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Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?

Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?


Tesla’s making their new Cybertruck out
of stainless steel, another bold move from a company that likes to rip up the rulebooks. But is it actually a good idea? Why has only one other stainless steel car
been mass produced, and that ended in bankruptcy? Will it be different for Tesla, or is the
new Cybertruck a big white elephant? (music) Stainless steel was invented by accident. An English metallurgist, Harry Brearly, was
trying to improve rifle barrels just before the first world war. He found that adding chromium to steel inhibited
its natural tendency to rust. This is because of a chromium-rich oxide coating
that seals the metal from the elements. But it wasn’t until the 1930s until people
thought of using stainless steel on cars. The Allegheny Ludlum Steel company approached
Ford Motor company with the idea of creating a vehicle to help them sell more stainless
steel. Ford obliged and produced 6 unpainted Ford
Model 68 Deluxes. Allegheny Ludlum loaned them out each year
to their top salesmen. The cars were on the road for ten years and
each logged over 200,000 miles. The shiny bodies are still in excellent condition
and have held up better than the rusting steel chassis! But here’s the first reason as to why we
don’t see more stainless steel cars on the road. A retired Allegheny Ludlum employee revealed
that when the cars were originally produced the dies were ruined by stamping out the stainless
steel parts from the harder material. So, to produce cars from stainless steel,
car makers must spend additional money making dies that could withstand stamping out stainless
steel parts day in, day out. The Tesla Cybertruck uses cold-rolled stainless
steel, and that’s even harder than regular stainless steel, and this makes the problem
even worse. Ford agreed to another collaboration with
Allegheny Ludlum in 1960 to produce two Ford Thunderbirds. The original 1936 cars had been very shiny,
but with the update they went for a brushed finish, and I’m sure other motorists thanked
them for it! After the issue with dies with the 1936 car,
Ford waited until the end of the car’s production run before damaging the dies producing the
stainless steel cars! Again, Allegheny Ludlum used it to help publicise
stainless steel and they toured the USA drumming up business. The new cars used stainless steel exhausts
and mufflers, and they must be the only 1960s cars still around today with their original
exhausts! Ford and Allegheny Ludlum collaborated one
last time with three stainless steel 1967 Lincoln Continental convertibles. If you want to see all three in their glory,
you can find them at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, OH. By the 1950s mainstream car manufacturers
were dabbling with stainless steel, making small car parts such as hubcaps. GM went one step further in 1958 with the
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham which featured a stainless steel roof. They did the same to the 1979 Cadillac Eldorado
Biarritz. Maserati’s 1971 Bora also featured a stainless
steel roof along with stainless steel windscreen pillars. But each part was a simple shape, to make
production easier. It would take a maverick car company executive
to build a whole car from stainless steel. And that person was John DeLorean, a young
high-flying GM vice president who one day quit his job to start his own car company. He decided his first car, the DMC DeLorean
would be brushed stainless steel, and the DeLorean Motor Company was probably the only
car company without a paint shop! Only three cars sold to customers would be
anything other than plain brushed stainless steel, and those were plated with 24-carat
gold! Yes, a company mad enough to put gull wing
doors on a car decided it would be a good idea to make a car that was covered entirely
in real gold! The car’s finish looked a little rough up
close, but it had the advantage that small scratches could be taken out with a non-metallic
scouring pad. Never worry about getting your car “keyed”
ever again! However, some customers didn’t like the
unfinished stainless steel look, so took their cars to a paint shop to get the colour they
wanted. But stainless steel had several disadvantages
that have kept it from wider adoption: • It doesn’t rust
It seems silly to put this as a disadvantage, but to car companies who’ve built their
entire business around selling you a new car every five years or so, having a car that
doesn’t decay isn’t that great. There are also Government incentives that
encourage customers back to car dealers every few years. With tight profit margins, many car companies
rely on things like leasing agreements to stay in business and changing that may cause
the business unforeseen financial problems. • It’s expensive
Stainless steel is more expensive than regular steel, and when margins are so tight, why
add extra cost to the vehicle? • It’s hard
As we talked about before, stainless steel is a harder metal, which makes it harder to
form into the final shape for the car. It’s also more difficult to weld. • It’s harder to repair
With a steel car if there’s a dent you can use filler and paint to hide the problem. With stainless steel, especially unpainted
stainless steel, the only option is to try to restore it to its original shape, which
is hard enough with regular steel, but harder with tougher stainless steel. Most stainless steel cars produced weren’t
painted at all, because they didn’t need to be. But to many people, choosing the colour of
their car is a big part of the process. There’s a good reason why Ford’s come
in more than black these days! And if you’re going to paint the car, then
the car looks no more different from normal car bodies that were becoming much more rust
resistant by the late 1970s. Car companies did this by first getting better
at rust proofing. Then they started galvanising the metal, and
companies like Audi started making their bodies from aluminium that doesn’t rust anyway,
and it’s softer than steel so easier to form. Aluminium welding is trickier, but over time
they’ve found ways to master it. So, this brings us to Tesla’s Cybertruck. They’ve opted to go for an even harder form
of stainless steel – a grade they’ll use on the SpaceX Starship – so let’s see
how those same disadvantages stack up. • The five year car buying cycle
Tesla isn’t as affected by making a car that will last more than five years before
needing to be replaced. As I mentioned before, steel car bodies don’t
rust like they used to, and the other components of a Tesla look like they’ll last ten years
or more. Tesla’s a company in expansion, so it’s
less reliant on repeat business than its customers. • Stainless steel is expensive
This will still impact Tesla, but they’ll use less metal as the stainless steel body
will be used as a stressed member to make the car more rigid. And with a starting price of $40,000, it seems
the added cost of stainless steel isn’t going to impact the final car price very much. • It’s hard
There’s a good reason the Cybertruck is all angles. Instead of bending the metal, it’s simply
cut out and welded together. Tesla and SpaceX are learning to weld this
material on an industrial scale, and like Audi with aluminium they believe that they
can solve the problem. • Repair
This one may be harder to solve. But Tesla’s claiming the Cybertruck can
withstand some major impacts, so maybe fender benders just won’t be a big issue. But larger repairs could be a major expense,
and repair shops will need to learn a whole new set of skills. But that very strength could be an issue when
the car’s released. Elon stated in the Cybertruck reveal that
the body “is literally bulletproof to a nine millimetre handgun”. The “transparent aluminium” windows, while
breaking during the presentation, have been shown to shatter, but not allow bullets through. With a fast 0-60 time and a bulletproof exterior,
will the Cybertruck become the go to vehicle for the criminal underworld? A big thank you to all my Patrons for supporting
me! To get early advert free access to new videos,
or to appear in the credits, please consider supporting me using the Patreon link below
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100 thoughts on “Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?

