Where materials meet innovation

TenCate Advanced Composites says it has supported Delft University of Technology with carbon fibre composite materials for the Delft Hyperloop pod, who achieved first place in the inaugural SpaceX Hyperloop Competition Weekend last January in Hawthorne, CA, US.

Delft Hyperloop’s team, who won the overall award in addition to the award for best construction and design, were one of only three teams who passed the criteria to progress to a run in the SpaceX Hyperloop test track. Their half-scale pod, which measures 4.5m long and 0.85m in diameter, was the first pod shell to be designed using carbon fibre composites, winning the “Pod Innovation Award” during the competition’s January 2016 design weekend. From this milestone event, 29 teams from across the globe were selected to progress and manufacture a scaled version of their pod design, culminating in this year’s competition.

TenCate provided Delft’s team with the supply of epoxy-based carbon fibre composite materials for the manufacture of the pod’s monocoque, resulting in a strong yet lightweight pod weighing only 149kg. The competition follows 18 months of design, build and development by the student team at TU Delft, which was judged on speed, efficiency, safety and scalability of design.

The Hyperloop concept was coined in 2013, described the concept as the “fifth mode of transportation”. Combining the convenience of rail with the speed of air travel, the world’s first Hyperloop pod competition has an ethos of sharing knowledge and promoting partnership and innovation.

“We’re excited to be part of TU Delft’s journey during this historic Hyperloop pod competition,” stated Steven Mead, chief commercial officer of TenCate Advanced Composites. “This is a prime example of where the inherent lightweight and strong properties of advanced composite materials meet the demand for the new frontiers of mass transportation.”

The materials from TenCate have been supplied from its recently opened European Centre of Excellence for thermoset systems in Langley Mill, UK. The pod will be displayed by TenCate Advanced Composites at JEC World, Paris, 14–16 March, on stand 5A/U40.





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