3 Great Tips To Keep In Mind With Automotive Aluminum Repair
The use of aluminum in the manufacturing of automobiles has steadily increased in the past few decades, and many of the most popular models are now built mostly with aluminum instead of steel. This isn't a coincidence; the former is not only much lighter, but it also offers several advantages when it comes to safety, performance, and environmental friendliness. That said, aluminum repair is an entirely different beast than working on steel. So take a look below for some things to keep in mind if you're looking to do some auto repair work on an aluminum body.
If you make a decision to rework aluminum in a certain way, remember that it will take significantly more work to undo a mistake than it would if you were working with steel. Whereas steel is relatively easy to reshape, aluminum inherently possesses a far greater resistance, and as such it will take more time and energy to fix any kind of damage. Aluminum may have numerous advantages for drivers, but it's a tricky thing to master for mechanics.
Separate Your Tools
Whether you work on cars for a living or just on the weekends, chances are you'll use tools meant for both steel and aluminum frames. Perhaps the most important thing to remember then is to keep these tools completely separate from each other. That's because the risk of corrosion is a virtual certainty if even a little bit of one metal comes into contact with the other. You may think that a little dust won't hurt, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Extreme care needs to be taken when working with aluminum to ensure that steel particles aren't anywhere near it.
Be Conscious of Heat
Another thing to keep in mind when working with aluminum is that it conducts heat much faster than steel. While this might seem like a big advantage in terms of time saved, it also means that you'll have to be quicker and more careful when you work. Keep a thermometer close by to monitor the temperature of the aluminum and you should be okay. Overheating will cause welds to lose their strength, which, in terms of safety, would negate any benefits that aluminum has over steel in the first place. It may take some time to navigate the complexities of working with aluminum, but once you do, you'll be able to work on far more vehicle models.
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