To do this, optimization techniques were used. As a first step, a conceptual approach helped determined the required inertia of each section to meet the different requirements for stiffness. An initial 3D model was then developed by the customer, which was analysed and compared to the previous version of frame geometry. Different variations and geometries were tested in order to achieve a shape having the desired characteristics in terms of weight and stiffness, compared with the previous frame version. Subsequently, an optimization of the composite structure was performed to determine the optimal lay-up to meets the customer needs. This optimization phase yielded the different carbon pre-preg layers shape, quantity and sequence, which were communicated to the manufacturer in order to guide them in achieving the lightest lay–up as possible.
The different optimization methods used by Lx Sim during the design phase of the Gallium Pro have helped the client to develop a super-lightweight composites bicycle frame. The mass achieved for the new frame is around 790g, compared to a weight of about 965g for the previous frame, representing an 18% decrease.