World’s first full-scale hyperloop isolation valves unveiled




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HyperloopTT and GNB Unveil Safety Isolation Valves

  • The 16.5 foot (5.0 m) tall valves were built by GNB KL Group in Elk Grove, California, and will go to HyperloopTT’s Toulouse facility
  • These valves are some of the largest and strongest ever made capable of withstanding forces up to 288,000 pounds
  • Valves will isolate portions of the hyperloop track for easier pressurization for maintenance, emergencies, and other safety considerations
  • GNB has more than 50 years of innovation with historical developments like creating critical components in detecting gravity waves for the first time

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) revealed their safety isolation valves today, critical safety components for HyperloopTT systems. Built to precise specifications by GNB KL Group in Elk Grove, CA, the valves will isolate sections of hyperloop system tubes to allow for easier system pressurization for maintenance or emergency. 

The full-scale valve is built for commercial operations measuring 16.5 feet in height, weighing 77,000 pounds, and can withstand 288,000 pounds  (14.7 PSI) of force. The values can fully open or close within 30 seconds. 

In most emergency scenarios, capsules will stop at pre-determined emergency stations along the route’s length to exit the capsule and tube infrastructure. As a redundant emergency response option, the HyperloopTT system will isolate sections of the tube for re-pressurization. If the capsule is unable to stop at a pre-defined exit, a lit emergency path in the depressurized tube will lead passengers to emergency hatches to safely exit the infrastructure.

GNB began collaborating with HyperloopTT engineers in 2019. Now complete, the valves will be shipped to the HyperloopTT facility in Toulouse, France, for integration and certification.

“This is science and innovation at work,” said U.S. Congressman Ami Bera M.D., “I applaud HyperloopTT and GNB for not just imagining the future but are going out and making it a reality.”

“One of the questions we regularly receive regarding our technology is about safety, especially in emergency scenarios,” said Andres De Leon, CEO of HyperloopTT. “These valves, built to safety certification standards by a world-class leader, are an essential part of hyperloop safety, as they allow us to isolate portions of the track in the event maintenance is needed or in the rare case of an emergency.”

“Working with HyperloopTT has allowed us to showcase our world-class abilities with vacuum parts and technology,” said Ken Harrison, president of GNB. “ We specialize in building specialty valves and chambers for fusion reactors, government science labs, and more, so HyperloopTT’s groundbreaking transportation system is a perfect project for us.”

About HyperloopTT

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) is an innovative transportation and technology company focused on realizing the hyperloop, a system that moves people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably by bringing airplane speeds to the ground. Through the use of unique, patented technology and an advanced collaborative business model, HyperloopTT is creating the first new form of transportation in over a century.

HyperloopTT’s European Research and Development Center in Toulouse, France, the aerospace capital of Europe, is home to the world’s first and only full-scale test system. In 2019, HyperloopTT released the first comprehensive feasibility study analyzing a hyperloop system, which found that the system is economically and technically feasible and will generate a profit without requiring government subsidies. 

Founded in 2013, HyperloopTT is a global team of more than 800 engineers, creatives and technologists in 52 multidisciplinary teams, with 50 corporate and university partners. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and Toulouse, France, HyperloopTT has offices in  North and South America, the Middle East and Europe. 

HyperloopTT is led by Dirk Ahlborn (Founder and Chairman), Andres de Leon (CEO) and a senior management team of experienced professionals.

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About GNB

GNB is a world-class vacuum hardware manufacturing organization and a market leader for large-sized, high-temperature gate valves, valves for highly contaminated environments, valves integrated into systems, and valve customization. With ISO 9000 certification and ASME U-stamp certification, GNB specializes in vacuum valves, angle valves, ball valves, vacuum chambers, and vacuum hardware accessories, including KF flanges, CF flanges, ISO Flanges, and vacuum fittings.

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Ben Cooke

HyperloopTT Head of Media Relations


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