The Winning Team of the Hyperloop Competition Counts on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic

TU Munich's Hyperloop Pod for the Competition 2019

TU Munich's Hyperloop Pod for the Competition 2019

At a glance

  • For the fourth year in a row, students of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) won Elon Musk’s Hyperloop competition 
  • The optimized prototype of the TUM uses carbon fiber reinforced material from SGL Carbon 
  • Sponsoring and cooperation also planned for 2020

On July 21, 2019, the team from the Technical University of Munich won the prestigious SpaceX Hyperloop competition in Los Angeles for the fourth time. This year, the special capsule from Munich shot through the 1,200 meter long test tube at 288 mph, surpassing its own speed record of 284 mph from the previous year. 

One component of this success are carbon materials, which the team developed and implemented together with specialists from SGL Carbon. "This year we have optimized the outer skin of the capsule", says Paloma García Guillen from the TUM team. "We have replaced some parts that used to be made of plastic with carbon. This has made the shell around a kilo lighter, but at the same time extremely stable to withstand the high pressure and centrifugal forces in the tube. SGL Carbon has given us a variety of material mixes to try out. That was a very important plus point," she emphasizes. The result: a slim prototype, almost 1.70 meters long, 50 centimeters wide and weighing a total of 70 kilograms.

Since the start of the Hyperloop competitions in 2017, the students of the TU Munich and SGL Carbon are working together. "We have had very good experiences in our cooperation and are pleased that we will be on board again as partner and sponsor next year," says Dr. Christoph Ebel, Head of the Lightweight and Application Center at SGL Carbon. "We congratulate the TUM team on their victory. The fourth victory in a row underlines the enormous competence of the team. It also shows how important the choice of the right material is for future mobility".

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