Side view of the carbon fiber composite Delft Hyperloop pod.
Side view of the carbon fiber composite Delft Hyperloop pod.

A transport pod, featuring TenCate’s carbon fiber composite material, has achieved first place in the inaugural SpaceX Hyperloop Competition Weekend in the US.

The half-scale pod was designed by students at Delft University of Technology in and the Netherlands measures 4.5 m long and 0.85 m in diameter. It is the first pod shell to be designed using carbon fiber composites and won the ‘Pod Innovation Award’ during the competition’s January 2016 design weekend.

The Hyperloop, unveiled by inventor Elon Musk in 2013, is intended to be a new high-speed ground transport and transit system, with capsules (pods) travelling in a system of air pressure tubes. The Hyperloop can operate at a top speed of 1200 km/h. The official SpaceX Hyperloop pod competition’s test tube, designed to help accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype, is 1.25 km long and 1.8m diameter.

TenCate supplied Delft’s team with epoxy-based carbon fiber composite materials for the manufacture of the pod’s monocoque, resulting in a strong pod weighing 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.’

This story is reprinted from material from TenCate, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.