Choosing the right material is critical for successful Paintless Dent Repair (PDR). The entire PDR process hinges on this choice because it works differently with different metals. Some materials influence efficacy, while some make the task more cumbersome.
The experts at American Auto Hail Repair in Greeley, CO, share some autobody metals and their role in PDR efficacy.
Steel is Strong, Durable, and Resists Corrosion
One of the most common materials used for car parts is steel. It’s strong, durable, and easy to work with. Various steel grades are available, depending on the budget or application needs. However, this is not the case when steel is used as a lighter covering for protection against corrosion.
PDR on steel lasts long, but if a dent is ignored and left untreated, corrosion will affect it over time and may prove very challenging to manage.
Aluminum – More Flexible & Lighter than Steel
Aluminum is a much lighter metal and not as hard as steel, but it’s also more expensive. This means that you will not often see aluminum in top- models like the Audi A1 or Jaguar E-Pace. Why? Because it simply costs too much. PDR jobs for cars with Aluminum are equally expensive. Since Aluminum is lighter than steel, professionals administering PDR need to be extra-cautious.
Magnesium; Stepping Up Over Steel and Aluminum
Magnesium is a rare earth element that has been in use as an auto manufacturing material since the 1970s. It’s stronger than aluminum and lightweight, making it great for balancing carbon fiber or steel while providing middle-ground qualities between these two options. PDR on Magnesium is much easier and working on Magnesium improves PDR efficacy considerably compared to the other metals on the list.
Iron: The Perfect Go-To, Easily-Available Autobody Metal – In the Past!
Iron is still a standard option to build cars. However, it was often used when other materials with better qualities and prices were unavailable. Nowadays, heavy iron can be difficult for some people to work with. This might explain why this metal’s usage has decreased significantly over time.
Iron’s durability usually results from its weight. So, companies will reuse certain engine parts constructed primarily out of old jeep engines. These engines were built using rusting steel. Companies do not tear down engine parts to recreate new engines – they recycle engines wholly now. Since PDR was not very common back then, we have yet to hear about PDR on iron. But technically speaking, PDR on iron is not easy.