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Construction Begins on First Hyperloop Capsule

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (California) is one step closer to making the newest mode of transportation a reality after announcing late last month that it has begun construction on the world’s first full-scale Passenger Hyperloop Capsule.

The official reveal will take place in early 2018 at HTT’s research and development center in Toulouse, France, where it will then be utilized in a commercial system that will soon be announced, according to the company.

Photos: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced late last month that it has begun construction on the world’s first full-scale Passenger Hyperloop Capsule.

The Hyperloop transportation system consists of a depressurized cylinder made of a series of tubes in which a levitating pod, or capsule, travels at high speeds on a cushion of air.

HTT announced last year that the capsules will be made of a carbon fiber composite material called “Vibranium”—inspired by the fictional material used to protect Captain America—that the company developed with Slovakian materials firm c2i, which focuses on engineering carbon fiber structures for next-generation cars and aircraft.

Composites Manufacturing Magazine reported at the time that the composite will cover the inside and outside of the capsules. According to Hyperloop, the carbon fiber composites are eight times stronger than aluminum and 10 times stronger than steel alternatives. That material is said to also be lighter in weight—about five times less than steel and nearly two times less than aluminum, which in theory would reduce the energy output needed to propel the capsule.

While specific concerns have not been addressed at length, HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said after the composite material was formed, “Safety is one of the most important aspects of our system. We are 10 times safer than an airplane. Our collaboration with Slovakia and their technical skills in new materials, automotive and production processes have made this technology possible.”

The company also said the material would be embedded with sensors to constantly monitor everything about the capsule, allowing the company to know which pods need repairs before a problem becomes apparent.

The dimensions for the capsule being constructed are said to be 98.5 feet long and 9 feet wide. It will weigh about 20 tons and have the capability of holding 28-40 passengers with an estimated speed of 760 mph.

HTT also announced it will be working with industrial group Carbures S.A. (Spain), which specializes in manufacturing of composite structures.

HTT also said the material would be embedded with sensors to constantly monitor everything about the capsule, allowing the company to know which pods needed repairs before a problem became apparent.

“This is a fascinating project utilizing our expertise and technology around the world,” said Carbures Cofounder and Chairman Rafael Contreras. “We are pleased to work in this innovative, global and important project.”

HTT is the main competitor to Hyperloop One, which is most notably working on its own Hyperloop system in the United Arab Emirates. Visionary SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who first proposed the Hyperloop transportation system, open-sourced the idea, inviting companies to make their own innovations in the Hyperloop world to make his concept a reality.

   

Tagged categories: Aluminum; Asia Pacific; Design build; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Steel; Transportation

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