- Long Fiber Compound Adds Strength and Style to ATV Wheel
In the world of off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are known to take some serious abuse. To prevent wheel damage from rocky or muddy landscapes, one ATV after-market accessory supplier devoted significant efforts to improving the quality of their products to make ATVs more durable and easier to maintain.
When HiPer Technology wanted to improve the design of its CF1 carbon fiber wheel rim for ATV sport riders, they turned to RTP Company for assistance in selecting a suitable material for the wheel’s beadlock ring. The ring, which helps prevent terrain damage, fastens to the inner half of the ATV wheel assembly and locks the tire bead onto the rim. Early on HiPer had difficulty finding a material that could meet their specifications, but they eventually found a perfect fit from RTP Company.
“When we initially discussed re-designing the CF1 wheel, we wanted to find a replacement material with two main features: improved strength and colorability,” said Tom Darnell, Founder and V.P. of Engineering at HiPer Technology. “Finding both qualities in a long fiber material proved difficult, but after working with RTP Company, we ended up with a really great long fiber compound that vastly improved our product line. It’s a tremendous benefit to our customers, because they’re able to get a better product at the same price.”
Because ATVs are designed to handle a wider variety of terrain than most other off-road vehicles, every component in the wheel must meet a stringent set of strength requirements. In the case of the beadlock ring, the long fiber compound had to provide excellent stiffness, high compression strength, and class-A surface qualities. HiPer also required the material pass what they call their “bounce test.”
“To ensure the material was tough enough to withstand real world abuse, it underwent an additional evaluation through our bounce test,” explained Darnell. “The component is dropped onto concrete — seven times — from a height of 24 feet (7.3 meters). Long fiber materials typically cannot sustain even one drop, but the RTP Company compound passed all seven drops with flying colors. No other material we’ve tested has ever been able to do that.”
HiPer uses an RTP 200 H Series long glass fiber impact-modified nylon 6/6 compound for the beadlock ring. In addition to having excellent strength and impact resistance, HiPer also required the material to be colorable, adding styling that allows the wheel to match the ATV.
“We had trouble coming up with a material that was both colorable and still tough enough to withstand terrain abuse,” said Darnell. “We finally found our solution with RTP Company — their compound is 25% stronger than previous materials, easily moldable, and gives us sharp, vibrant color that we couldn’t find from any other supplier. It’s just phenomenal.”
In addition to the long fiber solution, Darnell also expressed his enthusiasm about the two companies working together on future projects. “We received top-notch support from RTP Company,” he said. “From material specification to molding trials, their engineers were helpful every step of the way. We look forward to continuing to work with RTP Company on future product development.”
Based in Kansas, HiPer Technology, Inc., is a high-quality manufacturer of modular carbon fiber racing wheels for motor sport vehicles, which are showcased through the HiPer Racing Wheels product line. For more information, visit www.hiperracingwheels.com.