Pioneer Vittoria Explains Graphene Tyre Technology
MADONE, Italy – In the past five years Vittoria has been working intensively on the integration of wonder material Graphene in the rubber of its tyres. That proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. However, with more and more ‘Graphene-tyres’ being introduced by Vittoria that now also uses the exceptional characteristics of the material for carbon rims, that challenge seems to be overcome. Reason for Vittoria to explain more on Graphene.
That explanation comes with the announcement that the Italian tyre maker launched a new website recently. Here the company’s latest innovations are listed which include cotton casing tyres, latex inner tubes, the combination of 4 different compounds, known as 4C, all in the same tyre. “In addition to this, Vittoria’s most important development is the incorporation of the revolutionary material, Graphene, in Vittoria’s tires and wheels.”
200 times stronger than steel
On Graphene Vittoria explains “It is a material which has exceptional characteristics. It derives from carbon, more precisely from graphite. Graphene has exceptional properties: although its structure is extremely thin (molecules are as thin as an atom – 1/1,000,000,000th of a meter), one gram of Graphene can cover a 2.630 square-meters surface; Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 6 times more flexible.”
Challenge: interaction with rubber
Vittoria furthermore explains “It is inevitable that Graphene offers enormous product advantages, but the challenge for Vittoria was to build Graphene products, and so to integrate this material with rubber. After research and testing, Graphene proved to interact with rubber by filling the space in between the rubber molecules. In practice, Graphene works like a magnet: its molecules are so thin that can fill the holes that separate rubber molecules making them more unite and close one another. In this way, the overall structure of the rubber is strengthened by the presence of Graphene, delivering performances never seen before.
“Prior to the advanced development of Graphene, there was always the requirement of choosing between optimizing, or aiming at, speed, grip, durability and puncture protection. Effectively, the introduction of Graphene in tyres, allows for natural material barriers of rubber to be removed. This means that there is no longer the need for such compromises between speed, grip, durability and puncture resistance.”
On how Vittoria managed the application of Graphene into wheels, the company says “Similarly to tyres, when applied to wheels, Graphene filled the holes in between the carbon molecules bonding with them. As a consequence, results displayed that carbon wheels increased lateral stiffness, improved resistance, became lighter and boosted heat dissipation. Moreover, one of the key findings was that Graphene-enhanced carbon wheels for tubeless tyres are now able to be used at higher air pressures and experience enhanced braking in all conditions.”
Graphene’s performance benefits
Come back to tyres Vittoria points out further “The performance benefits of Graphene are applicable across segments within the range of tyres, including e-bikes. This compound enables a very smooth rolling experience for electric assisted bikes, that helps to prolong battery life as well. When applied to e-MTBs it is ultimately suitable to deal with the increased acceleration torque and delivers much greater strength exactly where it is needed: at the knob base, where torque damage is most likely to occur.”
‘Powered by Graphene’
Initially, Vittoria graphene products encompassed top-of-the-range tyres and wheels only; as of today, nearly all Vittoria products come Powered by Graphene. Vittoria’s mission is to become one of the most important companies worldwide for the implementation and development of this material. Vittoria is the first company for Graphene usage globally, and it was the first one to use the purest form of Graphene – called “pristine” – in mass production. More at www.vittoria.com