Heat Treating & Ageing Aluminum Frames
Ageing - Heat Treating Aluminum Frames
I was planning and preping to do a 7005 hardtail as practice before doing some honest FS bikes. I've basically given up finding that the only choices available to a tiny builder are just lame. Basically nobody in the US makes 7005 and it all has to be imported from taiwan. Easton offshored everything a few years ago.
Now I'm changing material to 6061, which gives me zillions of choices of stock, but puts the whole quenching and aging front row center.
I spoke to my local heat treater (http://www.garnerheattreatinc.com/) and picked his brain and shopped pricing. This was the only place I could find with ovens and baths large enough for bicycles. It's going to cost around $400 per run. A run will be anything from 1 to 10 frames. 3 at a time will be a strech for me and will really limit testing and prototyping possibilities. Also, a holding fixture will need to be fabricated for each frame going through the process.
After quencing in the fixture I need to pick up the frames, the frames need to get alligned then returned in the fixture for heat treating/aging. Time consuming to say the least.
I was told to go to Thermo-Fusion in Hayward for experience and pricing. Talk to Dave Jr. This from Ahernes and Carl Strong. $150 per frame.
Frames in 7000 alloy.
The ageing of the frame realized in 7000 alloy has to be carried out 4/5 days after the welding, in two phases: 6 hours at 90°C ±5° - 4 hours at 150°C ±5°.
Artificial age for 7005 frames:
Age 6 hours at 200 degrees F (± 10 degrees F) plus 4 hours at 320 degrees F (±10 degrees F). This process must be performed by the builder on all Easton 7005 tube sets.