For anyone doubting the durability of graphene and carbon nanotube technology perhaps the collaboration between Zyvex Technologies and ENVE Composites will convince you to think again.
The two companies have been working jointly on producing a bicycle wheel rim specifically designed to withstand the rigours of downhill mountain biking. The resulting wheel, which employs Zyvex’s branded CNT and graphene composite material to achieve its incredible strength, gains its durability from the company’s proprietary Kentera technology which cleverly enables the creation of chemical bonding on the side of the carbon nanotubes.
ENVE Composites have an exclusive license to produce cycling applications using the Zyvex nanocomposite materials and have already helped their sponsored rider Greg Minnaar to achieve success at the 2012 World Cup opener in South Africa. Speaking of the partnership with Zyvex, Jason Shiers, founder of ENVE Composites, said,
“The ENVE-Zyvex partnership has introduced the first carbon fibre rim specifically designed for the downhill cyclist… During development and testing the wheels have won over 50 podiums in competitions around the world. These results validate ENVE’s success using Zyvex Arovex. Downhill racing is extreme in nature and the fact that these new rims have survived the most challenging tracks in the world make them truly one-of-a-kind.”
The success of the graphene and carbon nanotube wheels is partly due to their ability to retain a weight advantage whilst adding a very fine marriage of strength, durability and stiffness. Traditional alloy wheel rims simply cannot compete on the same terms with these new wheels; whereas traditional aluminium rims last no more than three downhill runs before needing to be changed, causing an elite race team to change rims more than 180 times during a season, one pair of the new graphene and CNT composite rims have lasted World Cup downhill racing champion Steve Peat raced the entire 2011 season.
The use of Zyvex’s composites in downhill mountain biking is just one of the many uses being found for the company’s products. The “Kentera” technology that binds carbon nanotubes in the production of the branded Arovex material has also found applications in the, automotive, marine, aerospace, and defence industries.
How Zyvex Is Unlocking The Power Of Graphene And CNT’s
Speaking on the uses of carbon nano materials, CNT’s and graphene, Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Technologies, has echoed the idea that that the 21st century will be marked by the rise of graphene and the replacement of silicon in product design.
“The use of carbon atoms in the 21st century will be as significant as the use of silicon in the 20th century… Zyvex is the first company to globally commercialise nano-enhanced products from carbon atoms and the value of building a $40-billion supply chain in less than four years means that partners like Composites One convey these advances to companies like ENVE who are constantly innovating products. Our advanced materials weigh less and have increased strength. We are changing the way products are manufactured and perform.”
Zyvex was founded in 1997 and was the first molecular nanotechnology company. Its success in a developing a number of atomically precise products meant restructuring into four separate companies in 2007 to allow each branch to focus on the needs of their particular industry sector. Zyvex instruments, the branch focused on the semi conductor industry, was acquired by DCG Systems in 2010.