Gratomic has announced the development of new Graphene Ultra Fuel Efficient Tires (GUET) with certification and terrain testing targeted for completion in Q3, 2019. In March 2018, Gratomic announced that it is expecting to commercialize graphene-enhanced tires as a result of its advanced R&D program to include plasma-generated graphene in tires to increase their strength and reduce their.
"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 Chairman and 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".
Gratomic stated that to date, 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. On average, this would require 20 to 25 grams of graphene per tire. However, for the Industry, specification consistency and scaleability of supply have been limiting factors and to date have been the biggest constraints in commercializing graphene.
Gratomic has been able to achieve this through a unique collaboration agreement with its development partner Perpetuus Carbon Technologies who currently supplies substantial quantities of surface modified graphenes on a monthly basis to the tire industry through its Patented Plasma Process.
Employing its dedicated facility for the patented Perpetuus plasma method, Gratomic post plasma processing reportedly produces graphenes (less than 10 layers) of a high purity (CK 99.10%) derived from its Graphite Mine in Namibia.
In 2015, international tire manufacturer Vittoria added graphene to the rims of the Qurano series, and has further embraced graphene technology by incorporating it into its range of 2016 tires, referred to as the “Intelligent Tire System” (ITS). In April 2018, Surwon Technology, a Hong Kong based materials developer, conducted extensive testing on a wet weather tire that is reportedly capable of delivering significant performance improvements over the current "wets" used by racers during rainy periods on Grand Prix weekends.