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POSCO and Tata Steel Join Forces to Develop Hyperloop Tubes


l On November 6, POSCO and Tata Steel sign an agreement for business and technical cooperation of Hyperloop, an eco-friendly transportation
l Having optimal airtightness, processability, and economic feasibility features, steel considered suitable as hyperloop material

POSCO (CEO Jeong-Woo Choi) is set to develop hyperloop, an eco-friendly transportation of the future.

On November 6, POSCO and Tata Steel Europe signed an agreement to cooperate in the overall hyperloop business field, including developing steel materials and structural solutions and participating in global projects.

Introduced in 2013 by Elon Musk, hyperloop refers to a magnetic levitation train that can travel as fast as 1000km per hour in a low-pressure tube. The energy consumption level of the hyperloop is merely 8% of an aircraft and 30% of a high-speed train, and it does not generate any carbon dioxide and noise. Hence, this new means of transport has been drawing attention as an eco-friendly transportation for the next-generation.

For the hyperloop to travel at high-speed, the most crucial factor is ensuring that the tube is straight and stable. Therefore, the material used to fabricate the tubes should acquire several features, such as airtightness, machinability, and economic feasibility. Steel has been evaluated as the most appropriate material because it can maintain the pressure inside the tube to an almost vacuum-like level while enabling the accurate machinability of its connected parts.

Under the agreement, POSCO and Tata Steel Europe will fabricate a massive steel tube with a diameter of about 3.5m as a solution to ensure the performance and stability of the hyperloop and will develop customized high-quality steel materials and innovative tube designs. The two companies will also participate in global hyperloop projects and expand cooperation with other related companies.

The signing ceremony was held virtually and attended by Ernst Hoogenes, Chief Technical Officer of Tata Steel Europe, and Duk-Lak Lee, Head of POSCO Technical Research Laboratories.

Duk-Lak Lee, Head of POSCO Technical Research Laboratories, said, “For the past ten years or so, POSCO has been conducting hyperloop related research, such as designing various types of steel tube and optimal structures. POSCO will contribute to realizing hyperloop as the future eco-friendly transportation by coming up with the best solutions in terms of stability and economic efficiency.”

Ernst Hoogenes, CTO of Tata Steel Europe, added saying, “Hyperloop is at the center of attention globally as the future of high-speed sustainable transport, and we are delighted to work with POSCO for this exciting project. Utilizing the expertise of both companies, we will work together towards decarbonization and providing customers with innovative products.”

Since POSCO possesses several optimized steel materials and technical solutions for hyperloop and Tata Steel Europe has expertise in tube structures, the cooperation of both companies is expected to create great synergy. This open collaboration, which is the first of its kind between global steelmakers, is considered an exemplary case that will contribute to sustainable growth, like decarbonization, and accelerate the commercialization of hyperloop, the next-generation eco-friendly technology.

▲ POSCO and Tata Steel Europe signed a business agreement regarding hyperloop via conference call. The event was attended by Tata Steel Europe Director Annemarie Manger, Tata Steel Europe CTO Ernst Hoogenes, Head of POSCO Technical Research Laboratories Duk-Lak Lee, and Head of POSCO Steel Production Technology Strategy Office Si-Yeol Cheon (from left)

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