  1. Tesla's not "cutting and welding, instead of bending". Even if Tesla not stamping panels – they still bending them!

    Elon Musk
    @elonmusk
    Reason Cybertruck is so planar is that you can’t stamp ultra-hard 30X steel, because it breaks the stamping press
    Elon Musk
    @elonmusk
    Even bending it requires a deep score on inside of bend, which is how the prototype was made.

  2. Please, do the Datsun 160B/180B (4 doors) from 70's, I would like to know better this model history, my father had one 160B Deluxe white, black vinyl roof and bluish tinted windows…, but not much info about this model. ty

  3. The cyber u can make that car invisible u can put so many mimycarms u can do wat u want with this car,,,THE MAN HAS DUN IT AGAIN /MR MUSK KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍Godbless u all and Rember 2share the lov.👍👍👍👍🙏🙏🙏🙏🇮🇪🇮🇪🇮🇪🇮🇪🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏👍👍👍

  4. "crumple zones" were incorporated in cars for some reason.
    But, I guess, you missed this small detail that saved hundreds of lives in the past decades.
    (And probably I won't get a heart for saying this)

  5. No 6: The Jaws of Life. How resistant is the cold rolled stainless steel to the Jaws of Life? What are we talking about; an extra 5, 10 , 15, 30 minutes as you bleed out after a crash??? This is the life or death question, and a little more important than rust or car park scratches.

  6. Everyone is asking about the crash test. It would not make much sense for Tesla to not consider this prior to launching this product. People have a tendency to be negative towards anything that do not have the answer to.

    I have a question: why do race cars have a cage for the diver, the cars do not have very effective absorption body work? They are also travelling at 200 + miles per hour and their insides don't turned to mush in an accident.

    In regards to cost and manufacturing of this truck, it would be not very likely that Musk would create a product that was not cost efficient and easy to manufacture. SpaceX is all about efficiency and easy of manufacturing so why would he do the complete oppisite with the Cybertruck.

    My two cents and I like the video.

