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Paint Quality

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by lov2rev, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. lov2rev

    lov2rev New Member

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    Hi Everyone, I did a quick search and couldn't find anything on this.

    My local Tesla dealer has the Model S painted in the Multi-Coat white, as I literally had to pick my mouth up to get over how beautiful the quality of the paint was, my dealer quickly pointed out that you can only get the "Multi Coat" in white.

    That was a major bummer for me, as white is a color that will show things like "orange peel effects" the least! So I was hoping someone could give some feedback on any of the other colors quality? Specifically black! I was just about to purchase a 2013 Lexus GS when I realized that you can't even see your reflection due to the paint being so razor thin and orange peel-esk. Horrifying. I realize this is the new trend, and couldn't be more infuriating as it doesn't matter how many coats of wax you apply, the car looks like garbage :mad:

    Anyone able to confirm this $100K purchase will be orange peel free? It can't rust for god sake! How can they only give the tri coat option for 1 color?! hah

    -Dan
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I am a paint perfectionist, and the paint quality was FLAWLESS! No orange peel. From what I understand from the rep the paint is sprayed, then baked to set. No Voc's whatsoever!
     
  3. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    As I understand the paint is powder coated, a very different and far more durable paint process than with ordinary cars. I think powder coating is far less susceptible to orange peel. Noted in Wikipedia, "the main difference between a conventional liquid paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin". ..While powder coatings have many advantages over other coating processes, there are some disadvantages to the technology. While it is relatively easy to apply thick coatings which have smooth, texture-free surfaces, it is not as easy to apply smooth thin films. As the film thickness is reduced, the film becomes more and more orange peeled in texture due to the particle size and glass transition temperature (TG) of the powder."

    Wikipedia adds:

    There are several advantages of powder coating over conventional liquid coatings:

    Powder coatings emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).
    Powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings without running or sagging.
    Powder coating overspray can be recycled and thus it is possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating.
    Powder coating production lines produce less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings.
    Capital equipment and operating costs for a powder line are generally less than for conventional liquid lines.
    Powder coated items generally have fewer appearance differences between horizontally coated surfaces and vertically coated surfaces than liquid coated items.
    A wide range of specialty effects is easily accomplished which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes.

    I recall that Tesla applies three powder coats and a final clear finish for extra shine. Hopefully these will make for a thick coat with very little orange peel. But I'm curious about observations from those who have seen the paint finish in the flesh. Is there noticeable orange peel?
     
  4. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Almost certain, like 99.99999% certain the paint is not applied via a power coat process. Thou I have been wrong before.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I believe powder coating was their goal but at the October event, they said they weren't able to do it for now at least. They were still happy about their paint process and its low environmental impact.
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    That's too bad -- I hope they perfect the process soon and roll it into production. I've had several bikes powder-coated and the finish is awesome, scratch resistant, and very durable.
     
  7. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Tesla does not use powder. They use pretreat/ecoat, liquid prime, liquid waterborne basecoat, and liquid solventborne clear. The cars at the test drive were amazing - gloss and depth were spectacular.

    As far as the multi-coat - this really only means the color comes from two-stages rather than one, as do other car manufacturers pearl whites. There is a groundcoat, followed by a midcoat (which usually has the pearl/metalllic effect) and then the clearcoat.
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The Tesla guys at the Santana Row store told me something worth repeating in this context. They had a black car, perhaps the most prone to show any flaw. The car was surrounded by steel poles that held the "red velvet cords" to keep people back, but these poles kept getting knocked over onto the car. This speaks volumes for the high quality of the paint on the Model S.
     
  9. goyogi

    goyogi Member

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    Stanchions. I learned that word at a Tesla store. See Tesla makes you smarter too! ;)
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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  11. lov2rev

    lov2rev New Member

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    Fantastic.

    All the information is greatly appreciated, and that page on their website is very encouraging. Can't wait to see black in person!

    Looking forward to joining the club
     
  12. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight _____ P85 #549 _____ Sig Red / Sig White

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  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    To be clear: despite being hit by Barella stanchions repeatedly, the paint was flawless.
     
  14. maxbob

    maxbob New Member

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    The wife and I are putting a deposit on an S in about 90 days. One problem that concerns us is dings when parked. We have a 10 year old Volvo S60 with the plastic "bra" on the nose. Also the Volvo has a significant body protection molding. The net result is (with a bit of of elbow grease) a 210k miles appears to be a 30k vehicle. We tend to keep vehicles quite a long time. We have strong concerns that the S has little protection from dings and being aluminium that will be even a greater concern. And the multi-stage paint lovely as it is is going to be a real bear to duplicate in the field. Has there been any discussion of this?
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    @maxbob - Teslamotors.com is down for maintenance apparently, but this content from the cached page might be useful to you:

     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The paint armour is cool, but it should cover the entire car, not just a few areas.
     
  17. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Note that the paint armor does make the car look hazy/peely in the areas it is applied. It is really noticeable on the black, as the image/reflection is completely distorted in the covered area vs the non-covered. Just a thought for the OP, since the question was about peel-free paint.
     
  18. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Coming into this thread a little late but I have a question about this for the paint gurus.

    Tesla has 3 paint "levels" based on cost. Base level which I assume is just a base color coat and then a clear coat. The $750 metallic level which I assume is base color coat, pearl coat, and clear coat. Then there's the $1,500 multi-coat for the pearl white. Due to the higher price this must require an additional coat but of what? 2 pearl coats? Anyone know?
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    It took me a minute to dig this one up. I thought this post spoke to the metallic and the multi-coat differences in the Paint section, but apparently not. Nonetheless, you might find the link interesting.
    The Tesla Factory: Birthplace of the Model S | Blog | Tesla Motors
     
  20. 1ton

    1ton Member

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    I have been debating what color to get. I really like how the White looks on the model S. I said it looks more Apple-like or Eve from Wall-E :)

    However, I like the mirrored shine that you cannot get with any other color than black. Now I have not seen any of these color in person. I'd like some feedback if you have any. I know it boils down to personal preference. I have a white suv now and can never get it super shiny.

    Thoughts?
     

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