What are the characteristics of wheelchair frame materials

Summary:The materials used in wheelchair frames are mainly steel, aluminum alloy and titanium alloy. High-performance carbon fiber composite materials and mag...
The materials used in wheelchair frames are mainly steel, aluminum alloy and titanium alloy. High-performance carbon fiber composite materials and magnesium alloy have not yet been widely used. The price of manual wheelchairs on the market generally depends on the material used for manual wheelchairs, and the price of lightweight wheelchairs is relatively higher. The weight of steel wheelchairs is as high as 22.5kg, the weight of Aluminum manual wheelchair is 11.25—13.5kg, the weight of titanium alloy wheelchairs can be further reduced to 6.3-9kg, and the price of titanium alloy wheelchairs is 3 to 5 times more expensive than steel wheelchairs or even higher
Steel for Wheelchair 
Steel is currently the most widely used material with the longest history in the wheelchair manufacturing industry. The steel used in wheelchair frame materials mainly includes alloy steel, stainless steel and carbon structural steel. Although the technology of wheelchair steel pipes is quite mature, through the optimization of the composition, advanced heat treatment technology and processing technology, the pipe wall of the steel pipe has reached the ideal thickness under the premise of ensuring the performance. The quality of the steel wheelchair is continuously reduced. The wall thickness of the steel tube used as the wheelchair frame is almost close to the limit. Under the requirement of higher weight reduction, it is difficult for steel wheelchairs to make breakthroughs.

Titanium alloy for wheelchair
Titanium alloys are used in many fields such as aerospace, machinery, medical treatment, energy, etc. due to their advantages of light weight, high strength, good toughness, good high and low temperature resistance, non-toxicity, and good corrosion resistance. The specific strength of titanium alloy is higher than that of aluminum, and there is basically no corrosion in the general environment, and no additional anti-corrosion treatment is required. The main advantages of titanium wheelchairs are firmness, light weight, comfort, beauty and long service life. Titanium alloys are mainly used in sports wheelchairs in the wheelchair series, such as basketball wheelchairs, racing wheelchairs, etc. Because of the high price, the application in ordinary wheelchairs is limited. At present, the application of titanium alloy in wheelchairs does not have obvious advantages in the market due to high cost and high product price. Only when the cost of titanium alloy materials is reduced, can it replace some of the current aluminum alloys.
Magnesium alloy for wheelchair
Magnesium alloy is currently the world's lightest commercial metal structural material. Compared with other structural materials, magnesium alloy has a series of advantages: outstanding specific strength and specific stiffness; good casting performance, suitable for high-pressure casting; outstanding fatigue without memory; better dynamic performance; relative to steel Metal parts such as, aluminum, have excellent vibration damping characteristics; good machining performance; easy to recycle. The main problem in making magnesium alloy wheelchairs is that magnesium alloy, as a structural material, has poor corrosion resistance. As a result, there is basically no magnesium alloy wheelchair on the market.
Aluminum alloy for wheelchair
The strength of aluminum alloy is equivalent to that of steel, and the density is 1/3 of that of steel. Compared with other materials, it has a good lightweight effect, and has good corrosion resistance, good recyclability, easy processing and forming, surface spraying and anode The oxidation treatment process is mature. Its relatively low production cost, complete process technology, and no need for professional production equipment and technology, make aluminum alloy the most ideal and most popular material for lightweight and comprehensive performance. Most of the aluminum alloys used in wheelchairs are 6XXX series and 7XXX series. Heat treatment can be carried out before use to improve performance to meet demand.
The weight reduction of wheelchairs is mainly realized from the perspective of materials. The comprehensive properties of titanium alloys and magnesium alloys have advantages over aluminum alloys. However, due to the constraints of production costs and technical requirements, titanium wheelchairs and magnesium wheelchairs are relatively inexpensive aluminum alloys. The advantage of wheelchairs is not obvious.
Composite materials for wheelchairs
Composite materials have become one of the research hotspots of today's materials due to their outstanding advantages such as low density, high specific strength, good corrosion resistance, and high fatigue strength. However, the high cost of production is the main reason that restricts the wide application of composite materials. In addition, the bonding strength and fracture toughness of composite materials are not ideal, and the repair of composite materials is more difficult than metal materials, and even some defects and cracks that affect performance cannot be detected. It was discovered for a time that, therefore, the current application of composite materials in wheelchairs is not very widespread.