Actual finish of stainless steel exoskeleton?

anionic1

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Does anyone know (or have an educated guess) what the finish of the stainless exoskeleton 30X cold rolled steel will be? Any time I have purchase cold rolled stainless there are always slight imperfections in the steel and it has a dull finish. Tesla probably gets better quality material than I pick up at my local metal shop. My guess is that Tesla will probably do some light sanding to even out the finish and then buff/polish the stainless. And to finish the topic off, do you think they will clear coat paint it? Even stainless can rust to some degree, unless I am mistaken, and maybe if there is any concern about that they might clear coat it which would increase the maintenance required. I visited the Peterson Museum in LA when the truck was there and it definitely had a matte shininess to it and the finish on the panels was different from one door panel to the next it seemed. It would be really cool if they offered some unique options like shot blasted, acid etched, brushed. Any thoughts?

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CyberMoose

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The only thing I can say with certainty is that any spots of rust you may find are easily removable.

I have a lot of stainless steel cooking knives and i'm not sure what causes the rust but sometimes i'll get a few tiny specks of rust on a blade and it doesn't seem like the metal is actually rusting but just a rust spot on top. A little vinegar on a cloth takes it right off in a few seconds.
 

BillyGee

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The only thing I can say with certainty is that any spots of rust you may find are easily removable.

I have a lot of stainless steel cooking knives and i'm not sure what causes the rust but sometimes i'll get a few tiny specks of rust on a blade and it doesn't seem like the metal is actually rusting but just a rust spot on top. A little vinegar on a cloth takes it right off in a few seconds.
As long as water spots don't sit on it, it should be fine. The nice thing about the CT compared to normal trucks will be that you can just close the tonneau and power wash the whole thing. Still gotta look out for water spots though. As long as it fits through a drive thru car wash they'll probably be some of the cleanest work trucks on the road.
 

Klaxon

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I guess no clean coating of any kind, because it will require the painting equipment and would be expensive. Also shiny mirror like finish could blind other drivers with huge reflecting surfaces.
The matt finish may be the best option.
And probably there will be custom repair finishes with circular pattern:
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Klaxon

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I believe the CT would look different if the triangular sails had different color or reflection index.
Anyway it is excellent spot for logos or stickers.
 

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Yeah that's gonna be a hard "no" on both the rust and clearcoat. Does your kitchen sink have rust? My 40-year-old DeLorean looks brand new.

The finish on stainless is the by-product of the cold-rolling process: the smoother the rollers are, the more polished the metal will look. Conversly, a rough or textured look can be similarly achieved. However, the texture would have a grain to it, which would be at all angles once the exoskeleton was bent into shape.

For the DeLorean, the finish was achieved by hand with a flap-sander in order to get the grain right. I have a feeling the CT will just ship the stainless as it comes, and over time it will develop a patina.
 
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anionic1

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Yeah that's gonna be a hard "no" on both the rust and clearcoat. Does your kitchen sink have rust? My 40-year-old DeLorean looks brand new.

The finish on stainless is the by-product of the cold-rolling process: the smoother the rollers are, the more polished the metal will look. Conversly, a rough or textured look can be similarly achieved. However, the texture would have a grain to it, which would be at all angles once the exoskeleton was bent into shape.

For the DeLorean, the finish was achieved by hand with a flap-sander in order to get the grain right. I have a feeling the CT will just ship the stainless as it comes, and over time it will develop a patina.
You are probably right and really that would be my preference. I am no metallurgist so I can't speak to the various grades of stainless. There may be high quality stainless out there that has a 0% chance of rusting, but I have definitely seen rust on stainless sinks and I imagine that the quality of steel used from one sink to another can vary a lot. If I were Tesla and I thought that there was any chance of rusting, I would clearcoat it. I imagine it would cost $300 to clearcoat at the factory vs. having to replace/refinish structural body panels if rust appeared later. I don't want a clearcoat but I do think that from a liability perspective they might decide to do one. It would also help even out the finish. As you mentioned the grain of stainless (whether its brushed or not) can be visible if the panels are oriented at different angles. I think I would prefer the patina of simple cold rolled stainless and I definitely wouldn't want to get a stainless truck that had a clearcoat that needed to be maintained. You mentioned that DeLorean treated the stainless for uniformity and I believe Airstream, which is also a bare metal, started clear coating their trailers for uniformity so it wouldn't be to surprising if Tesla did something to the stainless. It will be interesting to see Tesla's final solution for sure.
 

