Italian tyre brand Vittoria has partnered with global advanced materials group Haydale for the innovation and supply of graphene.
Vittoria has since 2015 pioneered the application of graphene in the rubber of bicycle tyres. The nanomaterial has proven to create substantial improvements in grip, rolling resistance, puncture resistance and durability. Haydale has over the past 10 years amassed profound know-how and advanced capabilities to produce and functionalise graphene and other nanomaterials for various industries and applications.
The first step of the collaboration has seen Vittoria and Haydale co-develop improved rubber compounds, applying the joined know-how in functionalisation and mixing of the graphene. Laboratory and field tests have proved that these compounds further improve the tyre performances.
Supply of the newly developed graphene has already started, with a first order from Vittoria to Haydale of 1 tonne of functionalised graphene to be delivered in the coming months. Using its new high-capacity HT1400 plasma reactor, Haydale is able to meet Vittoria’s
production requirements and stringent quality standards.
Haydale CEO Keith Broadbent said: “We are excited to be working with Vittoria on their graphene enhanced cycling tyres which demonstrates the impact that our HD Plas functionalisation technology can have on the tyre and wider elastomer market.
“We are also looking forward to working more closely with Graphene Creations, and to leveraging our technical expertise with their business development skills.”
For the mid-term future, Vittoria and Haydale have agreed to investigate the possibility to start production of functionalized graphene directly in Thailand, near the Vittoria Group factories. For this purpose, a Letter of Intent has been signed between Haydale and Vittoria’s co-owned Thai nanotech subsidiary, Graphene Creations Limited.
Stijn Vriends, president and CEO of Vittoria Group, added: “Our unique know how of graphene helps us make the most advanced bicycle tyres on the planet. We are very pleased to partner with Haydale to further innovate in this field and have local production of graphene in Thailand as a common goal.”
Ted P. Thirapatana, CEO of Graphene Creations, said: “We have been working with Haydale for the past couple of years on research and application development projects, so we are extremely confident that by combing Haydale’s unique technical expertise on nano materials and our market access, we will further expand the commercialisation of graphene into various industries.
“Our application development platform is built on several years of tested data collected throughout the sourcing, functionalisation and production processes. It’s just the beginning.”