DEVELOPMENT OF 7003 ALUMINUM EXTRUSIONS FOR MOTORCYCLE FRAME APPLICATIONS 2001-01-1884
The 7003-T4 alloy has been developed for production of motorcycle frame bodies. The developed material has been applied to the 2001 Goldwing motorcycle recently introduced to the world market. During the material development, a designed experiment was planned by which nine 7003 alloy variants were cast and homogenized. The cast billets were extruded into hollow frame tubes on a production extrusion line and the natural aging response of the material was evaluated. The tendency for recrystallized grains at the surface of the extruded tubes was measured and confirmed to be at an acceptable level for painting. The reversion and recovery of mechanical properties during paint curing was evaluated and curing limits were established for mass production. From the results, parametric equations were derived to describe the relationships between mechanical properties, composition and natural aging time to insure design compliance. This development has resulted in a frame which is 35% lighter than the tubular steel construction applied to previous models.