Koch Auto Body is capable of repairing the new technologically advanced aluminum bodies of many of the vehicles in our service area. It is beginning to replace the body panels and is also finding its way into the vehicle structural components. On the upside, it is drastically reducing the weight of the vehicle, which adds up to huge fuel savings for you! With its unique characteristics it can not be treated the same way as a traditional metal panel. For example, because of its electrical conductivity, special care must be taken while placing grounding clamps during dent repairs.
Bring on the Heat!
To repair aluminum, you need heat! The metal was actually made stronger during impact in your accident, and we need to use heat to soften the damaged metal and reform the panel. It's not a simple dent repair, the whole panel needs to be considered. We heat the damaged area, move or reform the metal, allow it to cool off which will hold the new form. And while we are doing this, we are taking extra care to make sure that the rest of the panel stays in place. It's an art form really!
Aluminum Vs. Steel
Aluminum and steel are actually quite different in regards to their metal memory. Steel will remember where it was before a dent, but aluminum is happy to stay wherever it was put. They both react to heat differently, with aluminum being the tougher of the two to work with. So there needs to be skill and efficiency when dealing with aluminum repairs. Lastly, they act corrosively to each other. So you need to make sure that repairs to each type of metal are not being done at a single point. Keep the jobs separate!
Benefits of Aluminum
While it may be a little tougher to work with, there are some definite advantages to using aluminum in the automotive industry! It is a lot stronger then steel, which offers considerable durability. It is much lighter in weight, which will give you the fuel economy you love! So you really can feel safer and drive longer!