Most modern vehicles are now using aluminum for the outer framing. Aluminum has been found to be stronger than steel and much lighter, giving the vehicle better fuel economy and protection. Even though modern vehicles are using these amazing materials in construction, when an automobile is in an accident, aluminum can be repaired. However, it takes specialized techniques. Top Notch Body Shop & Mechanic will share how aluminum body work is repaired.
Aluminum Body Repair Tools
When working on an aluminum auto body, it often requires a completely different set of skills, technique, and equipment. Aluminum’s physical properties are much different from steel. One of the major considerations is that when two types of metal collide, the risk of corrosion increases. This is why you cannot use steel repair tools and equipment on aluminum. Aluminum requires its own separate set of tools to prevent corrosion of the auto body.
How to Fix a Dent in Aluminum
When repairing a dent in aluminum, it is more difficult than steel. Both steel and aluminum have a metal memory. Once the metal has been conformed to a certain shape, metal memory is in place. However, aluminum has poorer metal memory than steel, which makes it harder to repair than steel. This is another reason why aluminum has a special set of tools, which are very different from steel. Aluminum conducts more heat than steel and as a result, the heat will travel through aluminum very quickly. Due to this phenomenon, aluminum can be a stubborn material to reshape. Not only is it harder to reshape, aluminum, if it heats up too fast, can also awaken the metal. Depending on the type of vehicle, they can have a number of welded sections or joints with steel auto bodies. Aluminum cannot be welded and is held together at the joints with special rivets and adhesives.
Procedures for Aluminum Auto Body Panel Repair
When it comes to repairing aluminum, it does require advance training. However, with the proper training, tools and techniques, aluminum can be repaired. When repairing steel dents and impact damage often a hammer like tool on a dolly mechanism is used. When repairing aluminum, heat is used. However, this is a delicate process. Again, too much heat can ruin the metal and the adhesive that hold the joints together. To repair aluminum, the dent or damaged site is slowly heated up, during which the metal becomes soft enough to smooth and reshape. Once the panel has been reshaped, it will undergo a cooling process to ensure the shape holds. Depending on the damage done to aluminum, often sections are replaced versus reshaped as it can be a very difficult process. Once the aluminum has been replaced or repaired, the vehicle will undergo repainting to restore the vehicle.
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Aluminum is being used more and more and is found on almost every modern vehicle. When an aluminum vehicle has been damaged and requires repair it is essential you find an auto body shop that provides aluminum repair specifically. Not all auto body shops is up for the task of repairing aluminum based vehicles. For aluminum repair and more, contact Top Notch Body Shop & Mechanic today.