Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (the company with a contract in Slovakia, not the company that recently tested in Nevada) announced today that a new material will be used to make its hyperloop capsules, and it’s called “Vibranium.” As in the Marvel material in Captain America’s shield that is only found in Black Panther’s home of Wakanda.
This real-world “Vibranium” is nothing like the nearly indestructible version in the Marvel universe that can take on vast amounts of heat and energy. According to a video released to The Verge, HTT’s Vibranium is just two layers of carbon fiber with some sensors in between. Put simple: carbon fiber walls connected to the Internet of Things.
The material is made by a Slovakia-based company called C2i. C2i’s mission statement is to “light-weight our world through intelligently engineered carbon-fibre structures,” and it designs material for cars and aircraft.
The video boasts that the new material is “eight times stronger than aluminum and 10 times stronger than steel alternatives.” In other words, it’s regular high-end reinforced carbon fiber. The sensors inside wirelessly transmit temperature, stability, and integrity data.
Perhaps this connected material is what HTT COO Bibop Gresta was referring to when he said that the “main cost is the tube.”
The company showed a cross section of a Vibranium Hyperloop capsule today at the Pinoeer’s Festival in Vienna, Austria.
This announcement comes shortly after HTT’s main competitor, Hyperloop One, ran its first propulsion test and backed MIT’s prototype pod. It’s a savvy play in the Hyperloop game of keeping up with the Joneses. HTT has plans of building its first Hyperloop between Bratislava, Vienna, and Budapest, while Hyperloop One plans on building in California.
If the one-upmanship continues (and Marvel doesn’t contest naming rights), maybe Hyperloop One will come out with its own superhero-themed metal: Adamantium.