South Korean steelmaker Posco has said it will supply 2,100 tonnes of bespoke-formulated hot-rolled steel to a hyperloop test facility in the Netherlands.
The company has been developing hyperloop-specific steel, formulated to absorb vibrations at 1.7 times the rate of standard grades, over the past two years.
Hardt, the Dutch company building the European Hyperloop Centre, will take delivery of the first shipment next month.
Posco has applied for nine patents related to its manufacturing method for the product.
Kim Dae-eop, who is head of marketing at Posco’s hot-rolled steel division, said his company aimed “to become a global leader in the future eco-friendly mobility market”.
About 2,000 tonnes of steel will be required per kilometre of vacuum tube built, but it is estimated that this still makes the cost about half that for a motorway.
The testing facility is located in the city of Groningen. It will be available for hyperloop developers around the world to come and test their equipment on its 2.7km test track. Among other things, they will be able to assess their system’s levitation, propulsion, stabilisation, cornering, lane switching and emergency braking.
Posco has participated in joint research with Tata Steel Nederland since 2020 to develop an exclusive steel material for hyperloop and structural solutions for the Dutch government-led hyperloop development project.