Is Graphene Tyre Revolution Finally Coming?
LOMAZZO, Italy – Is it finally living up to the promises; is the revolution in tyres really coming now? It appears so now a new patent has been announced by Graphene producer Directa Plus while bigger orders have been placed by the one and only bicycle tyre maker using this wonder material; Vittoria.
Already in January 2013 the Graphene tyre revolution was announced. At that time Vittoria opened its new compound factory in Thailand; a facility that would make Vittoria the world’s first tyre maker using Graphene in its compounds. However, it took some time to incorporate the wonder material in its tyre range as well as the compounds to benefit from features like air-tightness, lower rolling resistance and better grip.
Graphene Plus patent
For using the Graphene additive in its compounds Vittoria entered into a joint venture with Directa Plus SpA. This company recently announced that it has received the patent for Graphene Plus (G+) elastomeric composition for tyres. G+ simultaneously reduces resistance and increases grip in automobile, motorcycle and bicycle tyres.
Directa Plus got the patent from the Italian Patent and Trademark Office. It’s for the product and application of its new graphene based solution for enhancing the performance of tyres. Specifically, the patent covers Directa Plus’ ‘elastomeric composition comprising graphene and tyre components’.
In a statement Directa Plus says “The G+ use in tyres produces the joint effect of simultaneously reducing rolling resistance and increasing grip. The result is a tyre that is both faster and safer in turning under braking or in extreme weather conditions. In addition, the effectiveness of G+ reduces fuel consumption as well as increasing the lifespan of the tyre due to reduced wear. As a result the application of G+ offers economic efficiency as well as environmental sustainability.”
Relationship with Vittoria
The Directa Plus patent announcement also points to its relationship with Vittoria Group on which it stated “Vittoria has launched multiple award winning G+ bicycle tyres for on road and off road use.” Now, however, Directa Plus “Is also conducting ongoing tests with other automotive and potential industrial partners of its G+ elastomeric composition for tyres.”
Giulio Cesareo, CEO of Directa Plus, said “The push for fuel efficiency from consumers and environmental groups means there is a growing demand for eco-friendly tyres. Offering tyres that are both sustainable and performance enhancing reflects the core values of Directa Plus, and is bringing real innovation to an established and expanding industry. The unique qualities of G+ have been validated in bicycle tyres through our commercial partnership with Vittoria. The receipt of this latest patent means we are now well positioned to expand the rollout of G+ tyres to the global automobile and motorcycle industries ”
That also more bicycle tyres made with G+ are coming is underlined by Directa Plus’ announcement that it has received an order from Vittoria to supply 250 kilos of the G+ material for incorporation into Vittoria’s range of graphene-enhanced bicycle tyres and wheels. As G+ is a molecule based additive to tyre compounds, 250 kgs refers to a an extraordinary amount of this base material. The order is due to be delivered in Q1 2018 and follows earlier, smaller orders.
Furthermore Directa Plus stated “Vittoria, with an annual production of more than seven million tyres, is our longest established partner. This collaboration led to the launch of multiple award-winning ranges of high-performance bicycle tyres and wheels incorporating G+.
In particular, the incorporation of G+ in the tyres and rims offers improved speed, grip, strength and increased puncture resistance. This has resulted in victories for several cyclists in competition, including the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin, who used G+ tyres at every stage of that race.”