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Tata Steel, POSCO join forces to develop hyperloop tubes

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Tata Steel Europe and South Korea’s POSCO will collaborate to develop steel tubes needed for high-speed hyperloop transportation systems, the companies said on Monday.

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.

Tata Steel Europe, a unit of India’s Tata Steel, said in a joint statement with the world’s fifth biggest steelmaker POSCO that they would develop high-quality steel grades needed for the huge vacuum tubes that allow high-speed transport using very little energy.

“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,” said Duk-Lak Lee, head of technical research laboratories at POSCO.

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.

They neither gave a time frame nor financial details for their hyperloop project.

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. (Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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