If you have repaired damaged steel in the past, do not assume that repairing aluminum will be a similar process. For example, aluminum absorbs heat much more easily than steel, which makes the repair process very different. However, once you understand the differences between repairing aluminum and steel, you will be less likely to make mistakes that would force you to replace your aluminum piece.

Do Not Allow The Aluminum To Touch Steel

Aluminum is vulnerable to galvanic corrosion. Therefore, it is important that no steel come in contact with the aluminum. When working on both steel and aluminum, you will need to purchase a second set of tools to prevent galvanic corrosion. There are also some tools that can only be used for steel repair and other tools that can only be used for aluminum repair.

Determine Whether You Should Repair Or Replace The Aluminum

Aluminum repair parts cost more. However, they also are designed to be installed more quickly, which reduces the labor necessary to repair aluminum. Replacement is more often necessary with aluminum products. For example, if the aluminum product is bent by a few millimeters, this will mean that the product will likely need to be replaced.

Reheat The Aluminum If It Is Bent out Of Shape

The challenge of repairing aluminum is that it has a tendency to retain its current shape after it has been deformed. Aluminum has a different grain structure than steel, so it needs to be reheated if it is to be straightened. Also, it is easy to damage an aluminum piece beyond repair when attempting to reshape it.

Remove Aluminum Dust

Aluminum dust can be explosive. Therefore, it is crucial to have safety equipment, such as a strong vacuum, and adequate ventilation to remove aluminum particles from the workshop.

Protect The Aluminum From Corrosion

There is a common misconception that because aluminum does not rust that it is not necessary to apply any corrosion protection on aluminum. However, if a repaired joint is not sealed tightly, there is a risk of some oxidation. Anti-chip coatings are necessary to protect the aluminum from oxidation.

Consider Hiring An Aluminum Repair Technician

Given that aluminum is not an easy material to repair, it is a good idea to hire an aluminum repair technician instead. While aluminum can be a challenging material to repair, the advantages, such as the lighter weight of the aluminum, outweigh the disadvantages.  

For automotive aluminum repair, contact a company such as Exoticar Paintworks Inc.