  7. Interesting video.
    When it comes to metallurgy hard and tough are completely different, but I understand what you are trying to put across 🙂

    There are many reasons SS isn't suitable for mass or indeed, low production of car bodies, it's simply the wrong choice of material to use.
    Going against it is strength to weight factor, ease and consistency of welding, metal fatigue, 'paintability', cost of raw materials, design of crash worthiness (safety, but poor choice of words) it's a poor solution looking for a non problem. If one's main criteria is rust protection of carbon steel, then this is well understood, but more importantly, the end product wouldn't be economically viable or technically correct. Even you accept the tagline of "if they made a body that would last forever' that ignores the fact that the huge and overwhelming majority of new car buyers (fleets/lease/PCP etc) change their vehicle within 24 to 36 months, so SS is a bit of a non starter all round, but always an interesting discussion.

  8. 😂🤣😂 Not even going to both 😂🤣😂 Tesla’s cyber truck will never happen just like the Tesla semi Electric Jesus was banging on about over 2 years ago. Aside from the limitations and expense of EVs in general you can add the limitations of stainless steel. I’ve worked with the stuff and I can tell you it’s easily scratched and damaged making it a bad idea for the supposed environment the cyber truck would be operating in.

  9. I’d hate to be hit by that thing, either as a pedestrian or in any other vehicle. Typical arrogant car design.

  10. The production version will have alot more plastic in the fornt just like any other car, there are pedestrian safety rules which this thing needs to manage somehow.
    The question is how the ugly plastic will look against shiny stainless steel. painting everything like a normal car would ruin some cost saving effects they try to achive with using stainless steel…

  11. One doesn't require 8 minutes to answer the title question.
    Yearly profit would plummet if cars were made of rust resistant steel.

  12. Why isn't it obvious that Tesla is following the same business model as apple? Fan factor products, overpriced for the status, with unique engineering so you can't go to third parties for add ons or repairs.

  13. Stainless steel is softer than carbon steel so this dies story sounds fishy. Even if it was just adding of film or some kind of coating sprayed before stamping would had resolved the problem.

  14. Never knew about those Ford vehicles but did know that Delorean used really cheap stainless steel. But I will have to ask my grandfather if he ever made those Ford vehicles while at Allegheny. His plant took the coils from the forges out east and made them into products for companies as dies and machinery for stainless steel is is harder, stronger, and more expensive then normal steel. Now though, his factory is in indefinite idle. I remember him telling me when I was little he made stuff that was used on space shuttles.

  15. "Stainless steel ruins press dies." But Cybertruck doesn't use dies. Big sheet, folded into flat, load-bearing triangular panels. Its an Origami truck to save money, weight and time. You didnt address those details.

  16. Often aluminium is worse than steel for corrosion. Steel car wheels are largely trouble free. Aluminium car wheels are a huge PITA for corroding and slowly leaking air around the metal to rubber interface. Old Rover cars (those from when Rover was a luxury car brand), which had a mix of aluminium and steel panels, had at least as much trouble with the aluminium degrading as the steel degrading. They only used aluminium to get the enormous weight of their cars down a bit.

  17. welding straight pieces together is not a big deal. the weight is gonna be a problem unless he changes his mind and adds some thrusters. yes, this is where he is aiming. two of these on top of a falcon heavy rocket.

  18. I believe that a Tesla would be the last car a criminal would want to own because Tesla would know where every car is and have video surveillance.

  19. I think Telsa will produce a normal-looking truck and production will be based on the Model Y which uses model 3 parts and also to reduce costs based on the Model Y production line

  20. I know the US cars of the 50's-60's were not safe, and practical like todays, but man were they sexy. Just about every American car of that era was a piece of art.

  21. I worked on stainless in a stamping plant. Its not easy. One spec of dirt on the die and the stamping is scrapped due to the mark left which is highly visible since it doesn't get painted.

  22. 5 year buying cycle for a car? What? In my country it's normal to buy cars that are 5 years old and drive them for 10 more years. Really, cars can last for a long time if you take care of it and pick a reliable brand. I would never buy a new car, especially not every 5 years. And it's not because I have no money, I just spend my money on smarter stuff (Like real estate) and my current car is Hyundai almost 8 years old. No probelms at all, just channge oil and filters every year and it can last for another 8 years easy. People are spending money like crazy, it's really weird.

  23. Another big downside is, that it's hardness doesn't allow the car to transform in an accident which is a treat to the passengers as well as pedestrians

  24. What a stupid vehicle and Musk has still learned nothing about design and construction. The Tesla cars are so badly designed ( do the research ); so I do not expect any better here. Why SS which is so expensive and hard to produce, when the smart money would go with aluminum, plentiful, easy to produce and work into strong lightweight structures..

