Many people consider the number seven to be lucky. In fact, it is one of the rare numbers to be viewed in this light by both Western and Asian cultures. If you've been involved in a car accident and your vehicle has sustained a lot of damage, you may come to appreciate this particular digit as well, because there are a corresponding number of steps involved in panel-beating the car back to perfection. What is involved in this process?
Panel beating may sound as if it is quite a frenetic operation, but it is very considered and precise. The technicians involved are very skilled and have a great deal of experience. Furthermore, they need to work with the type of design favoured by modern-day car manufacturers, as a certain style attribute may contribute to the complexity of the challenge ahead.
- Step number one in the process is to align the chassis if necessary, using a hydraulic "jig." The vehicle will be raised up on a lift and attached to this machine. If gauges and sensors determine, the necessary force is applied in the appropriate direction to pull everything back into shape.
- Individual panels may also need to be moved or stretched in order to make them refit. Often, this is done using heat application and a soft-headed hammer, although this phase is only approximate.
- Now it's time for smaller corrections using a technique known as "planishing." The technician will hold a special implement on one side of the metal and will coax it back into shape using a smaller hammer on the other. This will help to reform the correct contour.
- The aforementioned steps will only go so far, however. Small imperfections will still exist, and there may be tiny gaps in between panels. These can be closed up using putty, which will quickly set and present a hard surface once complete.
- Before any paint can be applied, the rough areas will need to be smoothed down very precisely. This can be a long-winded process in pursuit of perfection, and the technician will use a variety of different sanding grades, with a lot of water.
- The vehicle is now moved into the spray booth, where it can be prepared for painting. This may involve the removal of certain badges, chrome and door handles and areas that must be protected are covered with paper and masking tape.
- The seventh and final step of the process involves the application of paint, although this could be broken down into five or six additional steps if you want to be pedantic. The ultimate objective here is to make sure that the vehicle rolls out of the spray booth in tiptop condition so that it can be handed back to its owner.
For more information, contact a company like Dandy Smash Repairs today.