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Breaking the limits using SKF

By Naut Meinders | July 3, 2019

A year at Delft Hyperloop starts with defining our goals. We wanted to win and break the hyperloop world speed record. During the conceptual phase we found that we can reach the highest top speed using rotary motors. So, this meant we were about to build a wheel drive vehicle. When using wheels, the use of bearings was a logical choice for us. We decided to use super precision bearings from SKF in our vehicle. These bearings can handle extremely high RPM.

After designing the pod, it is time to build the vehicle. When we were done with manufacturing the parts it was time to assemble everything. Bearings were pressed on the driveshaft and in the housing. When we were done with assembling the vehicle it was time to test it.

During the testing phase SKF sponsored some essential products for our flywheel test setup. On this flywheel test setup, we can test our entire drivetrain and braking system under extreme conditions. The flywheel is connected to a motor using a belt. When using a belt to propel the flywheel it is essential to have the right tension on the belt. We can measure this with a sponsored belt frequency measurement tool from SKF. Under different pretensions the belt has a different natural frequency and so we can put the belt on the right pretension.

After preparing the test setup it is time to test our wheels and bearings. This can be seen in the picture below. Performing these tests allowed us to iterate on the wheel design and in the end have wheels which are able to run at extremely high speeds. Now we are ready to race on the 21st of July in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.