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Aluminum body vs steel?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Sir Guacamolaf, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    After the reveal yesterday is there any clarity on the construction material of model 3?

    I know there was speculation and rumors before the reveal, but any confirmed info on if the body is now steel or is it still aluminum?
     
  2. 1937highboy

    1937highboy Member

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    Trev from model 3 owners said he touched a magnet on the door panels and they were aluminum.
     
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  3. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    Thanks! I'm betting they are aluminium too. I just don't see Tesla retooling all it's knowledge and production line for a new model. Plus when people buy they look at "range", "0-60". Considerations such as repair costs don't kick in until after the purchase.

    As a silver lining, with cheaper Model 3s on the road, there will be more impetus behind getting the repair costs down. One can hope.
     
  4. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    The info says "steel and aluminum" for the Model 3 vs. just "aluminum" for the Model S.

    That said, what's wrong with having steel? Sure, it can rust, but then again, it won't fatigue like aluminum does (or pose a risk of rapid galvanic corrosion if compromised). High strength steels are crazy strong; you want them where you need structural strength. The highest strength aluminums are brittle (and hard to repair), and really not comparable to steel. Model X uses microalloyed steels (boron steel, maraging steel) for some structural elements, at the very least (was reading through a guide for rescue workers the other day, talking about what to cut and what it's made out of).

    I have a Gen1 Insight. My aluminum roof started leaking, and on the third attempt to repair it it was discovered that there were cracks running its entire length on both sides. Steel would never do that. I've really soured on aluminum over the years. Steel's rust is really obvious, but the less visible problems with aluminum can be more insidious.
     
  5. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    Karen .. I am no fan of aluminum either. My biggest issue with it is repair costs.
    I wish steel was a choice. I'd be more than happy to compromise range for better durability.

    Also why can't there be a completely different material, plastic, composites, something else.
    Something that is lightweight, and if I scratch it, I can order a new part online and swap the old for new myself.

    Anyway pipe dream is all it is.
     
  6. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    I'll back you up on that. Foam or honeycomb -core composites capture my efficiency-loving heart, with their awesome strength to weight ratios, natural insulation, noise dampening, etc. It just seems that nobody has managed to match the economies of scale of stamping metal :(

    My new favorite composite is mixed carbon / UHMWPE (spectra/dyneema) weaves. You have the tensile strength of carbon, the energy-absorbing qualities of UHMWPE, and the density drops, meaning the panels become thicker for the same mass/strength, meaning the bending moment of inertia rises :) So you get equivalent or greater strength to pure CF, without brittleness, and for cheaper. Just have to make sure that the UHMWPE is shielded properly from UV (but you really need to do that with the resin either way).
     
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