Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands) won the inaugural SpaceX Hyperloop Competition Weekend – a test among university students at 30 universities around the world to produce the best possible prototype of a Hyperloop pod. The Hyperloop was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013 as a new high-speed ground transport and transit system, with capsules traveling in a system of air pressure tubes.
The competition followed 18 months of designing, building and development by each student team, which was judged on speed, efficiency, safety and scalability of design.
Delft Hyperloop’s team, who won the overall award in addition to the award for best construction and design, was one of only three teams who passed the criteria to progress to a run in the SpaceX Hyperloop test track.
TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading global composite materials company, supported Delft University of Technology by providing the team with epoxy-based carbon fiber composite materials to manufacture the pod’s monocoque. As a result, their half-scale pod, which measures 4.5m long and 0.85m in diameter, was strong yet lightweight, coming in at only 149 kg.
“We’re excited to be part of TU Delft’s journey during this historic Hyperloop pod competition,” said 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.”
Many of the other secondary award-winning teams also used composites, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which won a Pod Innovation Award; MIT, which won the Safety and Reliability Award; and the Technical University of Munich, which won Fastest Pod Award.
The final phase of the competition will be held sometime this summer at a date to be determined. All 30 teams will be welcome to attend, but those that did not meet the requirements needed to gain access to the test track last weekend will have to edit their designs.