FU­TURE TECH

Fast Bikes - - FEATURE -

K- Tech is cur­rently look­ing at star­tling tech­nol­ogy that uses spe­cial gran­ules to in­crease the ef­fec­tive vol­ume of a reser­voir, al­low­ing the static force of the shock to be main­tained, with a softer damp­ing ef­fect. The com­pany is also work­ing along­side Bent­ley and the Univer­sity of Sh­effield on the Twister Project led by Per­for­mance Springs and look­ing to de­velop new man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses for ti­ta­nium springs, which while light have pre­vi­ously been in­con­sis­tent.

K-Tech is also a key player in a gov­ern­ment-funded Man­u­fac­tur­ing Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre project us­ing 3D me­tal print­ing to cre­ate highly op­ti­mised and ac­cu­rate parts. A printed alu­minium swingarm has al­ready been used in­World Superbike, with ti­ta­nium pow­der now be­ing laid in 0.1mm lay­ers, then welded to­gether by laser to build the part.

This gives the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate much more com­plex in­ter­nal chan­nels (as in the me­tal-printed shock body shown here) than are cur­rently pos­si­ble with cast­ing or ma­chin­ing, and while it’s now a rel­a­tively ex­pense process, it’s likely to be the fu­ture of not just be­spoke, but mass-pro­duced com­po­nents. It’s also a much more ef­fi­cient use of ma­te­rial than ma­chin­ing from bil­let, and com­puter-aided de­sign can cre­ate in­cred­i­bly strong struc­tures

with no ex­cess sur­face area.

We’re not sure what this man’s do­ing ei­ther.

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