At the 2013 World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC) in Nevada, the Human Power Team from The Netherlands was named as the winner on Sept. 18, having achieved a new world record speed of 133.78 kmh (81 mph). Their Velox3 vehicle was solely powered by human efforts. Its aerodynamic composite shell was made from lightweight materials supplied by DSM Composite Resins AG (Schaffhausen, Switzerland).
The WHPSC is held annually near the American village of Battle Mountain, Nev. For the event, the Sunrise and Sunset Highway (SR305) remains closed for five days. This straight stretch of highway is 10 km (6.2 miles) long and has a maximum slope of 0.65 percent. Because the highway is in the middle of the desert, there are no buildings, and the Velox3 met very few obstacles.
The shell of the Velox3 was manufactured using DSM's Daron resins, optimized for use in a vacuum infusion process. Daron resins can be used with carbon fiber reinforcements, thanks to their low inherent viscosity, which promotes fast fiber wetout. They also reportedly have excellent adhesion with the carbon fiber, and can be easily adjusted for making complex shaped parts.
“At the moment of truth, both the technical and human side came together in the right way,” Netherlands commented team leader Wouter Lion. "This superlight Velox3 allowed our Sebastiaan Bowier to become the fastest driver in the world of a human-powered vehicle.”
“DSM’s involvement in the Velox3 perfectly illustrates its commitment to both performance and innovation,” adds Fons Harbers, commercial director, DSM Composite Resins. “By creating the right environment, we develop together with our partners technologies that bring benefits to both people and planet.”
Videos showing the Velox3 in action can be found on the Human Power Team’s YouTube channel.