Buers, Austria – Polyurethane vibration protection could be an important part in super-fast Hyperloop transportation, if students from the Technical University of Munich are correct.
Polyurethane in Hyperloop trackbed trials
Students from the university's department of mechanical engineering recently presented a prototype of the transport system. Hyperloop, devised by Elon Musk, will involve pods or trains moving through vacuum tubes at great speed over long distances.
They may travel at speeds of up to 1125 km/h (700 mph), and vibration could be a problem for the track bed.
The students' prototype project uses Getzner's Sylomer elastomeric polyurethane bearings between a concrete slab and the central rail. The polyurethane introduces a defined elasticity to the track. It runs for the whole 300 m length of the prototype. It has 125 mm width, the Austrian company explained.
This means that uniform deflection is guaranteed at high speeds and can be allowed for. Additonaly, the material compensates for any unevenness of the concrete slab.
On 14 June, students from TU Munich presented their prototype in the Hyperloop Pod Competition 2018. This was held in Garching near Munich, Germany.
On 22 July, the students will be taking their prototype to California to compete against hundreds of international student teams to set a new speed record.