Founded in 1987 by Roland Cattin, TIME creates, manufactures and distributes highly technical bicycle products. TIME history began with a clipless bicycle pedal system designed to accommodate the biomechanical constraints of the rider.
In 1993, TIME began to diversify with carbon composite frames using Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) technology. TIME weaves its own custom tubular carbon layers in its RTM factory in Vaulx-Milieu France, outside of Lyon. This gives TIME’s engineers control of the technical characteristics of each carbon layer, as well as freedom of shape of the frame component parts.
TIME products gained fame in the early 1990s, after being debuted on the podium by Pedro Delgado in 1988, and by three-time Tour de France winner and World Champion Greg LeMond, followed by multiple Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner Miguel Indurain.
Today, TIME is one of the leading brands of carbon fiber racing bicycle frames and forks, which also specializes in:
-Road and mountain bike pedals
– Stems, Handlebars and Bottle Cages
-Apparel and accessories
TIME is a company that designs and produces all of its products in France
-Research and Development : Engineers located in Vaulx-Milieu, France
-Composites Production : TIME factory located in Vaulx-Milieu, France
-Pedal Production : TIME factory located in Nevers, France
-TIME Subsidiary : TIME USA located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
WEAVING ATELIER : A TIME-EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY
The woven fabric is a product of our weaving process, which allows to improve the mechanical characteristics of the composites, in particular the tubular pieces with a small diameter (smaller than 150 mm).
TUBULAR STRUCTURE BY LAYER
Every layer is woven in the form of a tube in order to obtain a perfectly homogeneous structure
BETTER RESISTANCE TO CRACKING
Linked mechanically by the weaving process, every fiber crossed constitutes a barrier against cracking. This is particularly important in the areas that are drilled (ex: bottle cage)
In the case of material breaking after a serious crash for example, woven structures are able to avoid the risk of additional injury from shattered pieces, which is a unique characteristic of unidirectional braids.
MASTERING THE ANGLES OF THE FIBERS
(Varying from 0° to ± 65°): the “bi-directional” braids have an angle varying from 15° to 65° for a more efficient torsion, whereas the “uni-directional” braids have an angle of 0° being used only for flexion. It is possible to create sections composed of different types of fibers (ex: Vectran) in order to modify the directional behavior of the specific piece.
INJECTION ATELIER – THE HEART OF RTM TECHNOLOGY
Contrary to the prepreg technique, TIME uses a “liquid” molding technology, RTM (Resin Transfer Molding).
This refers to the injecting of a heat-hardening, epoxy resin under pressure in a metallic mold. This mold incorporates all of the reinforcing elements of the composite material. Upon infusing this structure, the resin becomes the bonding unit of the structure.
THE ADVANTAGES OF RTM:
-Excellent impregnation of the fibers, including the most complex areas thanks to the injection under-pressure and to the temperature used.
-Perfect cohesion of the layers,thanks to the RTM molding that allows to surpass the compression of the structure which is a particularly delicate stage and not able to be reproduced with the prepreg process.
-Guaranteed geometries and thicknesses,through the molding procedure carried out on rigid structures that does not require the movement of any fibers during the process.
-Freedom of form in molding since the suppleness of the woven structure allows complex forms to be put into practice.
-The RTM system is easily industrialized, guaranteeing an overall homogeneous production.
CMT ATELIER – COMPRESSED CARBON TECHNOLOGY
Thanks to its cutting edge technology, TIME is able to surpass pieces made in aluminum and make raw, molded pieces with a precision down to a tenth of a millimeter.
The long CMT fibers improve the lifespan resistance to fatigue of the pieces: the fibers “become one” which greatly helps prevent cracks from spreading.
Ultra-light pieces, thanks to a low density. CMT technology pieces are 50% lighter than aluminum.
BONDING ATELIER – HISTORICAL EXPERTISE OF TIME
THE STRUCTURAL BONDING
The quality of the assembly depends upon the nature of the glue, the preparation of the surfaces and the assembly conditions.
Often from the aeronautical industry, the glues are highly technical and present high-level mechanical characteristics in order to achieve maximal performance.
TIME developed a unique savoir-faire in this area and trains its operators in order to guarantee reliability and uniformity of the process. The state of the surfaces, the cleanliness of the pieces and the quality of the applica-tion must all be perfectly mastered.
To assure complete smoothness, the assembly of the frame is done on a steel pattern machined under high precision. This will guarantee a uniform geometry. From a glue standpoint, the polymerization is perfectly performed in a temperature-controlled area of 40°C (104°F), in order to avoid deforming the metallic structure of the pattern. Once it is manipulable, the frame is now ready to move on to the finishing process.
PAINTING ATELIER – PREPARE, PROTECT AND DESIGN
A HIGH STANDARD OF QUALITY AND REDUCED IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
TIME uses closed painting booths with a circulation of 100% new and clean air (filtered two times and heated).
The manual application of paint allows us to limit waste and optimize the amount of paint needed. The products are not diluted so as to limit the percentage of VOC.
METROLOGY ATELIER – BRAND QUALITY SERVICE
Product quality control is a main priority at TIME. All products pass through the metrology atelier in respects to a strict and rigorous medicalized control. The following are some examples:
This allows us to enlarge certain pieces of the frame in order to control exact measurements.
A three-dimensional measuring machine allows us to measure the sides of a mechanical part and to verify its dimensional characteristics.
Ultrasound control machine
Its role is to verify the quality of the bonding process by checking the presence of air or lack thereof on the surface of the frame.
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