  25. Another excellent video! The Delorean's model number was the DMC 12. He had planned other cars in the range. I used to live in a house that overlooked the old Delorean Factory. I tried to sneak into the old test track a while back but site security were having none of it and I absolutely can not wait until the upcoming Volvo 850 video!

  26. It doesnt rust is a disadvantage, but they invested heavily in improving corrosion resistance anyway.
    Im not too sure that the car not rusting is an issue. The car still wears and tears, and will lose its lustre.

  27. If it becomes the go to car for the criminal underworld, you can bet that right after that, remote immobilization will become a common tool for police.

  28. Complete Idiotic Argument. No Car producers have ever produced also Starships, Tesla is getting the know-how from Space X and of course Elon is going to get advantage of mass production of Space grade steel alloy to build cars.

  29. One important thing you missed : The tensile strength of stainless steel is significantly lower than the "regular" steel used for body and chassis. Hence a higher weight for achieving similar crash absorption level. As we all know, and especially for EV's, weight is the enemy.

  30. I’ve been told by metal fabricators, and my limited experience welding is that stainless steel is one of the easiest metals to weld

  31. Another major disadvantage of stainless steel, especially when it has a brushed finish is that it will get stained from fingerprints. The chloride in a person's sweat superficially attacks material. Any fingerprints on a DeLorean should be wiped clean within a few days otherwise you'll need to rebrush the affected area.

  32. There is no why the cyber truck is road legal with these light, especially in germany.
    The high and sharp hood is also a nightmare for pedestrian safety.

  33. Talks about historic manufacture methods as reasons why not to use a robust and reliable super metal….. it is 2019, they've figured out how to manufacture stainless

  34. If you for some reason like color use foil. For me paintless and foilless is the best because I use cars to transport stuff. Bad for the other carmakers but good for me. I would love to only buy one car and use it for the rest of my life. Maybe some OTA updates now and then.

  35. Tesla doesn't need to worry about the 5 year thing because their vehicles come with so many defects and bugs that you'll be wanting a new one pretty soon anyways, especially with that whole apple appeal to them, plus if you break the body tesla makes bank selling the new parts because you cant just fill in a massive dent

  36. That's probably why the cyber truck doesn't have any round edges, due to it being difficult to machine. I think that's why they went with such a low-poly design.

  37. I'm no engineer by far but a vehicle that won't dent(although it was only hit with a dead blow hammer designed not to produce said dents..)sounds like a vehicle with no "crumple zone" that transfers MUCH more energy to the passengers in an accident..idk. And I thought Elon said was it was supposed to have unbreakable windows in the demonstration, not shatter resistant which is what every car windshield on the road has, that busted one after the other and the video of the supposed bulletproof panels(which may have failed a thousand times before they got the camera shot they wanted, js) I'd want a lot more proof that it isn't a modern day DeLorean which was/is with a piece of shit that looks unique. And paying a deposit for a vehicle that may or may not be produced is silly after watching the out of something that's not far from a model X with a lift kit and weird suv body.. seems like Elon is hyping a prototype to drum up interest free loans. Idk folks, like I said I'm no Elon Musk by far but seems fishy..

  38. You can paint stainless steel easily. Just use an etch primer. You would have a beautiful car that would outlast you. Do some research. It is not hard. The reason no one makes them is obvious. They would cost a bit more to make, and you would not replace your car as often. Profit is the bottom line. After all is said and done, we do live in a capitalist country.

  39. I would expect development of fatigue cracks in load bearing body panels to become a problem in the long term. The metals rigidity does not allow it to absorb vibration loads.

  40. I did not realise that Tesla made this…um thing with stainless steel body panels. Now that I do, I am shaking my head.
    As a structural aircraft mechanic, I have studied metallurgy, and using S/steel is not as simple as just leaving it to the elements and forgetting the finish. S/steel can become pitted and take on a corroded (tea-stain) or rusty colour if not adequately maintained.

    BUT onto the most severe problems. If you intend to drive one of these, then prepare to be a human airbag/crumple zone. Expect to pay a premium for fuel because of the weight factor. Expect structural repairs, i.e. welds to crack.

    Last but not least, galvanic corrosion could be a significant headache. This is when two dissimilar metals (ferrous & non-ferrous) are placed together, causing corrosion to occur. If you had one of these utes around a coastal area, it would not look good for long.

    Surely the S/steel finish is just a new sales gimmick?

  41. 6:01 Wow that looks SO much better in yellow! And with those 90's/2000's alloys it looks like an actual sports GT, instead of something built in shed by a beardy guy called Derek.

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