Making e-bikes lighter and more sustainable
Making public transport safer and more sustainable with anti-microbial, composite grab poles
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We’ve recently had some exciting results from one of our collaborative projects, which we wanted to share. For the last 12 months we’ve been working with six partners to produce a lightweight, permanently antimicrobial grab pole for use in public transport. The aim was to provide a lighter and more hygienic alternative to traditional steel grab poles, which could help increase confidence in the safety of public transport and support the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.
Following rigorous testing against the ISO standard 22196 (which measures antibacterial activity), we found that our grab poles killed 99.9% of bacteria found on the surface. This means they will help to protect the people who use them from dangerous bacterial infections such as E.coli and MRSA.
They are also 70% lighter than mild steel poles, yet offer the same mechanical performance, as shown in mechanical and environmental tests. Lightweight parts obviously increase the payload/range of electric vehicles and reduce emissions in petrol/diesel vehicles.
Our grab poles also performed extremely well in heat aging and wear tests, showing no deterioration in their antibacterial properties. This is an improvement on existing coatings such as antimicrobial paint, where the antimicrobial effect can rapidly wear off.
There are also other benefits of our composite grab poles, which are made from a braided thermoplastic matrix which uses E-glass and very hard-wearing Nylon as its base materials. For instance, they are:
This project success has led to us being shortlisted for a Composites UK Award 2021, in the category ‘Innovation in Composite Materials’. We’re looking forward to the Awards Dinner on the 3rd November and keeping our fingers crossed.
If you want to talk more about our antimicrobial manufacturing capabilities, please do contact us.
We recently finished working on a project to create the first of a kind: a thermoplastic composite e-Bike frame that could be made entirely in the UK at high volumes, and at a cost competitive with current imported sources. This bike frame also offers notable improvements over ones made from steel or traditional composites.Read news post