Insights & resources from Chief Technology.

Sneak peek: Aluminum Damage Analysis and Repair Technology Course

Posted by Chief Technology on Sep 19, 2016 11:30:00 AM

chief_universityThe techs who have the best training will provide the best repairs. And when you work in an industry that goes through frequent transitions and adjustments, that training needs to be ongoing. Chief University is dedicated to providing up-to-date auto tech training on the latest industry advancements, with a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on learning. One shift in the auto industry – and consequently the collision repair industry – is the rise of aluminum. Our Aluminum Damage Analysis and Repair Technology course is designed to teach appraisers and repair techs how aluminum is being used today, plus how working with it differs from more common materials.

When you or your techs sign up for the course, you’ll gain valuable knowledge that can elevate your work – and your shop’s reputation. Here’s a preview of what you’ll learn:

Why aluminum? Did you know that, pound for pound, aluminum can be up to 2.5 times as strong as traditional steel and absorb up to twice as much crash energy? Efficiency requirements and safety standards are becoming more and more stringent all the time. The rise in aluminum is a direct response to that. In the course, you’ll learn how aluminum is helping manufacturers meet those requirements, it’s prevalence and what the future might bring.

Aluminum-MashupHow aluminum differs from steel (and what that means for repairs). Along with being lighter, aluminum is different from steel in several key ways. For starters, unlike steel, aluminum doesn’t have a “memory,” or a desire to return to its original form. When an aluminum part is damaged, the deformed area gets work-hardened (strengthened). Pulling on the part to straighten it will deform the undamaged areas that have not work hardened before correcting the damaged area.

These differences mean you’ll need to employ specific repair techniques to reshape the damaged part and maintain its strength.

The unique characteristics of aluminum also mean there are times when you’ll need to fully replace parts rather than repair them. We’ll discuss and demonstrate how to determine if the aluminum in a vehicle has been compromised during the collision or repair process and needs to be replaced. We’ll also explore specific aluminum welding considerations, including technological requirements, material thickness and required tolerances.

Damage analysis. Taking stock of the damage and estimating repairs for a job accurately gets a bit more complicated when aluminum is involved. We’ll explore the proper measuring and analysis techniques required to repair aluminum vehicles, and discuss why repair planning and blueprinting require OEM-recommended procedures.

 We also dedicate time to important hands-on learning, including:

  • Identifying aluminum alloys
  • Welding principles and techniques
  • Performing a dye penetrant test
  • OEM-recommended repair processes
  • Actual "real world" case studies of aluminum, damaged unibody vehicles

All of that adds up to a comprehensive understanding of aluminum and how to properly repair it, which means this 9-hour class is an essential part of your aluminum auto tech training plan. Our 2016 schedule is out now. Check out the dates and locations, plus sign up, on our registration page. See you there!


Topics: Aluminum