POSCO will supply a total of 2,100 tons of specialized hot-rolled steel for the test track of the European Hyperloop Center (EHC), a Dutch national project, from June.
POSCO developed PosLoop355 steel, which has 1.7 times higher vibration absorption than general steel and excellent seismic performance, raising stability.
Some volume of steel will be made into tubes by a customer company for future supply, creating opportunities for shared growth that promote the technologies of the customer company.
POSCO is supplying PosLoop355 steel for hyperloop tubes to Hardt, a Dutch company.
*Hyperloop: An eco-friendly future transportation driving a magnetic levitation capsule inside a large vacuum tube at 1,000 km/h or more. Its energy consumption is 8% of an airplane and the construction cost is 50% of an expressway. The quantity of steel required for manufacturing tubes is 2,000 tons per 1 km, so 800,000 tons would be required to build a hyperloop between Seoul and Busan (400 km).
PosLoop355 is a hot-rolled steel for hyperloop tubes that POSCO co-developed with Tata Steel Netherlands, and POSCO will supply 275 tons of PosLoop355 for the 450-meter test track of the European Hyperloop Center (EHC) that Hardt will install in Veendam City in Groningen, Netherlands from June to December.
* European Hyperloop Center (EHC): This is a sub-project of the Hyperloop Development Program (HDP), a national project for development of a hyperloop that Hardt and the Dutch government are carrying out. A test track and research facilities will be installed in this center for the commercialization of the hyperloop. Hardt has the technology to change tracks of hyperloop capsules that travel at high speed and will apply this technology to the test track.
POSCO participated in joint research to develop dedicated steel for hyperloops and a structure solution with Tata Steel Netherlands for the Hyperloop Development Program (HDP), a Dutch national project supervised by Hardt from 2020. POSCO completed development of PosLoop355 in October last year and will additionally supply about 1,800 tons for the 2.7-km-long test track until 2025.
The core of a hyperloop is the straightness and stability of tubes for ultra-high speed travel, so the material of the tube must endure the vibration and shock that occur during high-speed travel. Steel is recognized as the most suitable material for hyperloop tubes because it has excellent airtightness that maintains the internal pressure of the hyperloop in a vacuum state as much as possible for a long time compared to other materials and has excellent processability for precisely connecting tubes.
The PosLoop355 steel POSCO developed is evaluated to have raised the stability of hyperloops, as it has 1.7 times higher vibration absorption than general steel and excellent seismic performance. POSCO has created a differentiated technology and has applied for nine patents related to structure technologies such as a manufacturing method for steel specialized for the tubes of vacuum tube trains.
In particular, POSCO will supply 63 tons out of an initial volume of 275 tons to SeAH Steel to make 64 m tubes with a 2.5 meter diameter, and then supply the tubes to the Netherlands. This is because POSCO aims to respond to the hyperloop market, which has great growth potential, along with its customer company by promoting its specialized steel, as well as Korean tube-making technology using the steel, overseas.
”POSCO will become a global leader in the eco-friendly future mobility market by mass producing and supplying steel specialized for hyperloops, future transportation, through cooperation between POSCO Europe, POSCO International and SeAH Steel,” said Dae-up Kim, Head of the Hot Rolled and Wire Rod Marketing Office of POSCO.
POSCO plans to actively supply steel to hyperloop projects that will be carried out at home and abroad with this supply of steel to the EHC test track as a start.