Stainless Steel Car Bodies: The Benefits & Advantages
The launch of Tesla's eagerly-anticipated Cybertruck has resulted in a renewed interest in using the material more widely in the construction of the bodies of vehicles. Primarily due to the higher initial cost of using stainless steel for this purpose, conventional steel alloys dominate today's automotive market but all this is set to change.
In this edition of the BS Stainless blog, we look at some of the many benefits and advantages of stainless steel car bodies.
Resistance to Corrosion
Stainless steel is renowned for its exceptional resistance to corrosion, a quality that is salient right across the spectrum of industry and one of the main reasons it is so widely used for so many different applications. The remarkable resistance arises from the addition of chromium and nickel to the alloying mixture; together, these elements create a protective layer of chromium oxide (sometimes referred to as the 'passive' layer due to the fact that it is highly unreactive with other elements). As vehicles undergo constant exposure to water, dirt, salt and other potentially-damaging substances, a stainless steel body ensures extended longevity as well as maintaining an attractive appearance.
Another crucial quality of stainless steel that makes it ideal for manufacturing vehicles is its strength. Tough and robust, the alloy can easily withstand the scratches, dents and structural damage that commonly affect vehicles made from lesser materials.
Quite aside from practical qualities, the visual appeal of brushed stainless steel's mirror finish is unmatched. Luxurious, elegant and sophisticated, a car body made from the material boasts a premium aesthetic. This is clearly manifested in the Tesla Cybertruck, which has been described as a 'bold, futuristic statement vehicle'.
Manufacturers need to balance the twin needs of function and form, designing vehicles that display excellent aerodynamic qualities while delivering an attractive appearance that will appeal to the modern consumer. Stainless steel, with its ability to be easily bent or stamped into shapes of remarkable intricacy and complexity, is the perfect material to facilitate these diverse goals.
Though stainless steel car bodies are not yet widespread, the use of the material in the automotive industry in general certainly is. Among many other elements, the majority of vehicles have things like grilles, mesh filters, hooks and fixings made using stainless steel. In addition, the material is used for countless applications in the actual manufacture of such vehicles.