Polycarbonate delivers strength and durability required to produce unique LED bikes for children
Pittsburgh, December 15, 2015 — When Phantom Frames founder and President Forrest Smith learned of his six-year-old son’s wish for a bike that could “light up,” he seized the opportunity to develop a transparent bike frame with internal illumination. That wish turned out to be such a bright idea that it launched the company. This year, Phantom Frames developed and patented the first transparent bike frame to transmit light. Leveraging the technical expertise of Covestro LLC, the frame combines the strength of Makrolon® 2807 polycarbonate with high-intensity LED lights available in five colors and customizable flashing features.
Makrolon® polycarbonate offers manufacturers a unique combination of properties. The resin is extremely robust, impact-resistant and lightweight with glass-like transparency. The durability of Makrolon® 2807 plastic, paired with its inherent lightweight qualities compared to standard bike frame metals, made it the ideal material for Phantom Frames. Optical clarity of the polycarbonate also helps to improve light transmissibility and aesthetics.
“We are making bikes for children, so the quality and consistency of our materials is a top priority,” said Smith. “Working with Covestro was a winning collaboration given its industry leadership and commitment to delivering the highest quality material solutions.”
In addition to supplying polycarbonate materials for the frame, Covestro provided technical support to optimize production. The team prepared a detailed report using structural analsysis that helped resolve early production tooling challenges and ensure a smooth transition to high-volume manufacturing.
“Our teams of engineers worked effectively to help design a frame that has excellent strength and optimal light transmission and could be manufactured on time and on budget,” said Bruce Fine, market segment leader, Medical and Consumer Products, North America, Covestro LLC.
The first model to be released will be the 12” Balance Bike, with the goal of expanding the product to fit the 12” Pedal, 16” Pedal and Tricycle models. Bicycles are anticipated to be available in the U.S. market, followed by China, Europe and eventual global release.
“Covestro is delighted to work with an innovative company like Phantom Frames on such a pioneering children’s product that will help improve the safety of bike riding,” said Richard Aldrich, business development manager at Covestro, who served as one of the project leads. “We look forward to seeing Phantom Frames’ continued success in the U.S. and abroad with this one-of-a-kind bike.”
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,700 people at the end of September 2015.
About Phantom Frames:
Phantom Frames is a design company based in Santa Ana, CA. Founded in 2011, the company has developed and patented a line of internally illuminated frame based vehicles. Mass production was initiated by the company in October 2015.
John Skabardonis, Phone: +1 412-413-5444
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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s and Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com as well as on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. Covestro and Bayer assume no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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