Faculty Advisor

Lados, Diana A.


Fatigue is a prominent failure mechanism for mountain bike frames. The team collaborated with a company developing a 6061-T6 aluminum mountain bike to investigate the fatigue behavior of the frame and optimize the material/heat treatment and frame design. A finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted based on an ASTM standard with appropriate mechanical properties for various sections of the bike and welds. The FEA model enabled the team to predict fatigue failure locations and cycles to failure, and was validated using fatigue testing results. Fractographic examinations were conducted to find the crack initiation location and propagation mechanisms using optical microscopy and SEM. Finally, studies were performed to optimize the material/heat treatment and frame design for fatigue life.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2012


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering