Pushing its paint aerodynamics technology to the limit, Sikkens has teamed up with student engineers to create two world champion vehicles – the VeloX3 hi-speed bike and the Nuna7 solar car.
Innovation is at the heart of Sikkens’ high-performance coatings. And nowhere is this innovation more apparent than in the world-beating alliance with the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. In the space of two months, Sikkens’ Creating Together partnership with the university’s student engineers has produced not one, but two world-beating vehicles.
First, in September 2013, the Sikkens-coated high-speed bike, VeloX3, smashed the 133 km/hour world record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada. Building on its experience of developing coatings for Formula 1 cars, Sikkens convinced the engineers to build a new shell for the recumbent bike that would make the most of the paint’s aerodynamic properties, resulting in at least 14 % less air resistance. “We were tremendously pleased that AkzoNobel partnered our project,” says Wouter Lion, head of the Human Power Team. “Their knowledge of materials processing and innovative coat- ings was vital to perfecting the VeloX3 and breaking the speed record in Nevada.”
Then, just one month later, Sikkens’ advanced coatings helped power the Nuna7 solar car to first place at the World Solar Challenge – a five-day, 1,900 mile race through the Australian outback from Darwin to Adelaide. An endurance test both for drivers and paint technology,
the solar race took 33 hours for the Nuna7 to complete, at an average speed of 60 mph. “We clearly had the better technology,” explains the victorious Nuna7 driver and PR manager, Leslie Nooteboom. “This year’s addition of the new Sikkens pinhole filler gave us an even smoother, lighter finish and a winning competitive edge.”
For AkzoNobel, these two world-beating vehicles repre- sent a key strategy for the future. As John Grevers, Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC) Technical Coordinator for Benelux, explains, “We think these mate- rials can be used in the future on consumer vehicles. So for us, an event like the World Solar Challenge is more than a car race. It’s part of fulfilling our goal to find more sustainable ways to paint the family car.”