Advantages and limitations of carbon fiber for wheelchair parts
Whether it is an electric wheelchair or a manual wheelchair, whether it is for the elderly and other people with reduced mobility or disabled patients, wheelchairs, as a special means of transportation, need to meet the following requirements: First, safety, wheelchair users are all People with certain obstacles to physical movement use wheelchairs very frequently, which requires all the accessories of the wheelchair to be guaranteed in terms of firmness and durability; the second is functionality. It should also be easy to operate during daily handling and stacking, which requires the wheelchair to be as lightweight as possible in terms of design and manufacturing materials.
Traditional wheelchairs use steel materials. Later, due to the demand for lightweight, aluminum alloy materials gradually replaced steel materials. Today, with its performance advantages far superior to aluminum alloy materials, carbon fiber composite materials have become a more ideal material for wheelchair accessories.
The structural components of the wheelchair include: large and small wheels, hand wheel rims, brakes, seat seats, cushions, foot rests and leg rests, backrests, armrests and arm rests, skirts, etc. At present, carbon fiber composite materials are mainly used in accessories such as armrests, arm rests, foot rests, leg rests, backrests, skirt boards and frame tubes. Most of these accessories can be adjusted in height. The most important thing is that after the carbon fiber composite material is used for these accessories, the overall weight of the wheelchair has been significantly reduced, and as a frequently used component, it has become more durable.
Originally, aluminum alloy replaced steel material to reduce weight, but the density of carbon fiber is only 1.7g/cm3. The accessories of the same specification are more than half lighter than those made of aluminum alloy, but the strength is much greater. In addition, carbon fiber also has strong High corrosion resistance, a considerable proportion of wheelchair patients face problems such as incontinence and frequent contact with injections and medicines. In this case, carbon fiber composite parts show durability that is difficult to match with ordinary metal materials.
Although many media reports that there are many new wheelchairs on the market that are made of carbon fiber as a whole, Future's technicians are conservative. He believes that although the carbon fiber material has excellent performance, it does not mean that it is suitable for every part of the wheelchair. Even the high-speed carbon fiber wheelchair created by 's creative design company DesignsWorksUSA for wheelchair racers is only the main frame part. Carbon fiber is used. Especially from the perspective of application cost, the overall use of carbon fiber material will greatly increase the price of wheelchairs, especially the production of carbon fiber wheels, the cost is even higher, which will greatly affect the purchasing power of users. Therefore, in order to seize the market and mass production, wheelchair manufacturers should start from the above accessories and enhance the value of their products through the feasible application of carbon fiber composite materials.
In the future, with the improvement of people's living standards, the demand for wheelchairs will increase, and the high-end demand will also increase in a large proportion. High-quality and lightweight carbon fiber composite materials will be more and more used in wheelchair manufacturing.