UV protection for the composite body?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions UV protection for the composite body?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions UV protection for the composite body?

  • UV protection for the composite body?

     Ray Holan updated 1 month, 4 weeks ago 7 Members · 10 Posts
  • Tim Jorgenson

    May 8, 2022 at 10:50 am

    How has Aptera design addressed the concern of UV damage to the body of the vehicle?

    I know fiberglass requires special protection or it will BLOOM and disintegrate over time due to UV exposure. I learned about this the hard way with a fiberglass ladder that was left out in the sun too much and eventually you couldn’t touch it without gloves or you would feel like you touched a porcupine from the ladder shedding fibers.

    UV Weatherability of Fiberglass Products


  • Dennis Swaney

    May 8, 2022 at 10:55 am

    How does Chevrolet do it with the Corvette body? Or is it no longer fiberglas?

  • Curtis Cibinel

    May 8, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Aptera is wrapped, likely in 3M vinyl. Does that not block the UV from hitting the body? The wrap itself can benefit from sprays and coatings to extend its life due to UV. A spray product (applied every few weeks) was suggested in a youtube video comment ~6 months ago and I linked it in a forum thread but I’m not gonna try to dig it up right now.

    • Len Nowak

      May 8, 2022 at 12:27 pm


      “If” it is finalized that it will be something like 3M’s 1080 vinyl wrap, use what the manufacture suggests.

      I have a 100% fiberglass greenhouse and the only maintenance the company that formed it states….Wax once a year. Which is what I do in the winter ( cooler ) time here in southern AZ (early or late in the day)

      I only wax the outside of the greenhouse, which has a very smooth finish ( inside it has typical fiberglas fibers)

      I even use a universal protectant I love spray Bee’s Wax! All products have some exceptions.

      Aptera will have some clear plastic and pigmented plastic and I am sure they will have supplier recommendations when all validated and in production.Right To Repair and Maintain!

      I use a clear resin protectant “ Plexus”, for over a decade now, on clear 3m wrap and headlights etc…

      I recall Nathan mentioning a fire retardant in the composite mix but not recalling a UV inhibitor

      Remember Chris’s boat company has lots of composite experience but not sure of the composite differences. Even some boats had vinyl wrap!


  • Tim Jorgenson

    May 8, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    I didn’t see anything in the product videos and etc regarding UV protection so I figured I should raise a flag on it. My concern is if you want to hand it down through generations, they will need to know how to take care of it and preserve the finish unless they can find a true maintenance free way to protect it from UV. (rock chips is another can of worms but is more localized than UV damage).

    • Scott Price

      May 8, 2022 at 7:27 pm

      UV is hard on the originally proposed vinyl wraps, unless the owner wants to do repetitive ongoing manual labor applying additional protective coatings on top of it. Fortunately, Aptera is considering longer lasting options such as paint, though it is still TBD on their final decision. Paint or vinyl wrap should provide an important layer of protection for the underlying composite, with the surface coating being the component that takes the brunt of the UV. The top surface areas between and around the solar panels (which will receive the most direct sun and UV) still remain to be specified / announced on exactly how they will be coated and protected.

  • John Trotter

    May 8, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Chris A. was a boat builder and I presume he’s current on composite UV protection.

    • Ray Holan

      May 9, 2022 at 7:24 am

      We should keep in mind that we don’t have a hard-stop decision on whether Aptera is doing vinyl wrap. It’s likely, but not certain. We know for sure they’re not investing in multi-million dollar paint equipment.

      • Scott Price

        May 9, 2022 at 8:24 am

        Agreed, though hopefully wraps are not “likely” since they are (at least officially) TBD. Just to build on what you said and further clarify: Aptera will not be investing their initial capital in paint equipment themselves, which makes sense from an allocation standpoint of limited initial capital. Instead, they have said they are outsourcing manufacture and certain pre-assembly / preparation of major sub-systems, including the body. They have the opportunity to leverage investments by other companies in already pre-existing paint equipment via their outsourcing model. Vinyl wrap, paint, gel coat, etc. solutions are supposedly being revisited and under consideration. TBD on what they decide.

        • Ray Holan

          May 9, 2022 at 12:32 pm

          Thanks for your post, Scott. Good summary.

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