How SKF bearings helped us realize hyperloop!
For multiple years now we have been maintaining a great partnership with SKF. This year we were again able to cooperate well and were allowed to utilize their wide selection of bearings!
When our pod is travelling, the wheels are the only physical connection between the pod and the track. Together with the suspension system they make sure the pod keeps, literally and figuratively, on track. To allow smooth rotation of the wheels, bearings are required. Bearings are components that create an interface between a moving part (the wheel) and a stationary part (the axle). Choosing the right bearing is a trade-off between maximum strength (large bearings) and maximum velocity (small bearings).
Together with the SKF team, application engineer at SKF, we found two suitable bearings for our pod based on our requirements: at our maximum design velocity, the wheels rotate about 180 times per second. For our lateral guidance system, two of the chosen bearings, the 6300-2Z, are placed inside of the wheels to increase stability and maximum loading. In vertical guidance, two 61902-2Z bearings are placed inside the aluminium rockers with a push-fit so that the axle rotates along for velocity measurements. Pictures of the disassembled vertical guidance system and of the vertical guidance system attached to the pod are shown below.
These bearings, deep groove ball bearings, are very precise and near-frictionless to increase our performance. Moreover, the suffix -2Z means that they are shielded on both sides to protect them from dust and/or sand particles.
Thanks to SKF, we are on track to winning the EHW!