first_imgThe taller buildings get, the faster we need elevators to go so as to keep travel times at an acceptable level. It sounds ludicrous to have to worry about time spent in an elevator, but when you’re talking about buildings hundreds of meters tall, speed is essential.The latest structure to require an elevator system is the 632 meter tall Shanghai Tower in China. As far as I know, the fastest elevator to date is located in the Taipei 101 building and travels at 1,010 meters per minute. If that got installed in the Shanghai Tower, it would take all of 37 seconds to go from the ground floor to the top.Mitsubishi has been tasked with developing the elevator for the Tower, and it clearly wasn’t happy with 1,010 meters per minute. Its new elevator will become the world’s fastest when installed, as it travels at 1,080 meters per minute. That means the height of the Shanghai Tower can be traveled in just 35 seconds. In order to save those 2 seconds, Mitsubishi manages to cover 18 meters every second of travel. Although in reality that time will be extended for the speed up and slowdown phases so as not to fling the occupants of the elevator into the ceiling and floor.Developing an elevator capable of such speeds is no easy task. Mitsubishi had to come up with a new two-tier breaking system and use brake shoes made of ceramic capable of handling 1,000o Celsius temperatures. The shaft also required a new, stronger rope called sfleX-rope. It combines steel wire and plastic, and allows 85% more load to be handled under breaking while only increasing the weight of the rope by 18%. That additional weight is compensated for by a control cable that is much lighter than previous Mitsubishi elevators.Passengers aboard the Shanghai Tower elevator shouldn’t be able to feel any vibration during travel, and best of all ear popping will not be an issue. Vibration is removed via an active roller guide that counteracts any vibration that occurs. Pressure changes are nullified by an air pressure control system that adjusts the pressure in the elevator depending on your current location in the shaft.The Mitsubishi elevator system is set to become operational in the Shanghai Tower by 2014.via Tech-On!last_img read more