile loads are carried by the long carbon fibres – like a rope.

Compressive Loading

Compressive loading of the carbon fibre the adhesive and stiffness properties of the resin system are crucial, as it is the role of the resin to maintain the fibres as straight columns and to prevent them from buckling. This why repairing the bike frame with the same Pre-preg / thermoset resin system is crucial as the resin is an important part of the material’s mechanical properties. Wet layup resins are not what the bike is made from so the bike should not be repaired in this method.

As loading carbon fibre in compression relies heavily on the resin and the resin is not as strong as the carbon fibre the material is more likely to fail in compression. When assessing a frame or damage it is important to understand the direction of the forces applied and how the material reacts. This is the reason we ask how your bike got damaged or what happened in the incident.

Shear Loading

The below image shows a composite experiencing a shear load. This load is trying to slide adjacent layers of fibres over each other. Under shear loads the resin plays the major role, transferring the stresses across the composite. For the composite to perform well under shear loads the resin element must not only exhibit good mechanical properties but must also have high adhesion to the reinforcement fibre. The interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) of a composite is often used to indicate this property in a multi-layer composite (‘laminate’).

Flexural Loading

Flexural loads are really a combination of tensile, compression and shear loads. When loaded as shown, the upper layers are put into compression, the lower layers into tension and the central portion of the laminate experiences shear loading.

When a carbon fibre tube or plate flexes there are shearing forces between the layers of carbon fibres. The resin plays an import role here. Pre-preg / thermoset resins = GOOD; wet resin layup = NOT AS GOOD.