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Aluminum battery pack

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Repair' started by Mesprit87, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Mesprit87

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    Just read that the battery pack structure or envelope will be made of aluminum ally.
    Now I am not a Tesla expert (yet ) but isn't the one for the S made of stainless steel ?

    Aluminum in Québec doesn't last that long if it's not well engineered. See we like to pay taxes so the transportation department can spread a lot of salt and worse, calcium to destroy anything on the road during winter. People who don't live where these products are used cannot begin to imagine what a car looks like after 15 years, parts that you would never change otherwise (and probably NLA by then) desintegrate and the word is not too strong.
    I speak from experience.
    Audi, well known for the use of Al may or may not have fixed issues I encountered on my 2001 TTQ. If it were not of my keen eye, I would probably have lost my hood by now. The metallic latch mechanism was mounted directly on the painted surface and with a little help from the grime and calcium and galvanic corrosion, the Al skin started to look link a swiss cheese in no time (6 years maybe).
    Now I try to keep my cars for 20 years and can usually achieve it but initial enginering needs to give me a chance.

    I sure hope those californian engineers had a little thought for us and designed this piece to the highest standards.

    Any thoughts ?
     
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  2. arnis

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    It is made out of Aluminium alloy. There are lots of those. With lots of additives possible.
    Worrying over that is like worrying that other cars are made out of steel that can rust.
    Well, it can also be stainless steel. Or zinced steel.
    Likely, making a salt-resistant aluminium alloy is cheaper than rust-proof steel.

    Though Tesla has not mastered cold salty climates. They can't even clean rear camera.
    I would still expect they were able to find proper blends out of which they make cars and batteries.
     
  3. Mesprit87

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    I sure hope they picked the proper alloy.
    I work in the aircraft industry and it's no wonder why most aircraft manufacturer are moving away from aluminum.
    Corrosion resistance usually comes brittleness.
    That won't prevent me from buying the thing but I wouldn't have these concerns with stainless steel.
     
  4. arnis

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    This is how majority of stainless steel surfaces look like in my local pool (built in 2002)
    [​IMG]

    :rolleyes:
     
  5. Sandy

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    That’s why it’s called stain(less) rather than stain(free) steel. It can rust. It’s just more resistant to rust. It depends on the chromium content of the steel. The higher the chromium content the more rust proof.
     
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  6. garsh

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    I think you meant, "the more rust less." ;)
     
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  7. Idur

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    Stainless steel does not go well with chlorine. Roads will contain less chlorine (I assume). It seems different alloys are recommended for pool applications.
    http://www.bssa.org.uk/cms/File/Baddoo Swimming Pools (3p).pdf
     
  8. arnis

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    Salted roads contain lots of NaCl.
    Not sure how do these things happen with aluminium alloy wheels:eek:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KarenRei

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    Salt and some alumium alloys don't play nicely :Þ
     
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  10. drea.705

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    I'm personally hesitant to even go forth with my reservation of my Model 3 do to the salt concerns. I know how damaging salt and other road de-icing compounds are to steel, and to what I've seen of aluminum, it's much worse. Why else would the entirety of snow tires come on steel rims? They last longer. Where I live, we have salt laden roads for 5-6 months of the year. I'd much rather use my Model 3 for more than 6 months of the year.

    Does anyone out there have a 10 year old aluminum body/framed vehicle that has experienced the above conditions which they could share some photos of?
     
  11. KarenRei

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    #11 KarenRei, Nov 18, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
    I have a Gen1 Honda Insight (alumium). I've never noticed any corrosion on the alumium components, just rust on the steel ones. My biggest complaint would be that there may be some metal fatigue - there were apparently cracks running all the way down the roof on both sides when I brought it in to get a leak fixed this summer. But then again, this car is from 2000, and has been driven something like 840k km, so..... ;)

    I could go out and look over the car better for you tomorrow if it mattered, to see if I could spot corrosion on the alumium.

    The key point is, everything is relevant. There are very few materials that "just work" without problems. Maybe if the car was made out of noble metals you'd never have to worry about any form of degradation, but that's obviously not going to happen. Every material, from composites to steel, degrades in some way or another. UV. Water. Salt. Galvanic. Fatigue. Brittle fracture. You name it. The issue is, "is the designer handling the risks properly?" There are ways to control degradation for each type of material - alloying agents, coatings, safety margins, sacrificial anodes, plastic separators between incompatible metals, etc, etc. Are the controls for degradation done properly? That's the question.
     
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  12. garsh

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    I think Karen means, "everything is relative".
     
  13. KarenRei

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    No, I meant that in the context of "all of the details of the implementation are relevant".
     
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  14. JWardell

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    #14 JWardell, Nov 19, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
    Keep in mind many engine blocks on the road have been aluminum for a while now, and they get tons of salt spray in there. I never heard of a problem.
    Manufacturers apply the right coatings and alloy mixes to all parts in their vehicles so significant rusting hasn't been an issue in decades. Tesla engineers way beyond everyone else, I doubt there's any need for concern here either.
     
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  15. drea.705

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    Thanks for the replies.
     
  16. arnis

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    Correct. And BMW uses aluminum suspension parts, dampers, the whole axle carrier is out of aluminum starting from 1996. And there has been absolutely no issues with hundreds of thousands of vehicles. For 21 years. Last year scrapped two axle carries (1997 vehicle). They looked like new :) And we have roads salted for 4 months annually.
     
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  17. Scuffers

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    As do Audi, Merc, etc.

    it's a bit meaningless to say something made of Ali will corrode, without knowing the grade of ali, the manufacturing process used, the treatments used, etc. it's all a bit meaningless.

    Same goes with Stainless Steel, there are a myriad of different grades, all with different properties, some rust quite a lot, others don's, but have other issues.

    As with all materials, it's about picking the right one for the right job, there is no one size fits all here.

    Back to the specific, I have no issues based on I am buying a car with an 8 year warranty, if there is going to be a problem, I am dam sure it will occur before the 8 years is up.
     
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  18. run-the-joules

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    Also because the steel wheels (not rims, god dammit) tend to be a more closed-face design instead of giant open spaces between spokes, lowering the tendency to fill with packed snow and become out of balance.

    Also because it's cheaper.
     
  19. Thomas Mikl

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    Guys there is about a thousand grades of Aluminium and Steel. Comparing them is really really hard.
    Take for example 6040 Aluminium, it is durable, however it can bend and if you want to lift a truck with a bar of it, it would bend and prolly break. When 7000+ grade will not even flinch if you hang an F150 from it and be more corrosion resistant than most steel variants (again MOST not ALL).

    So generalizing this is really really stupid and will lead to a discussion of faith rather than facts. So unless you can come up with the specific aluminium grade used for a part, nobody can tell you if it is better than a steel (which you also would give the exact composition from).
    So in general Aluminium vs Steel - there is no winner, the answer is "it depends".
     
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  20. Topher

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    Does that fact that I immediately envisioned a solid gold car driving through a puddle of mercury and dissolving say something about me?

    Thank you kindly.
     
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