Body Shop Owners And PDR Technicians: Aluminum Alloy Is Here To Stay Part V



For a body shop, not a PDR Technician, you will need to provide an Explosion-Proof Vacuum to clean excess dust from the clean room. This type of vacuum sucks the hazardous particles into a water bath to prevent thermite reactions and explosions. As a PDR Technician, you’re going to want to be sure that the body shop that hires you for piece work, has this vacuum.

In addition, the body shop should have a Gas Evacuation System, this removes all welding gases and dust. This system has different facility requirements and local OSHA regulations. Another thing to be looking for in the clean room is a 30# Class D Fire Extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher is especially geared towards thermite reactions. A normal fire extinguisher will actually spread this type of fire. The average cost for this type of fire extinguisher is approximately $40.

Eye Goggles and Gloves should also be separate from the general population safety equipment. Perhaps as a PDR Technician you can just carry your own to be sure.

All of the above are for nonstructural aluminum repairs. If the body shop wants to work on structural repairs, then depending on the manufacturer’s requirements, there are special tools that need to be purchased such as a MIG Welder which is different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Riveting Tools need to be high-strength and have the same clamping abilities as those used by the aerospace industry. Also needed is a Frame Bench, Bonding Agents and Guns. Aren’t you glad you’re a PDR Technician and not a body shop owner?

All of these changes for a body shop, is quite expensive. However, this is an investment that body shops will not be able to avoid for long. Without these changes, there will be an increase of aluminum vehicles that will come in for work that they will have to send away. This is just bad for business on a couple of levels.

Gone are the days of a hammer, spray gun and a can of Bondo. Body shops need to diversify and not allow ignorance to have a negative impact on potential revenue.

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