Graphene Ultra Fuel Efficient Tires (GUET)
‘Revolutionizing The Tire Industry’
Production for an initial soft launch of Gratomic’s new tire is targeted for late summer 2019.
Gratomic certification and terrain testing targeted for completion in Q3, 2019.
In response to market demands, tire manufacturers are seeking to launch ultra-fuel-efficient tires employing graphene-enhanced tread formulations, along with innovative tread pattern designs such as streamlined ribs, blocks, and lugs.
Gratomic has evolved its strategic planning. Initially, the company forecast it would produce its first batch of Hyper High-Performance Tires in 2018. However, initial tire trial compound testing and strong market pull trends dictate that the company vary its planning where Gratomic will now target mass market sales demand via Graphene Ultra Fuel Efficient Tires (GUET).
- The original adhesive tape method is redundant in this context as it can only isolate small amounts of graphene employing a laborious “hit and miss” process.
- The majority of current claimed methods of large-scale graphene synthesis include numerous variations of the so-called ‘Hummers’ method, devised by William Hummers in the late 1950’s
- The Hummers method exploits powerful oxidizing agents and strong acids to strip apart the graphene layers from graphite. The initial output from the Hummers methods and its variants is graphene oxide. A secondary process then reduces the graphene oxide further to create graphenes, termed reduced graphene oxide, which depending on the realization of the reduction process, can yield near fully reduced graphene oxide, or partially reduced graphene oxide.
- Other non-graphite to graphene production methods exist but are lesser used due to productivity issues and cost. These include ion implantation, chemical vapour deposition (CVD), liquid-phase exfoliation and epitaxial growth upon a silicon carbide substrate.
None of the fore mentioned methods currently display evidence that they will in the near future demonstrate a likelihood of evolving into establishing a production plant with a potential to produce and satisfy the markets demand for 1000’s of tonnes of graphenes per annum.
Methods currently employed to produce graphene from graphite, range from mechanical exfoliation (the sticky-tape method) and electro exfoliation, through to “prehistoric methods”, such as “boil graphite in acid”, and chemically or thermally expand it to liberate graphenes.
- The quest to discover a technology for producing flakes of few-layer and multi-layer graphenes from graphite has begun in earnest.
- None have been proven to be cost-effective or suitable for industrial scale volume production.
- With the exception of Gratomic’s collaborative strategic development partner Perpetuus Carbon Technologies (who supply substantial quantities of surface modified graphenes on a monthly basis to the tire industry). Current outputs evidently appear to be restricted to R&D and limited quantity proof of concept applications
Recently publicized studies from world-renowned academic institutions prima facie disclosed that the majority of what is claimed to be graphene derived from mined graphite is actually nano graphites. (“fake graphene”) The following analysis establishes that Gratomic actually produces graphenes of a high purity derived from its Graphite Mine in Namibia. Employing its dedicated facility for the patented Perpetuus plasma method.
“Purely from a demand perspective, we have been pulled into a market which represents a very large opportunity for
Ian Walters Director – Perpetuus Carbon Technologies Limited stated:
“Perpetuus’ investigative analysis and characterization have concluded that the Graphenes derived from the Gratomic mine are highly friable, more so than any other graphite tested for
Gratomic IS now on the journey to create the world’s first graphite “vertical” liberating high quality graphenes from its very own graphite for deployment in its own range of tires.
Tires enhanced with graphenes were first produced in about 2014. The global tire market has recognized that employing graphenes within tire treads, walls and the inner linings can make tires lighter, provide better grip and reduce rolling resistance to an extent that is not possible with existing tire compounds. As with all business sectors, from time to time new potentially disruptive innovative developments emerge.
Tire companies are always seeking new materials to furnish them with an edge over their competitors. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons most such innovations never actually reach the production stage. Rarely does a product or production process actually complete the journey to becoming part of a tire.
The second iteration of Gratomic graphene-enhanced tread tire compounds
- The use of graphene in inner liner compounds reduces air permeability.
- Perpetuus is working with tire manufacturers using liberated layers of homogeneously dispersed graphene for the same purpose.
- The same characteristics have established that varied graphene formulations can be extended to passenger and light truck tire manufacturing.
- The addition of graphenes equals a lighter tire, lower rolling resistance, high impact and tensile properties
- Graphene offers the potential for a balance of improved economy and superior performance
It should be noted, it is the cycling world that first embraced Graphene (Vittoria – a bicycle tire specialist). Others eventually took it up in the tire industry, but only for early-stage preproduction evaluation.
So where is the Gratomic enhanced product currently progressing in the global tire industry?
Globally the situation is that currently only several lesser-known tire manufacturers in China have had the vision to pioneer the use of Graphene in the construction of tires but remain in the R&D phase. Typically, a tire tread compound mix is approximately 205 kilos and will furnish approximately 40 tire treads. Graphene content is approximately 5 kilos per mix. Graphene can also be used in the walls and inner lining, but for the sake of this exercise please note these additional volumes are not factored in.
A tire is a complex composite device. There are many ways in which it is possible to improve a single aspect of its performance, such as improving rolling resistance by changing the dimensions of the tire. However, “give and take” variations in compound formulations are inevitably detrimental to other performance parameters. In this sense, the advancement of tire science and technology involves a constant compromise between compatible yet mutually exclusive performance demands.
As a whole, a typical tire is a composite of several parts, primarily sidewalls, inner liner, and the tire tread, which itself is a rubber component. The sidewalls comprise a steel cord and textile reinforced rubber network. If one considers that the tire tread is the only part of the vehicle’s contact with the road, it becomes obviously evident, that the majority of sources of energy dissipation are facilitated by the tread material, which is the prime influencing component on performance, such as handling, fuel efficiency, and braking efficiency.
It is a known fact that adding graphene changes the shape of the rheology curve, which influences the cure chemistry and results in changes to the rubber compound.
Updated Investor Presentation
where rubber meets the road
- Tires with Graphene sourced from Gratomic’s Aukam Graphite are being terrain tested in Asia & Europe right now
- Hard Data harvested to date indicates the tires are more durable when compared on a head to head basis with a premium brand tire
- Put against the ultimate road tests to prove its durability and performance
- Environmental impact and life cycle analysis is being undertaken as contemporaneously results to date strongly indicate substantial demand from tire manufacturing community
- Proven to decrease rolling resistance equaling more miles per gallon (mpg)
- Results to date support Gratomic’s Aukam Graphite specifications and supply as suitable for industry supply
graphene in bike tires
- Lighter than ordinary tires and frames
- More puncture resistant
- More efficient heat dissipation
- Improved rolling resistance when riding upright
- Softer with better traction in turns
how big is the tire business?
- according to tech-sci market report “global tire market forecasts & opportunities, 2022” the world tire market is to exceed 319 billion dollars by 2022
- currently 2.2 billion tires are sold worldwide annually
- a few grams per tire makes a lot of graphite sold
The global market for