Faculty Advisor

Lados, Diana

Faculty Advisor

Van de Ven, James D


Welding is the primary method of fabrication of bicycle forks. When used to join heat treated materials, welding creates areas of degraded material properties known as heat affected zones (HAZ). As a result, an integrated mechanical-metallurgical analysis and validation of a given fork or frame design is required. This is accomplished by the characterization of the material properties including the HAZ and geometry of the fork, development of a fatigue life prediction model, fatigue testing of physical samples, a microstructural fatigue crack growth model to validate the FEA predictions, and ultimately a design iteration leading to an optimal solution that passes ASTM and CEN bending fatigue testing. Additional material treatment solutions and geometry iterations are also explored.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2010


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering