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Tata Steel Europe and South Korea’s POSCO will collaborate to develop steel tubes needed for high-speed hyperloop transportation systems, the companies said today in a statement.

Tata Steel and POSCO will develop high quality steel grades which are tailored for use in these large diameter tubes – up to 3.5m. Additionally, the companies will join their efforts in research on innovative tube concepts and designs.

The steel tubes not only need to allow a vehicle to travel in a low-pressure environment, where air is removed to cut resistance, but retain straightness over very long distances, the companies said.

Speaking after the collaboration documents were signed in a virtual ceremony, Ernst Hoogenes, Chief Technical Officer at Tata Steel, said: “Globally, hyperloops hold a lot of potential for the future of high-speed sustainable transport and these are very exciting projects. This is an important part of our ambitions towards decarbonisation.

“We are delighted to join forces with POSCO. Pooling our joint technical expertise will enable us to scale up our innovation efforts and give our customers the cutting-edge products they need to be successful."

Dr Lee, Duk-Lak, Head of Technical Research Laboratories at POSCO said: “POSCO has been conducting hyperloop related research such as feasibility, design and structural optimisation of various types of steel tubes for more than 10 years, and has developed optimal steel materials and design solutions in terms of structural stability and economic efficiency. This will contribute to realising hyperloop as the future eco-friendly transportation method."

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop on Sunday completed the world’s first passenger ride on their levitating pod system, which it hopes will transform human and cargo transportation while slashing carbon emissions.

In a hyperloop system, which uses magnetic levitation to allow near-silent travel, a trip between New York and Washington would take just 30 minutes. That would be twice as fast as a commercial jet flight and four times faster than a high-speed train.

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