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At the 2012 World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada, the Human Power Team from the Netherlands was named as winner achieving a top speed of 128 km/h powered only by human efforts.
Their Velox2 bicycle did not contain an engine and was solely powered by human efforts. Both for reaching such elevated speeds as well as in protecting the drivers inside, the design of the bicycle clearly made the difference.
The team partnered with DSM for the development of the Velox2 bicycle, taking full advantage of the material and design expertise of DSM Composite Resins to make a light weight composite construction and optimize the shape for superior aerodynamics.
The shell of the Velox2 was constructed with DSM’s Palapreg® ECO resin. 55% based on raw material from bio sources, this material provides a more sustainable alternative to oil-based resins without making any compromises on performance. In addition to the shell, the team used DSM’s Stanyl®, a high-performance polyamide, instead of steel for rollers within the drive-train. This ensured not only a reduction in weight, but also minimized the friction between the different components.
During the first few days the safety attributes of the canopy were put to the test. A puncture while going nearly 120 km/h meant that the rider lost control, swerved off the road and crashed into the surrounding desert. However, due to strong shell absorbing the impact, the rider escaped unharmed while the bicycle was replaced with an exact copy. Achieving a top speed of 128 km/h the Human Power Team finally ensured they were named as winners of the 2012 World Human Powered Speed Challenge, beating 17 other teams taking part across different categories.
“This is a nice illustration of how we work with our customers so they can win in their markets”, says Robert Puyenbroek, CTO DSM Composite Resins. “We fully utilize novel resin technology and help our customers to develop lighter, faster and more reliable composite solutions.”
“We suggested bio-resins for this application to demonstrate that long-term security of supply and performance can go hand in hand”, adds Fons Harbers, Commercial Director DSM Composite Resins. “As DSM we do take our mission seriously, and continue to be committed to sustainability and the long-term viability of the Composites Industry.”