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You are probably right and really that would be my preference. I am no metallurgist so I can't speak to the various grades of stainless. There may be high quality stainless out there that has a 0% chance of rusting, but I have definitely seen rust on stainless sinks and I imagine that the quality of steel used from one sink to another can vary a lot. If I were Tesla and I thought that there was any chance of rusting, I would clearcoat it. I imagine it would cost $300 to clearcoat at the factory vs. having to replace/refinish structural body panels if rust appeared later. I don't want a clearcoat but I do think that from a liability perspective they might decide to do one. It would also help even out the finish. As you mentioned the grain of stainless (whether its brushed or not) can be visible if the panels are oriented at different angles. I think I would prefer the patina of simple cold rolled stainless and I definitely wouldn't want to get a stainless truck that had a clearcoat that needed to be maintained. You mentioned that DeLorean treated the stainless for uniformity and I believe Airstream, which is also a bare metal, started clear coating their trailers for uniformity so it wouldn't be to surprising if Tesla did something to the stainless. It will be interesting to see Tesla's final solution for sure.
If we are talking about grades of stainless steel, I expect the Cybertruck will have a very high grade. Elon said that this is the same steel that they use at SpaceX. While a regular truck might get inferior steel, I don't think SpaceX cheaped out on making their rockets, so that would mean we get the good stuff too.

Just waiting for a rocket booster package so I can go to the moon on my next road trip
 

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You are probably right and really that would be my preference. I am no metallurgist so I can't speak to the various grades of stainless. There may be high quality stainless out there that has a 0% chance of rusting, but I have definitely seen rust on stainless sinks and I imagine that the quality of steel used from one sink to another can vary a lot. If I were Tesla and I thought that there was any chance of rusting, I would clearcoat it. I imagine it would cost $300 to clearcoat at the factory vs. having to replace/refinish structural body panels if rust appeared later. I don't want a clearcoat but I do think that from a liability perspective they might decide to do one. It would also help even out the finish. As you mentioned the grain of stainless (whether its brushed or not) can be visible if the panels are oriented at different angles. I think I would prefer the patina of simple cold rolled stainless and I definitely wouldn't want to get a stainless truck that had a clearcoat that needed to be maintained. You mentioned that DeLorean treated the stainless for uniformity and I believe Airstream, which is also a bare metal, started clear coating their trailers for uniformity so it wouldn't be to surprising if Tesla did something to the stainless. It will be interesting to see Tesla's final solution for sure.
One of my favorite shop tricks is to take nuts and bolts labeled "316 stainless" and throw them at my magnetic parts trays. Always gets a laugh, but I replace the parts with actual stainless to demonstrate my preference for it.

I highly doubt Tesla would be fool enough to risk using low grade stainless on a flagship vehicle.
 

Crissa

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Decomposing gasses from bleach and other oxidizers can speed up the decomposition process that the stainless properties are resisting. So that tiny spot of rust on a knife is a tiniest chink in the armor of the steel.

Sinks get rubbed constantly so they tend not to rust, but I have a bunch of stainless racks that rusted because I stupidly let my spouse store chemicals next to them x-x

Any acid will do to help remove the rust, for small flecks. But it may take elbow grease to actually take the rust flecks off to get to the good steel underneath.

-Crissa
 

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You are probably right and really that would be my preference. I am no metallurgist so I can't speak to the various grades of stainless. There may be high quality stainless out there that has a 0% chance of rusting, but I have definitely seen rust on stainless sinks and I imagine that the quality of steel used from one sink to another can vary a lot. If I were Tesla and I thought that there was any chance of rusting, I would clearcoat it. I imagine it would cost $300 to clearcoat at the factory vs. having to replace/refinish structural body panels if rust appeared later. I don't want a clearcoat but I do think that from a liability perspective they might decide to do one. It would also help even out the finish. As you mentioned the grain of stainless (whether its brushed or not) can be visible if the panels are oriented at different angles. I think I would prefer the patina of simple cold rolled stainless and I definitely wouldn't want to get a stainless truck that had a clearcoat that needed to be maintained. You mentioned that DeLorean treated the stainless for uniformity and I believe Airstream, which is also a bare metal, started clear coating their trailers for uniformity so it wouldn't be to surprising if Tesla did something to the stainless. It will be interesting to see Tesla's final solution for sure.
I agree with CyberGus on disagreeing strongly with any clearcoat.

A good quality stainless steel will not rust readily. The explanation and more is in Post 3 of this thread:
https://www.cybertruckownersclub.com/forum/threads/delorean-tips-and-tricks.2714/post-43357

Applying a clear coat would defeat the purpose and benefits of the metal, and subject the truck to the awful looking clearcoat peeling problem after a few years of sun exposure.

My bet is that the factory finish will be a light buffing to produce a smooth, uniform, satin appearance.
 
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As a guess I would assume they would use passivation. It's an acid treatment that leaves an oxide coating on the surface of the metal that is extremely hard and rust proof. This process removes any free iron from the skin of the metal. Typically used in the treatment on new food grade tanks before being put into service, passivation (acid wash) is required.
 
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