Surwon Technology Says Road Tires May Not Be Financially Viable

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Surwon Technology says the road-legal variant of its graphene-enhanced tire would be prohibitively expensive using the existing compound.

Hong Kong-based graphene pioneer, Surwon Technology says that the street-legal version of its highly promising 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.

The news comes as a blow to those who were expecting an early release of a tire for real-world testing. According to Surwon Technology’s Chief Technology Officer, a 275/40 ZR 17-sized and speed-rated tire that many performance sedans and coupes would use would cost upwards of US$ 1,900 if it were to go on sale today.

“Such pricing would render the tire highly uncompetitive despite its superior wet and dry surface performance and enhanced wear characteristics. We would need to modify the compound to reflect either a lower concentration of the current graphene profile we’re using or a completely different profile that may not work as well in terms of the tire’s water dispersal properties,” he explained.

Surwon Technology says that the compound’s future in a road tire may be short-lived but the firm says its unnamed partner in the research and development effort may be willing to persevere with the project if a budget can be agreed at board level.

“They are very excited by the compound’s potential and we’ve said that a modified graphene profile may be the answer to the pricing issue but until we actually test it in anger, we cannot say if it will retain the excellent grip and wet weather performance of the original,” concluded the Surwon Technology CTO.

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Henry So
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