The last 8 months Mercon has been working on an important step in a very innovative project called Hyperloop. Hyperloop is a CO2 emission-free transport concept for cargo and people based on a low-pressure tube and magnetic propulsion and levitation. This concept is further developed by a Dutch based company called HARDT (Hardt – Home) to establish an European standard and network.
After a successful test at a test facility in Delft, the next step is to build an European Hyperloop Centre in Groningen where tests on much larger scale and higher speed can be performed. Before this, it was necessary to do some additional tests on different aspects like manufacturability, (semi-)automation, reachable tolerances and thermal expansion.
In 2020 HARDT was looking for a multidisciplinary partner for further improvement of the design, production, assembly with a own test facility for a 36m test track. At that moment Mercon got involved in the project. In the last 8 months Mercon has developed and produced an installation rig, fabricated and assembled flange connections and assembled all internals to three 12m long tubes. These tubes and internals were aligned within the highest tolerances and mounted, together with an expansion joint, on concrete foundations on Mercon’s premises.
After pouring a concrete floor, laser-measurements and installation of blind flanges, earthing and vacuum pump, several tests were performed before disassembly. The rig is reassembled at the knowledge and innovation center “BuildinG-Proeftuin” facility in Groningen. These activities have been finished at the beginning of June ’21. The next phase of the project is to incorporate all the experiences into a final design for the EHC test track. Mercon will keep giving their support to the project by bringing in knowhow and experience on manufacturability, (semi-)automation and reachable tolerances before starting the mass-production of tubes for the test track.
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For the video’s of this interesting project please find below:
- Road to the European Hyperloop Center – Introduction
- Testing the system that ensures smooth travel at hyperloop speeds – Road to the EHC part 1
- Hyperloop low-pressure testing and construction methods – Road to the EHC part 2
- Transport of the infrastructure prototype to Groningen
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