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Nov 27, 2015 1:45 PM

Carbon to aid pursuit of new titles: Luge World Cup champions start season with new sled made by thyssenkrupp

The luge team of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken will start the winter season in Innsbruck next Saturday with a new sled developed by thyssenkrupp. The sled was designed and built in a development partnership launched last year aimed at optimizing the handling characteristics of the luge. Engineers from thyssenkrupp are contributing their extensive material and manufacturing expertise to the project. The aim is to use carbon to make the sled much faster in the future.

“Our ambition is to defend our World Cup title and also win our first doubles World Championship this winter,” says back driver Sascha Benecken. He and Toni Eggert have been a team since 2010. In 2013 they became European Champions together. Their goal is to win gold at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea.

The collaboration with thyssenkrupp began last winter season. The season’s successful results vindicated the development approach: Driving the sled co-developed by thyssenkrupp, Eggert/Benecken won the overall World Cup as well as the German championship title.

“Last winter we focused mainly on the runners,” explains Peter Wiesner, head of the development center for engine components at thyssenkrupp. “This summer we widened our efforts. Our experts in carbon fiber materials together with the drivers examined and enhanced the pod of the luge. With the new material and our processing capabilities we’re very confident that we’ve made the sled a vital few thousands of a second faster.” Carbon is an innovative material of the future – very light yet extremely strong. The engineers from thyssenkrupp TechCenter Carbon Composites in Dresden were able to apply their experience from projects with the auto and aircraft industries to the luge.

“thyssenkrupp is a strong partner and opens up whole new possibilities in sled development. We’re looking forward to starting the season with the new sled and taking a further step, together with thyssenkrupp, towards the Olympics,” says front driver Toni Eggert.

High-performance luge sleds are highly advanced pieces of equipment. Weight, aerodynamics and maneuverability are the most important criteria when it comes to slicing off vital seconds on the ice course. During the race the sleds are subjected to huge forces. The two-man sleds reach speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour. Especially in bends, centrifugal forces of up to 1.3 tons act on the sled structure, placing extremely high demands on drivers and material.

See and read more about the development partnership between thyssenkrupp and the Eggert/Benecken luge team on our Company Blog: