Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla plans to use a different alloy for the upcoming Cybertruck electric pickup.
When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck last year, one of the most interesting features was the fact the vehicle isn’t going to be built using a traditional automotive body system but with an exoskeleton.
The automaker wrote about the exoskeleton:
“Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.”
Tesla said that they were using the best steel they could make:
“If there was something better, we’d use it. Help eliminate dents, damage and long-term corrosion with a smooth monochrome exoskeleton that puts the shell on the outside of the car and provides you and your passengers maximum protection.”
At the launch, CEO Elon Musk said that it is using the same alloy as SpaceX’s next interplanetary spaceship:
“We’re going to be using the same alloy in the Starship rocket.”
Now on Twitter, the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX confirmed that the alloy planned for the spacecraft has changed:
“We’re rapidly changing alloy constituents and forming methods, so traditional names like 304L will become more of an approximation.”
Musk then confirmed that the change will also trickle down to the Tesla Cybertruck:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 21, 2020
Electrek previously reported that Tesla and SpaceX are partnering up to create new materials to use on Earth and in space.
They have been building material engineering teams to develop new advanced materials for their respective products.
It started in 2016 when we reported in an exclusive story that Elon Musk hired Apple’s alloy expert Charles Kuehmann to lead materials engineering at both of his companies simultaneously.
Kuehmann and his team have since been developing new alloys for both SpaceX and Tesla.
It sounds like the one planned for the Starship and Cybertruck is still evolving ahead of production.
The team also develops its own variations of existing alloys, like 304L. PSP describes 304L:
“Alloy 304L a T-300 series stainless steel austenitic, which has a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Type 304L has a carbon maximum is 0.030. It is the standard “18/8 stainless” that is commonly found in pans and cooking tools. Alloys 304L is the most versatile and widely used alloy in the stainless steel family. Ideal for a wide variety of home and commercial applications, Alloys 304L exhibits excellent corrosion resistance and has a high ease of fabrication, outstanding formability. The austenitic stainless steels are also considered to be the most weldable of the high-alloy steels and can be welded by all fusion and resistance welding processes.”
Tesla is planning to bring the Cybertruck electric pickup to production in late 2021.
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