Tata Steel, South Korea’s POSCO, is jointly developing Hyperloop tubes

Tata Steel Europe and POSCO of South Korea will work together to develop steel pipes needed for high-speed Hyperloop transportation systems, the companies announced on Monday.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop completed the world’s first passenger ride on Sunday with its floating pod system designed to transform the way people and cargo are transported while reducing CO2 emissions.

Tata Steel Europe, a unit of Tata Steel in India, said in a joint statement with the world’s fifth largest steel maker, POSCO, that they would develop high quality steel grades needed for the giant vacuum tubes that enable high-speed transportation with very little energy.

“POSCO has been conducting hyperloop-related research such as feasibility, design and structural optimization of various types of steel pipe for more than 10 years,” said Duk-Lak Lee, director of technical research laboratories at POSCO.

In addition to allowing a vehicle to travel in a low pressure environment where air is removed to reduce drag, the steel tubes must also maintain straightness over very long distances, the companies said.

They didn’t give a timeframe or financial details for their Hyperloop project.

In a Hyperloop system that uses maglev trains to provide near-silent travel, a trip between New York and Washington would only take 30 minutes. That would be twice as fast as a commercial jet flight and four times faster than a bullet train.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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