26 Jul Spotlight on Fiberglass Repairs
Since fiberglass was discovered in the 1930s, it’s been used to make everything from home insulation to automobiles. Fiberglass became wildly popular among auto manufacturers because it’s so lightweight, enabling better fuel economy. While some manufacturers still use it extensively (such as Chevrolet for Corvettes), fiberglass has fallen out of favor in recent years. And that can make it tricky to find a body shop with specialized knowledge in fiberglass repairs. Unfortunately, incorrect repairs can cause more problems than they solve, which is why it really is crucial to turn to the auto collision specialists for help.
Types of Damage to Fiberglass
Fiberglass body panels are made with resin and fiberglass strands. The resin cures over time. Over the years, the resin can become brittle and prone to cracking. This is why body shop technicians see lots of fiberglass panels with large cracks, splits, and breaks in the wake of an accident. Sometimes, owners or inexperienced technicians will try to repair a crack with a simple adhesive. However, it’s tricky to bond the new material to the old, and oftentimes, you can simply pop off the new material with a screwdriver. Incorrect repairs will need to be fixed again.
Preparation for Repairs
To do a fiberglass repair the right way, body shop technicians pay careful attention to their prep work. First, it’s necessary to smooth out the damaged areas with a dye grinder. Then, the surface that will receive the new material needs to be scuffed up to improve the strength of the bond. Next, the technician will use acetone to remove dirt and grease from the area.
Steps in Repairing Fiberglass
It’s tricky to mix the resin correctly. The technician will carefully measure the appropriate amounts of resin base and hardener material. Then, after applying a base coat of resin, the technician will apply a woven, chop mat, or loose fibers to the cracked area.
Fiberglass repairs are one of our specialties here at National Auto Collision Centers. Whether you have major or minor collision damage from your accident, our experienced technicians can get your car back to its pre-crash condition. Call our body shop in Tucson at (520) 623-4959.