Surwon Technology tests graphene-enhanced 'wet' tires

UPDATE: In March 2019, Surwon commented that the street-legal version of its graphene-enhanced tire would be prohibitively-expensive if it and its partner were to produce a finished version using the current rubber compound’s configuration. It appears that while Surwon sees potential for the tires, it may still be a ways to go before launching and arriving at competitive pricing. In April 2019, Surwon decided to discontinue its efforts to make a commercially-available graphene-enhanced road-legal tire.

Surwon Technology, a Hong Kong based materials developer, is reportedly conducting 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.

During races and qualifying sessions, wet weather tires are deployed when the rain makes the standard slick tires used on dry tarmac impractical. Teams change their cars' tires from slicks to so-called "wets" which are able to clear far more water from the track, thereby reducing aquaplaning and keeping the cars on the tarmac. However, when the rain stops and the track begins to dry out, they tend to heat up very quickly; this has an adverse impact on grip and dramatically reduces lap times forcing teams to change back to slicks as quickly as possible.

the wet weather prototype reportedly not only displaces more water while the track is drenched, it also dissipates more of the heat that builds up in traditional wets as the tarmac dries out. This enables the team to keep cars and drivers out that little bit longer so they can open up a greater gap over rivals during the crucial pit stops," explained Surwon Technology's Chief Technical Officer.

Surwon's tire is being tested in collaboration with an unnamed automotive rubber products supplier rumored to have plans to enter Formula 1 in the future as a rival to the sport's current sole supplier, Pirelli.

In February 2018, Surwon reported a new graphene-based technique with the potential of doubling the life-time performance of conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Posted: Apr 05,2018 by Roni Peleg