Students at two Dutch universities who teamed up with coatings experts from AkzoNobel are attempting to smash the world speed record for a human-powered vehicle.
The Human Power Team from Delft Technical University and the Free University of Amsterdam plan to exceed the current record of 133 km/h with their VeloX3 recumbent bicycle, which features an ultra-light coating developed by the company’s Sikkens brand.
Calling on the sort of expertise which is already helping the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team to increase aerodynamic performance and track speed, Sikkens has partnered with the Human Power Team to supply an innovative coating which has improved the VeloX3's air resistance by 14 percent. Which means its total air resistance can now be compared to that of a beer mat in an airstream.
"We regard this as a unique opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with these students, who have already been working very hard on this fantastic project for almost a year," said Marc Michelsen, Communications & Sustainability Director at AkzoNobel's Automotive and Aerospace Coatings business.
"These talented scientists give us a unique opportunity to look at questions in a new way and to work together to devise solutions that may have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of our customers."
Added Wouter Lion, head of the Human Power Team: "We're extremely pleased that AkzoNobel has partnered with us on the project. With their knowledge of materials processing and innovative coatings, we have taken an enormous step towards perfecting the VeloX3 and breaking the speed record in Nevada has come significantly closer for us."
The world record attempt will take place in the Nevada desert later this year, when Delft students will also be entering the World Solar Challenge with the Nuna7 – another vehicle developed with the help of experts from Sikkens.