GRAPHENE TIRES

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). 

Gratomic believes it widely acknowledged that the speed and progress of realizing real-world commercial traction for graphenes derived from mined graphite to be employed within advanced material composites, is now contingent on the global graphite mining industries ability to liberate suitable quality functionalized graphenes from graphite in large quantities. The pertinent drawback preventing commercialization is the failure of the industry to identify an environmentally friendly large-scale production method to liberate graphenes from the graphite.

  • 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 Gratomic. Simply put, our customers want what we have; high-quality graphene. Not only are Hybrid Graphene enhanced tires fuel efficient, but they can also demonstrate better handling and longer life” commented Gratomic’s CO-CEO Sheldon Inwentash. “The GUET tire market represents a very large vertical for Gratomic which the Company will be vigorously pursuing in 2019, and beyond.” 

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 purpose by the Perpetuus Labs. The liberated graphenes when functionalized have demonstrated excellent processability. Initial application in a host of end uses has demonstrated excellent suitability for a range of products. Most noteworthy are the excellent results generated when the Hybrid Graphenes are included in elastomers for tire construction. Perpetuus looks forward to working with Gratomic to launch probably the first range of Graphene-enabled ultra fuel-efficient tires.”

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.

Gratomic Target Market

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 are being produced ready for dynamic testing. Results to date indicate that Gratomic is at least on par with prior graphene formulations. Key to the ability for Gratomic to establish the first mass-market Mine to Graphene to Tire is the production of large quantities of graphenes nano surface modified to enhance tire performance, providing consistent quality at the right price. Gratomic now has three high volume plasma chambers ready and able to provide surface-modified graphenes suitable for the Tire market in 100’s of tonnes per annum.

Proven Studies

  • 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.

    Technical Overview

    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

    GRATOMIC is a leader in the mining and commercialization of graphite products – specifically the valuable graphene-based nano material that is used for a wide range of mass market elastomer and polymer products, including the US $223 billion* global tire market. We are also aggressively developing other industrial applications such as lubricants, special rust, and proof coatings.  Medical and High tech electronic applications.

    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

    Benefits include:
    • Lighter than ordinary tires and frames
    • Longer-lasting
    • 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
    Conclusion

    The global market for tires is projected to reach 2.5 billion units by 2022.  OEMs are focusing on the tire’s performance and efficiency as vital engineering parameters that add value to an automotive brand. (Defining the volumes of graphenes required for treads only, as 312,500 tonnes per annum). Driven by the stringent focus on fuel efficiency and the resulting demand for low rolling resistance tires, coupled with environment regulations, the ensuing consumer preference for eco-friendly tires and stringent fuel efficiency norms will bring Graphene Ultra Fuel Efficient Tires to the foreground.