SGL Carbon/ TU Munich
SGL Carbon supports students from the TU Munich in developing Hyperloop capsule

04.07.2019 A new Hyperloop capsule – made in Germany – was presented to the public at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Garching/Germany. The prototype was developed and built by students at TUM to enter into this year’s Space X hyperloop pod competition on July 21 in Los Angeles.

© Photo: TU Munich

With the support of SGL Carbon SE, Wiesbaden/Germany, students at the TUM have developed an optimized Hyperloop prototype and presented their innovation mid of June in Munich. This especially lightweight and stable capsule (called pod) represents their contribution to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Hyperloop competition on July 21, 2019, in Los Angeles. Here, student teams from all over the world will compete for the fastest, best pod system. Like a sort of pneumatic tube, the pods shoot through a near vacuum tube, shaping the way for new future forms of mobility.

Ever since the Hyperloop competition began in 2017, TUM students have received expert support and carbon fiber materials from SGL Carbon. For the 3rd time in a row, the team from TUM took 1st place. In 2018, the special capsule from Munich flew through the 1,200 m test tube at a velocity of 467 km/h.

This year was once again all about maximum speed. The pod has to be especially light, but at the same time extremely stable to withstand the loads of the high speeds in the tube. Thanks to the support from SGL Carbon, it was possible to test out different material variants. Ultimately, the team opted for a pre-impregnated woven carbon fiber material, a so-called prepreg.

Based on design and material optimizations, the carbon component of the current pod weights around 10% less than the previous model (5.6 kg compared to 6.1 kg). In addition, the mounts for the shell are now built completely out of carbon, instead of the previous plastic solution, cutting the weight in half from 1.5 kg to 700 g.