While aluminum has been used in race cars and other performance vehicles for many years, this material is becoming increasingly more common in passenger cars and trucks. While there is a hearty debate over whether or not aluminum is lighter or stronger than the most modern types of high-density steel, high quality collision repair centers like Covert Collision have invested in extensive training and aluminum specific repair equipment. We are prepared to repair vehicles made with both steel and aluminum – we see both every single day, not to mention we are Aluminum Certified by Tesla, Cadillac, GM, Ford, and I-CAR.
The concept of “memory” for aluminum refers to the material’s ability to move from one position to another and then back. While steel has a very good memory, aluminum doesn’t. Think of how hard it is to take crumpled up aluminum foil and smooth it back out again – the aluminum has no natural inclination to return to that smooth sheet.
When repairing dents and damage, this is incredibly important. Using hammers and dollies to re-shape bent steel is an option due to its great memory. This means that we can push out the dent in your steel door, smooth it out, repaint it, and when we’re done, it will look as good as new!
Aluminum, however, has no such memory. Trying to hammer out a dent or smooth out a ding is difficult or even impossible, as aluminum simply doesn’t have the physical memory of the shape it used to be in.
Steel generally becomes weaker when bent, so if a steel panel has been bent far enough, or too many times, replacing it may be safer than repairing it. This is because it is more likely to bend again – and bend farther.
Aluminum, however, becomes stronger when it’s bent. This means it can be physically difficult to shift something back, especially when you’re looking at an area that was already pressed into a particular shape due to stamping. In fact, the aluminum often cracks when it is impacted, or dented beyond a certain point.
Aluminum-Only Tools & Repairs
Any shop certified in aluminum repair must have aluminum-only tools and aluminum-only bays available to safely work on vehicles. Steel and aluminum that are used together will slowly corrode each other over time. Even steel dust can cause corrosion on aluminum body parts. Here at Covert Collision Center, all aluminum and steel repairs are conducted in separate, isolated areas to ensure cross contamination doesn’t occur. Due to this fact, working with aluminum also requires physically different tools.
As the premier auto body shop in Austin, Covert Collision has the ability to safely and properly repair your aluminum vehicle. If repairs are impossible due to the damage sustained by the vehicle, we will let you know and advise you on what replacement options are available. Our extensive certifications and training show that we constantly train our entire team on new technology and repair techniques – including aluminum repair strategies.
As aluminum becomes more prevalent in the automobile industry, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your repair shop has the ability to work on aluminum-bodied and paneled vehicles without causing more damage than they’re repairing! At Covert Collision, we are ready to perform the repairs your vehicle needs while preserving its structural integrity to keep you safe, and ensure your vehicle’s longevity. Speaking of safety and longevity, Covert Collision guarantees all repairs for the life of the vehicle, so long as you are the owner.
If you have been in an accident and require quick assistance please call us at (512) 476-4101.
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