Passivating my Cybertruck

ideaXfactory

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I passivated my Cybertruck today and it worked well. I decided to use CitriSurf 2310, which has a higher viscosity, so works better on vertical surfaces.

Though I have passivated Stainless Steel using Nitric Acid in the past, the CitriSurf 2310 seemed a little easier to keep wet on the surface, and is safer to use.

It was a bit tricky to apply, but I followed the instructions and kept it moist on the truck for about 25-30 minutes, and then started rinsing it off. I ended up rinsing it and wiping the entire truck off with microfiber towels several times, mainly because I absolutely didn't want to use glass cleaner as a neutralizer (as has been suggested to use on this forum along with BKF), and because clean water is what is recommended by the manufacturer.

Now that it's passivated correctly, fingerprints are even less of a problem, see video... This is how I expect stainless steel to be... very, very hard and resistive to corrosion of any kind.

It should also be free from any/all iron contamination now.
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CyberGus

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I used the Tesla-recommended CitriSurf 77 and the ScotchBrite-Blue pad on my frunk lid, since it's taken the bulk of the punishment thus far. It cleaned up well and I am pleased with the results.

It'll take my arm muscles awhile to work up to scrubbing the whole truck lol
 
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ideaXfactory

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I used the Tesla-recommended CitriSurf 77 and the ScotchBrite-Blue pad on my frunk lid, since it's taken the bulk of the punishment thus far. It cleaned up well and I am pleased with the results.

It'll take my arm muscles awhile to work up to scrubbing the whole truck lol
Yes they are essentially the same thing, except for the viscosity.

It did certainly wear me out also. But I don't think I'll need to do it again.
 

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My future plan is CitriSurf 77, blue ScotchBrite pads and follow up with ProctaClear.
 

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I’d pay a shop to do this. Any shops offer this stuff haha!
 


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ideaXfactory

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If you want to read a bit more about what the differences are in techniques, here's a link:

https://www.materialwelding.com/passivation-of-stainless-steel/

My biggest reservation about using the Citric acid product is that -

"It is important to note that citric acid is not an oxidizer and does not achieve the second step of the traditional passivation process. Instead, it relies on natural air oxidation to form the protective oxide layer."

But it all seemed to work... I rinsed it so many times and also dried it, a few times, to try and get the air oxidation process to kick in without using Nitric Acid. And also to get the plastic bits really cleaned off from the white residue.

The plastic seems fine, but it was almost like removing a bit of excess wax. They all came clean though.

Also, I could see it (as it was working) attacking little bits of carbon residue, that I didn't even know were there. It did remove them completely, at least as far as I can tell.

The finish looks really good now.
 

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I passivated my Cybertruck today and it worked well. I decided to use CitriSurf 2310, which has a higher viscosity, so works better on vertical surfaces.

Though I have passivated Stainless Steel using Nitric Acid in the past, the CitriSurf 2310 seemed a little easier to keep wet on the surface, and is safer to use.

It was a bit tricky to apply, but I followed the instructions and kept it moist on the truck for about 25-30 minutes, and then started rinsing it off. I ended up rinsing it and wiping the entire truck off with microfiber towels several times, mainly because I absolutely didn't want to use glass cleaner as a neutralizer (as has been suggested to use on this forum along with BKF), and because clean water is what is recommended by the manufacturer.

Now that it's passivated correctly, fingerprints are even less of a problem, see video... This is how I expect stainless steel to be... very, very hard and resistive to corrosion of any kind.

It should also be free from any/all iron contamination now.
I am a retired Power and Propulsion engineer with forty years experience working with stainless steel. This is the correct way to protect SS.
Passivation is a metal finishing process that enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. It involves treating the steel with a mild oxidant, such as nitric acid or citric acid, to remove free iron from the surface. This treatment leads to the formation of a thin protective oxide layer, known as a passivation film, which reduces the steel’s chemical reactivity with air and moisture, thereby preventing rust and corrosion. The process is essential for ensuring the longevity and durability of stainless steel components, especially after machining operations
 

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I am a retired Power and Propulsion engineer with forty years experience working with stainless steel. This is the correct way to protect SS.
Passivation is a metal finishing process that enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. It involves treating the steel with a mild oxidant, such as nitric acid or citric acid, to remove free iron from the surface. This treatment leads to the formation of a thin protective oxide layer, known as a passivation film, which reduces the steel’s chemical reactivity with air and moisture, thereby preventing rust and corrosion. The process is essential for ensuring the longevity and durability of stainless steel components, especially after machining operations
Would passivation of the SS be necessary if you plan on using a PPF wrap?
 

djobleezy

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On the same vein of thought, would there be a benefit to passivating your SS and then doing a ceramic coat on top of that? Or unnecessary?
 

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After the citric treatment, the stainless should be rinsed with deionized/distilled water and allowed to air dry. As simple/trivial as this sounds, it's an important part of the passivation process.

You could make up your own citric passivation solution by dissolving some citric acid in warm water (5-10% Solution, by weight) and adding a little bit of wetting agent (detergent). But use distilled water for the rinse for best results. I think you can buy some ion exchange canisters for a garden hose end, which people use for a spot-free rinse, which would probably work fine. Passivation solution should be a minimum of 70+ degrees F., but the warmer the better.
 
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So this is something that needs to be done every so often? I thought the iron contamination happened just on some of the trucks during shipping? Mine has it and there is pitting in the brown spots, the truck has not been wet or in the rain after delivery. Shouldn't Tesla be doing this when they get the trucks before delivery?
 

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So this is something that needs to be done every so often? I thought the iron contamination happened just on some of the trucks during shipping? Mine has it and there is pitting in the brown spots, the truck has not been wet or in the rain after delivery. Shouldn't Tesla be doing this when they get the trucks before delivery?
Should last quite a while. But it can be repeated again later. The passivation does two things... removes the free iron from the surface and leaves an (iron free) very thin concentrated chromium layer on the surface.
 

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So this is something that needs to be done every so often? I thought the iron contamination happened just on some of the trucks during shipping? Mine has it and there is pitting in the brown spots, the truck has not been wet or in the rain after delivery. Shouldn't Tesla be doing this when they get the trucks before delivery?
There is iron in the stainless steel, but if you passivate it, you'll take the iron away from the exterior surface and leave a concentrated chromium layer, so you won't get the iron (rust) specs from the stainless being exposed to the weather.. That being said, you can still get iron dust on it from outside sources, like rail dust, and then have issues, but that's different than having problems from the iron that's in (part of) the stainless.
 

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Would passivation of the SS be necessary if you plan on using a PPF wrap?
Would definitely be a good idea as it eliminates the iron that is on the surface of the stainless, left from the manufacturing process and shipping. If left under the wrap would negatively effect the stainless surface.
 

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Would there be any benefit to using something like Iron-X before doing the CitruSurf step?
No. The acid will eat all of that. You do want to make sure any waxy or oily stains are removed first, though.

Would passivation of the SS be necessary if you plan on using a PPF wrap?
If there's already stains, yes.

But this is just a way to reset the patina. It's already been done to the steel before they formed it into panels.

-Crissa
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