Aluminum Dent Auto Repair Rockville, MD

Repairing steel body panels with collision damage is nothing new, but when it comes to aluminum it requires a different approach. When straightening steel, the use of hammers, dollies, and picks is a very common practice, as is the use of a weld-on dent puller. So why does this change when dealing with an aluminum exterior panel?

The first factor to think about is that steel has memory, aluminum does not. A damaged aluminum panel will not remember that it was a previous shape. An aluminum panel that has been reshaped due to collision forces will take on a new shape and forget the old shape.

The next factor is that when this reshaping occurs, the aluminum panel will also undergo some work hardening. Work hardening is strengthening through shaping. Typically, the more the damage that there is, the more work hardening that takes place. So not only did the aluminum panel get damaged, but it got stronger.

When considering these factors, the size of the damage becomes a consideration. A repair that can be done on a steel door with a large crease may not be feasible on an aluminum door with similar damage. Location is another consideration. Small damage with backside access may be quite easily repaired on an aluminum panel, but what if the damage is on a body line or crown? Body lines and crowns not only enhance the appearance of a vehicle, they strengthen the panel. These areas have already been work hardened once during the initial stamping process. Collision damage has now work-hardened these areas again, strengthening them even more, and as a result small damage in areas such as this may offer high resistance to straightening.

What if the damage is not accessible from the backside? Weld-on dent pulling equipment used for steel panels will not work for aluminum panels, so in cases like these we use aluminum-specific weld-on dent pulling tools as well as a variety of glue-on and suction cup dent pulling tools available suited specifically to the job.

In need of assistance with an aluminum dent repair on your vehicle? Be sure to give us a call.