IronLev (www.ironlev.com) is a new levitation technology, engineered in Italy by Ales Tech in collaboration with Girotto Brevetti, that promises to be the game changer in the mass transportation industry, in a scenario where people and goods will not move on wheels, but where the vehicle will levitate on a magnetic cushion.
The worldwide population is growing, becoming increasingly more urban and with higher mobility needs, demanding efficient ways to commute within and between urban centers. Existing transportation networks are progressively becoming antiquated and congested, with buses, trolleys and subways slowing down year after year. The whole infrastructure relies on a mechanical component that is over 5,000 old: the wheel.
"The wheel has worked well for many centuries because it is not expensive, it is easy to be manufactured and allowed vehicles to move on the basis of fundamental and simple physical principles. We are convinced that the alternative technology for a post-wheel future needs to share the same characteristics in order to succeed" declares Adriano Girotto, one of Ironlev's founders.
It is on this premise that IronLev was born.
Technically called "passive ferromagnetic levitation", the Ironlev technology is as simple as it is revolutionary. It is based on iron rails, very similar to those currently in use (that can therefore be reutilized) on which vehicles can move by means of a particular passive u-shaped magnetic system not powered by electricity.
Different from costly and technically complex magnetic levitation systems already proposed (including the MagLev for Japanese bullet-trains), Ironlev allows for the movement of people and goods in a very fast and extremely safe way while drastically reducing the installment and operation costs. The system does not require energy in order to provide levitation.
Technical simplicity, versatility of use and low cost - these are the key characteristics of the Ironlev technology that aims to "democratize levitation" and to be mounted on trolleys, subway cars, high-speed trains and the Hyperloop, the revolutionary transportation system put forward by Elon Musk and currently under development.
"Thanks to the features of our technology and to low and speed independent frictions, we can move a 10 ton wagon with the same force that is needed to lift a 22 lb backpack. And we aim at cutting the infrastructure costs tenfold with respect to existing systems" says the other founder Luca Cesaretti.
This is not a theoretical study. A demonstrator has already been built and tested in lab. On the IronLev's website it is possible to see it in action) and the company is planning to build a full scale prototype by 2017.
Behind IronLev there is a multidisciplinary team of engineers, IP experts and marketing people with direct experience in high-tech development and commercialization and a successful track-record of patents: Girotto Brevetti has invented and commercialized a series of ground-breaking inventions in the mechanical sector, working side by side with renowned clients like Pirelli and Technogym. Ales Tech is a fast-growing startup specialized in active suspensions and dynamics control systems, one of the first ventures to work in the Hyperloop emerging sector.
More info and video on www.ironlev.com