opinions on strong, lightweight materials.

Hi guys, i was wondering if there are any other quality strong lighteight materials out there besides carbon fiber and aluminum alloys. Also i would like to know how easy they are to machine. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanx

…you want light weight, strong and machineable, for what sort of application generally?

Titanium??? Otherwise, do a Google search. Probably get alot more info there vs. waitin’ around for people on this site.

Try these:
Mg - Magnesium
Be - Beryllium

Lightweight and strong are not enough parameters to spec a material. How flexible or rigid does it need to be. What types of environments will it be in? How small or big do you need to make the product? Will it require impact resistance?

Now, assuming that cost is not a considerations, look to the aerospace industry for examples.

  1. Triple layer honeycomb provides a huge increase in strength without the added mass.

  2. Honeywell’s Spectra is used in a variety of applications.

  3. Titanium is hard to machine, as are some of the stronger aluminums, but the right structure can be nearly hollow and still provide the required strengths.

Another question to be asked: Why didn’t you post this on the Materials & Processes Forum?

I rode a an Israeli made beryllium titanium blend alloy bike over 10 years ago. Guess it was made from salvaged missiles. Exotic materials are not all that.

Magnesium is brittle and with the right alloy can be lighter and stronger is some ways than aluminum. It burns easy however and tears like aluminum.

The trick to create strength is to lay up materials so to create the honeycomb shape. By increasing the outer surface such as ribs or inner tubes. Note ‘gas assist’ Hollow tubes inside a mold that would not be capable with standard injection processes.

Another technology that increases strength is accomplished by adding glass fibers to nylon so the glass lines up in the direction that requires the structural rigidity. ie. plastic derailleur -