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Watch: How lasers make Silca's new titanium bottle cage

Stu Bowers
20 Apr 2018

An unconventional method is used to make one of the simplest of products

It might seem like an unusual product skew for a brand that made it’s name making some of the best and most durable floor pumps in the world, but Silca has a reason for developing a titanium bottle cage that starts with some very cool new manufacturing techniques.

‘The titanium bottle cage is a really exciting new product for us’, says Silca’s President Josh Poertner.

‘As the industry steers towards more adventurous riding and gravel and so on, a titanium bottle cage makes so much sense because of the strength and durability of the material. There are very few of them around, and even they are hard to get. We just looked at it and thought, well, we can do that better.’

‘We are using a process never used in our sport before – laser welding’, Poertner continues. ‘A laser weld is unlike any hand weld. Titanium is a bear to weld at the best of times but especially here where we are dealing with tiny tubes with a wall thickness of just 0.4mm,

'We had to find a way to really refine the process. The laser welding technology is so cool, and what can be done with it. It gives us much more control than would ever be possible with hand welding and also doesn’t generate anything like as much heat,

'We can play around with the pulse frequency and focal lengths and so on, to fine-tune the amount of penetration etc. to fuse the materials perfectly. It makes a double pass weld possible even at this super thin wall thickness, and there is just no way you could do that by hand,' added Poertner.

'It’s been a huge learning experience and about a year in development already, but we are ready to go now, with product all made in-house, here in Indianapolis, and we’re expecting to start shipping in June.’

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