Skip to content
shift hyperloop illustration

Stories by Hydro

Aluminium ideal for ‘hyperloop’ technology

Hydro is sponsoring a group of Norwegian students competing in an international effort to realize high-speed “hyperloop” transportation.

Shift Hyperloop is a technical student organization founded two years ago at NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The group wants to be the leader the driving force for the development of hyperloop technology at student level in Norway and internationally, “and not least to have fun with technology and innovation,” says Olav Sjøvold, deputy project manager at Shift Hyperloop.

Now with over 80 active members and mentors, the group is developing technology for European Hyperloop Week in the summer of 2021.

While not a completely novel concept – Jules Verne envisioned a hyperloop concept 150 years ago – it was reinvigorated by Tesla founder Elon Musk, touching off an international drive to build and test hyperloop technology.

In its current form, the concept employs electro-magnetic levitation to transport a pod of passengers or goods in a sealed tube. The Shift Hyperloop group is working on a pod with aluminium.

“The project year is about building one pod and to make it run so fast as possible with scalable solutions,” Eivind Njaastad, technical leader of Shift Hyperloop, explains. “We have set up one new group that examines implementation of The Hyperloop concept in Norway.

“Every project year we work toward the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition (SHPC) in California. To be allowed to participate here we must have built a ‘pod’ that fulfills SpaceX's requirements for safety. We do this by documenting the whole process from design to production and testing.”

Aluminium is ideal for this application because of its qualities in conductivity – yes non-magnetic – as well as light weight and strength-to-weight ratio. Aluminum is very beneficial for recycling compared to competing materials, which is a very important when one wants to develop the next generation means of transport in a sustainable way.

Media in the U.S. have reported that Virgin Hyperloop became the first company to conduct a human test of hyperloop technology. Two volunteers from the project traveled in a pod inside a vacuum tube at a 500-meter test track near Las Vegas. The pod, levitated by magnets, reached 172 kilometers per hour in 6.25 seconds.

“The transportation of the future is depended on the engineers of the future. We are delighted to help bright young students realize this advanced project looking into development of Hyperloop transport systems using aluminium,” says Hilde Kallevig, Head of Brand and Marketing in Hydro.

About Hyperloop

Hyperloop is a concept popularized by Elon Musk, using electromagnetism to levitate a pod that travels through a tube at reduced air pressure around the pod. This eliminates virtually all resistance to movement

Recommended for you