Using aluminum panels in cars is nothing new. Deck lids and hoods have been made of this material for years. Having steel parts replaced by aluminum can help minimize the weight of the vehicle, helping manufacturers to make specific emissions class vehicles. Actually, many luxury cars including the Range Rover, Ashton Martin, Jaguar, and Audi now use only aluminum parts for the most part. Years ago, cars were mostly made of steel. Today, cars are mostly made of impact-resistant light-weight materials that are just as safe and are less heavy. Collisions still do happen, so let’s learn all about aluminum auto body repair.
Steel Parts Vs Aluminum Parts for Car Bodies
The most well-known car to pioneer the use of aluminum parts is the Ford F-150. Even if the steel frame still is inside, giving the car a sturdy structure, most of the vehicle is made up of aluminum parts. Replacing the steel leads to less weight and better gas mileage even for a vehicle this large. Materials like aluminum is preferred now for this reason.
Aluminum Collision Repair
Aluminum auto body repair after a collision is much different than steel. Steel has what we call ‘metal memory’. This means that steel can easily be returned to its original shape. Aluminum, on the other hand, is more pliable and in order to repair dents, we need special tools. The standard resource for body repair shops is an aluminum dent pulling station to do the repairs.
Heat causes a different reaction in aluminum than in steel. This means that repair shops that have only worked with steel parts, for the most part, will need to adjust their methods. The integrity of aluminum can be compromised by too much heat. This is why many cars with a lot of aluminum components need alternative methods to connect all the parts besides welding.
For example, the Ford F-150 has its aluminum parts joined by special adhesives and rivets. This replaces the method of welding in the initial construction, therefore also the repairs.
Auto body repair shops have to be able to perform these kinds of repairs. Technicians experienced in welding steel machines can’t simply use the same technique when it comes to vehicles with aluminum parts. Aluminum that is improperly welded can create a safety concern because the metal can decay after being welded at high temperatures.
Even panels can shrink at such high temperatures. Auto body repair technicians have to be sure they don’t accidentally melt the adhesive connections while welding parts of the car.
The Popularity of Aluminum
Aluminum keeps getting more and more popular in car manufacturing. This is because the government keeps putting stricter fuel economy standards on cars. It all comes down to weight, so lightweight materials are starting to become more and more common. Yes, it is more complicated to fix, but the fuel savings outweigh the costs of repairs.
Can Your Auto Body Shop Do Aluminum Repair?
The majority of new car models, including the Ford F-150, contain aluminum components almost exclusively. Auto body repair shops need to make an investment in the right tools as well as training to properly repair this type of car. However, the trend of aluminum parts seems like it’s going to stay. Training courses are available for certification on aluminum body repairs. This kind of certification will help a body repair shop to provide high-quality repairs and stay current.
Need Aluminum Auto Body Repair?
If you’re in the Las Vegas area and are in need of aluminum auto body repair, visit Sudden Impact Auto to have your car repaired the right way by our certified technicians. We specialize in aluminum body repair and other car types, makes, and models. Call us today at 702-457-3002.