The Insider View: Graphene manufactured and applied

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Lomazzo (IT) – 26 October 2015 – Vittoria and Directa Plus host a unique opportunity to get an inside view in the factory where pristine Graphene is produced. Not only will a select audience get a first-hand experience in seeing the blocking patent-protected end-to-end manufacturing process, they are exclusively selected to share the story of a material that is making it possible for Vittoria to lead a cycling revolution.

Vittoria and Directa Plus: the Graphene Journey
Directa Plus started its journey in 2005, in a time when a number of companies joined a race in blocking patents that would give them a huge head start in the market for recently isolated material Graphene. With a philosophy of environmental neutrality, Directa Plus chose a unique clean direction that eventually gave them the edge in the bulk manufacturing of pristine Graphene nanoplatelets. At exactly the right time for both companies, the chairmen met each other at a function. When the application of Graphene became a logical next step, Vittoria offered the challenge to try and make this material work for cycling wheels and tires. With continuous and significant investments, Vittoria is always seeking the cutting edge in cycling performance products through innovation. Through the Directa Plus-Vittoria partnership, both companies have unlocked a whole new level.

Unique Properties of Revolutionary Material Graphene
The guided tour immediately makes clear that the state of the art facilities of Directa Plus set the bar for next generation manufacturing. In a very white and clean environment, every step in the manufacturing process takes place in a very compact area and provide a different product with a dedicated purpose. The company is extremely proud of the achievement to have zero impact on the environment. Both Vittoria and Directa Plus share an intense focus on quality, safety, health and environmental protection and this is clearly visible throughout the factory tour. After a close look at the overall production plant, the super-expansion process, the exfoliation and the output of 30 tons of Graphene end products in various shapes and forms, unique real-life applications are demonstrated.

One of the Graphene Plus’ products is a super-performant adsorbent towards hydrocarbons for water and soil purification. As demonstrated in the presence of the attendees, a highly polluted water tank is filtered with Graphene resulting in potable water. Safety requirements prevent a live fireresistance demo, but Directa Plus shows a video that demonstrates the ability to treat a material with Graphene to achieve a completely non-flammable end result. Additional practical applications were illustrated through Vittoria best practices: commercial products, available for sale worldwide.

The Vittoria Best Practices: Carbon, Rubber, Special Applications
Vittoria introduced Graphene-enhanced carbon wheels for high performance road and MTB wheels in 2014. In close collaboration with Directa Plus, Vittoria will also soon introduce full carbon clinchers that can be mounted as a tubeless system. In September this year, Vittoria announced a massive revision of its product range that includes the fastest road tire ever measured, as well as the best uncompromised competitive products for road racing in the market. Furthermore, a highly innovative combination of Graphene and Vittoria’s 4C (4 compound) technology has enabled the introduction of more strength, more grip and greater durability for performance MTB tires. Vittoria even extended its newfound Graphene expertise to deliver fast-rolling and durable city tires that bring the greatly enhanced rubber properties to all consumers.

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of all is the combined expertise of Directa Plus for Graphene and the tire construction capabilities of Vittoria’s manufacturing facility Lion Tyres,
dedicated to the special application of electric mountain bike tires. Again leveraging the 4C technology and specific Graphene-enhanced compounds, Vittoria has now developed 2 tires that can handle the electric engine torque as well as the roughest of terrains seemingly without effort.

No Compromise.
Effectively, the introduction of Graphene allows for natural material barriers of rubber to be removed, which means that there is no longer the need for compromises between speed, grip, durability and puncture resistance. All these features are now reaching their maximum possibilities.

Full carbon wheels will also reach new heights. With the application of Graphene, the natural properties of carbon are pushed way beyond natural limits in lateral stiffness, impact strength, weight reduction and heat dissipation, just to highlight a few key areas. The features of carbon are now extended to withstand the high pressure of tubeless mounted tires even under heavy braking circumstances without compromise.

In short, this is why Vittoria has started a cycling revolution.

About Vittoria:
Vittoria Industries Ltd. is an international group that acquired the famous premium cotton tubular tires producer Vittoria Spa in 1990. Vittoria has built highly reputable partnerships within in the cycling industry and created a distinct brand image. Today, Vittoria Industries is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bicycle tires with an annual production of approximately 7 million tires and 900,000 high performance tubulars and cotton tires. Its research & development center develops the best racing tires at all levels. Vittoria also entered the premium wheels’ market in 2014. Vittoria’s worldwide commercial operations are shared among three distinct regions: Vittoria SpA is responsible for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EMEA & LATAM). Vittoria Industries North America, Inc., is responsible for North America. Vittoria Asia Pacific is responsible for Asia Pacific region. The group holding company, Vittoria Industries Ltd, carries out manufacturing and R&D at its fully owned Lion Tyres Thailand Ltd factory in Bangkok.

About Directa Plus:
Directa Plus is a technological company, founded in 2005 in the US and today headquartered in the Science and Technological Park of ComoNExt (Lomazzo, near Como), which develops processes for the production of a new generation of graphene-based nanomaterials targeting existing global markets. In June 2014, Directa Plus opened “The Graphene Factory”, the largest European pristine graphene nanoplatelets industrial production unit, based on patented technology. The aim of the company is positioning itself downstream in the value chain creating ready-to-use materials and designing innovative alliances with important industrial companies that want to apply this new generation of enabling materials to their product lines, transforming them from traditional to highly technological ones. To date Directa Plus holds 36 granted patents and 8 pending patents.