Sandy Munro Discusses the SpaceX Materials and Technology Being Used at Tesla

Sandy Munro is an expert at breaking down cars and determining now to optimize construction and processes.

He describes the processes for stamping the metal body of the cybertruck and the tougher glass. The 301 stainless metal is common to both the Cybertruck and the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship.

The transparent ceramic and metal particle glass is used in tanks and is likely used in the SpaceX rockets.

20 thoughts on “Sandy Munro Discusses the SpaceX Materials and Technology Being Used at Tesla”

  1. Yeah, it’s not some new material, I work with it all the time. I design deep draw stamping tools.

    It isn’t my favorite grade of stainless, it has a problem with delayed cracking. You can make your part, everything looks fine, then it cracks on the shelf days later due to retained stresses. We usually try to get customers to use 304 or 305 instead, they’re better behaved in that respect.

    But deep draw is a high stress process, that’s not likely to be a problem with brake or roll forming. And there are ways to prevent it from happening, anyway.

    At any rate, the 301 stainless spec covers a wide range of composition, I expect SpaceX is using a tightly specified version.

  2. I’ve been hearing about “exoskeleton vehicles” for over 40 years. The old term is Monocoque (/ˈmɒnəˌkɒk, -ˌkoʊk/), also structural skin, is a structural system where loads are supported through an object’s external skin, similar to an egg shell. The word monocoque is a French term for “single shell” or (of boats) “single hull”.[1] First used in boats,[2] a true monocoque carries both tensile and compressive forces within the skin and can be recognised by the absence of a load-carrying internal frame.

  3. SS 301 is a known material. I don’t know when it was introduced into the market, but I know we used it in small quantities decades ago. I can’t remember what for though. A baby boomer well versed in the field should be able to tell you pretty much all there is to know about it from his 1980s memories.

  4. Several years ago I designed and managed embedded systems with 3G m2m modules. Our service reseller had a portal to activate new devices. Originally it was 24 hours. Once submitted it generally took about 20-22 hours to become active, and I was very happy. They upgraded their system and promised one hour activation. It routinely took 2-3 hours and I was furious. We switched providers over that. Whatever the estimate, if you are early I’m happy, if you are late I’m mad.

  5. Agree, if the steel really is a new formulation, it’s still not much different from existing steels. A little more nickel, a bit less chromium, a hint of manganese, and vanadium……

  6. People who self select to be engineers are the sort that enjoy learning new things, particularly in their area of expertise. Besides, in engineering disciplines that deal with the non-software world, things don’t change all that fast. A heat engine is still a heat engine although they are continually refined, steel is still steel although new steels are developed.
    A guy like Sandy has seen the same things done many different ways over his career, and can likely tell you what method will work best for your application(not an app). You won’t learn that at an engineering school.

  7. The process used to make the stainless steel body parts is not stamping, which is done by stamping presses. In these presses, the energy used to plasticly deform metal is stored in large flywheels. This process can make complex shapes, especially when progressive dies are used. The dies used are custom made for a part, and are very expensive. The making of these dies is something of an art, and at least the first set is made by a skilled tool, and die maker specializing in press dies. Once good test parts are made, the original dies can be digitized, and reproduced by CNC mills using ball ended endmills of varying radius’s. Generally, a mill with only 3 axes are needed.
    The process used is “braking” where a glorified sheet metal brake would be used to make the linear bends you see. These presses are hydraulic. They make relatively simple parts, and generally use more or less generic dies. The usual setup is a die on the immobile bottom of the press that has a groove in it of a depth, bottom radius and angle related to the thickness of the material, and the desired angle of the brake. The upper moving part of the press has a bladelike piece of metal that forces the material into the groove. The angle of the blade’s cross section, and the radius of the edge is more or less the same as the lower groove, so that the thickness of the material remains nearly the same. These dies are relatively easy to design, and CNC mills make short work of their manufacture.

  8. It’s NEVER happened before, but yeah, keep the wishful thinking going. Shorts aren’t going broke. You don’t have a clue how long they hold and if they’ve hedged the short or rolled them up. You are just a moron parroting crap you here others say.

  9. Once an engineer, always an engineer. And what, you think a guy currently working in the field isn’t privy to the latest technology? As for metallurgy, do you think the physical properties of metals have changed since the Big Bang?

  10. I believe that the deliveries will NOT take two years (end of 2021) but Musk will surprise by mid year 2021. He was burned by over promising and believe he has built a lot of fat in the time line so he can surprise on the time line. Boy the shorts betting against this company are going broke.

  11. Here’s a crazy thought, actually talk to a trained professional in metalurgy, not some idiot boomer who is 40 years behind on technology…

    Sandy was relevant in the 80s….FFS do boomers think it’s still the 1980s?

    I guess the Reagan / Milton Friedman boom brain is still stuck in 1982.

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