If you were (un)fortunate enough to be an import car enthusiast in the early-to-mid aughts, you might remember the popularity of burnt titanium finishes, especially on exhaust tips. The cool thing is that you don’t need titanium to get those kinds of wild color changes on metal. Stainless steel will do that too.
Why am I talking about heat staining on steel? Well, it would seem as though the curious minds on Twitter asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk if they turned their Cybertrucks, could they get them to change color?on their future
On July 26, Musk said, “Yes.”
But while you technically can do this, there are a lot of reasons why you probably shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at a chart from the McNally Institute that describes the temperatures to which stainless steel needs to be heated in order to change its finish to a particular color.
Stainless steel discoloration
|TEMPERATURE °F.||COLOR||TEMPERATURE °C|
Having a sweet custom-colored stainless-steel finish might sound cool until you end up melting something expensive inside the car’s body because you weren’t quite as careful as you should have been. So, like, don’t.
Perhaps a better way to customize would be to start convincing Musk now that the Cybertruck should be skinned in ferritic stainless steel (PDF), and then you can start magnet-bombing your and your friends’ trucks. Way funnier and less risk of a massive fire.
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment.