Swissloop Gold Partner

Participating in Hyperloop, a competition sponsored by SpaceX, a team of students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have developed a model for a vehicle that could carry passengers from Zurich to Geneva in only 15 minutes.

Source: ETH, Zurich

Since 2015, more than 100 teams of students around the world have developed concepts for a vacuum capsule. In the final stage at the end of August 2017, the 27 best prototypes will compete against one another in California on a test track that consists of a 1.25-kilometer long tube.

Never give up– Team Swissloop is in the final

The finished prototype – known as the 'pod' – was due to be unveiled to the press and sponsors, but until just a few hours before this event the team had resigned themselves to not being able to test their pod in California. They thought that they would be travelling to California as exhibitors only.

Then something happened that no one had anticipated:

Huge delight in Team Swissloop over final-stage confirmation.

Having faced many setbacks, Team Swissloop succeeded in passing the stringent safety check and was thus approved for testing on the test track!

Developing solutions together

Bucher Hydraulics always strives to set new standards in technology, quality, manufacturing, delivery and customer care. For more than 100 years, we have achieved success by being a reliable partner and supplier of customised hydraulic systems and control solutions.

As a Gold Partner, we are supporting the Swissloop team in the development of the braking system. Braking systems ensure the controlled deceleration and safe standstill of the entire system and its movable components. As safety-critical elements, they have to satisfy the very highest requirements. Reliability and durability are of prime importance for the safety and quality of the whole system.

In the laboratory in ETH, Zurich. Our engineer at the commissioning of braking-system components that are specially manufactured for Swissloop.

The development of the braking system

The hydraulically actuated responsive brakes on the pod slow it down by pressing the brake pads onto the guide rail via pivot arms. When braking is activated, the valves in the brake control block open so that oil pressure from the hydraulic accumulators acts on the brake cylinders. In addition to the tight schedule, the challenge in the development phase was to use as little energy as possible.

The solution developed jointly by Bucher Hydraulics and Swissloop works without needing a continuously running pump for supplying oil. By using pressure accumulators, the pump for the braking system, together with an electrical supply from a rechargeable battery, can all be dispensed with. It was thus possible to plan a significantly smaller and more compact battery, with the added benefit of saving weight.

The pressure accumulators are charged with a hand pump before the test run. The absolutely leak-free valves from Bucher Hydraulics ensure that the pressure is maintained during the entire period of operation. For braking, the valves open and apply pressure to the brake cylinders.

Working together on the braking system right up to the commissioning stage.
The braking system valve block, designed specifically for Swissloop.

Your partner for innovative concepts

“At Bucher Hydraulics we are very happy to support new and innovative projects and to promote young talents.”

We have used our technical know-how and experience to support Team Swissloop's product development efforts from the early planning phase right through to the finished machine. We specialise in applications with technically demanding solutions that satisfy the highest requirements and quality standards.

We wish our Swissloop team good luck and success on the test track in California!

Created By
Gabi Olpp

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