Hyperloop Transportation Technologies says it’s developed a new combination of materials to protect its high-speed pods, and it’s calling it Vibranium. Yup, just like the fictional metal used to create Captain America’s shield and plenty of other awesome technology in the Marvel universe.
Unlike that Vibranium, which is mined from the earth, this version is a new type of carbon fiber composite developed by HTT and Slovakian researchers. The material is still pretty impressive, though. The company claims it’s 10 times stronger than steel and five times lighter. HTT plans to cover the inside and outside of each hyperloop pod with Vibranium. The material would also come embedded with tons of sensors to monitor temperature and stability. That way the company will know which pods need to be repaired before it ever becomes an issue.
The company recently said it’s developed a passive levitation system that should safely reach speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. It’s also working with the Slovakian government to develop a series of hyperloop tracks in the region, though it could be years before the technology is actually ready for human travel.
Update: An early version of HTT’s press release incorrectly said the company’s “Vibranium” carbon fiber was five times lighter than aluminum. It’s actually five times lighter than steel and 1.5 times lighter than aluminum. The article has been updated accordingly.