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Tesla Patent Application for Steel Alloy Aims to Make Cybertruck ‘Nearly Indestructible’

Tesla’s patent details a 300-series stainless steel that it claims to be tougher and harder than other steel alloys.

The Tesla Cybertruck is indeed still in development. Though news on the thing is scarce, especially its release date, there’s been scattered news on it, like seeing the prototype with mirrors and a massive central wiper in 2021. The latest: Tesla has filed a patent application for a steel alloy that will envelop the exoskeleton of the Cybertruck.

According to Electrek, the steel is supposed to outperform other typical automotive-grade alloys. In its patent filing, Tesla outlines fairly detailed specifications on the Vicker’s hardness scale, corrosion resistance, ductility, and tensile strength. For the nerds, it will range from 420 HV to 500 HV on hardness, have 520 mV to 600 mV corrosion resistance, a ductility of 60 degrees bend angle at 1.8mm thickness, and a yield strength of 1100 MPa. 

Tesla listed a few other common alloys of steel in the filing, including the common 304L, 316L, and 301. Apparently, none of these could meet the specifications that Tesla desired for the Cybertruck, which will reportedly use a unique body structure of a chassis with an exoskeleton draped over it for more durability. This exoskeleton might be made with the proprietary alloy outlined in the patent.

The automaker doesn’t explicitly say that it will use the alloy on the Cybertruck in the patent but does note that it could be used in a vehicle with an exoskeleton. It also seems like a major focus of this alloy is corrosion resistance, with the patent filing stating that “In some embodiments, the corrosion resistance of the monolithic metal sheet allows for the exterior panel of the vehicle to be utilized without application of an anticorrosion coating or corrosion protective agent (e.g. paint).“ 

Reading between the lines, the “30X” isn’t supposed to mean 30 times more, rather it looks like a nomenclature used for 300-series stainless steel that is hardenable only by cold-rolling methods. Thus, this is likely going to be a blend or variation of 300-series stainless steel, which isn’t that uncommon in the industry. 

Whether or not it will be used on Cybertruck is yet to be seen. The next Tesla investor day is around the corner now, and details will surely be released then.

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