Gratomic successfully reinvents the wheel with plasma graphene
Gratomic Inc. (TSXV: GRAT) is expecting to commercialize graphene-enhanced tires in 2018 as a result of its advanced R&D program to include plasma-generated graphene in tires to increase their strength and reduce their wear by replacing the carbon black in tires with graphite treated with plasma to form graphene.
Who said the wheel can’t be reinvented? Gratomic’s graphene material is being tested in pre-production trials by 5 major tire manufacturers in Asia and Europe with a consolidated demand in excess of 5000 tonnes of graphene annually.
Gratomic Inc. is an advanced materials company focused on mine to market commercialization of graphite products most notably high-value graphene-based components for a range of mass market products. Gratomic is collaborating with, Perpetuus Advanced Materials, a leading European manufacturer of graphene to use graphite from its Aukam project to manufacture graphene products for commercialization on an industrial scale.
Perpetuus has developed and is commercialising a plasma-based reactor process for producing industrial scale, cost-effective, surface engineered Advanced Materials, commencing with graphene.
Test results of tires using plasma processed graphite-derived graphene show:
- Higher grip braking reduced by 2 meters at 50 kph, which is a significant safety feature;
- Improved rolling resistance, which means longer free wheel & increased fuel economy. This is particularly important to fleet managers whose bottom line is highly dependent on fuel economy;
- Comparison of graphene tires to a premium brand tire showed that the graphene tires outlasted the premium non-graphene tires by approximately 5,000 kilometers in real world road conditions; and,
- Cost-effective as compared to carbon black.
Graphene is used as a substitute to carbon black, one of the 4 components of tires: rubber, nylon, steel and carbon black. Carbon black is mainly used as a reinforcing filler in rubber products.
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The black color of tires comes from carbon black, a readily-available material with a superior surface to volume ratio that provides greatly improved wear characteristics and heat-dissipation capabilities when added to rubber compounds. Natural rubber is off-white in color, and in fact the first rubber tires were white. (Source: Wikipedia)
But graphene has a greater surface to volume ratio, which makes it more suitable as a filler in tires. Graphite is composed of many graphene sheets held together by Van der Waals forces to form rigid platelets several hundreds of nanometers thick. Because most of the graphene sheets in graphite which is formed of graphene stacks, are unable to interact with the polymeric matrix, its performance is limited unless they have been dispersed and functionalized, which means adding sticky molecules or atoms to its surface.
The dispersion of graphene from Perpetuus’ plasma technology permits to increase the functional role of graphene as a superior substitute for carbon black. Elastomer blends are prepared for realising the maximum surface area along with empathetic matrix selective functionalization – facilitating the efficient mixing of graphene stacks into the tires elastomeric targeted matrix. Dispersion routes include high shear mixing melt intercalation & in situ polymerisation.
On December 21, 2017, CKR Carbon Corporation announced that the TSX Venture Exchange has approved the change of name of the Company from “CKR Carbon Corporation” to “Gratomic Inc.”. The change of name became effective at the opening of the market on Friday, December 22, 2017 under the new symbol “GRAT”. The CUSIP number assigned to the Company’s shares following the name change is 38900X108.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>