Engineered Surfaces for Exceptional Performance
Engineered Surfaces for Exceptional Performance

Body Panel Repair

Reason for use: Repairing and protecting vehicle body panels.

Metallisation Flame Spray equipment is the preference for classic Volkswagen specialist repairers Vanshack Ltd (UK). The Flame Spray equipment is used for repairing and protecting the vehicle body panels of its customers’ vehicles.

Vanshack provides a range of services including servicing, engine rebuilds, engine re-specification, MOTs, body repairs and customisation to VWV customer’s vehicles and have introduced metal spraying with zinc to their range of services.

Vanshack has chosen the Metallisation MK73 Flame Spray system to metal spray zinc to both the vehicles of VWV customers, as well as other makes of classic vehicle body panels. Vanshack uses the system for vehicle body repair and conservation, using Flame repair for the restoration of peppered panels, Flame fill as a lead loading replacement, Flame seal for seam sealing, Flame coat for anti-corrosion protection and Flame build for component restoration.

Flame Sprayed Zinc

Metal spraying involves the projection of small molten particles onto a blast prepared surface. Upon contact, the particles flatten onto the surface, freeze and mechanically bond, firstly onto the blasted substrate and then onto each other, as the coating thickness is increased. To create the molten particles, a heat source, a spray material and an atomisation/projection method are required.

In the Flame Spray process a wire is fed by a driven roller system through the centre of an oxygen-fuel gas flame where it is melted. An annular air nozzle then applies a jet of high-pressure air, which atomises and projects the molten material (in this case, zinc) onto the vehicle panel surface.

For Vanshack, Flame Spraying zinc onto a peppered body panel is a revolutionary way of restoring and protecting original panels, to ‘conserve the original’. Traditional methods would mean the damage would have to be cut out and replaced but now, using metal spraying, zinc is sprayed over the exposed perforationsreplacing what has been lost. In some cases, where the holes are quite large, a support panel or tape is applied behind the open holes to aid the build up of zinc. The zinc will not bond to the support panel or tape, which is simply removed after the repair is complete. The Vanshack Team refers to this as Flame repair.

Body panel before and after Metal Spraying.

Flame Filling is also used by the team, as an alternative to Lead Loading in body filling repair work. This enables car panels to be filled without the risk of heat distortion, which can be created by Lead Loading.

The metal spraying process has made the skills required for Lead Loading much easier, however, this still requires a trained and experienced body repair technician to finish the panel to the highest standards.

In addition, if a panel or section has to be replaced, the team now uses the metal spraying process to load the joins of the panel. A custom coach-works would melt lead into the seam, which is a highly skilled process that can cause heat distortion and is difficult to control in complex and vertical seams.

Seams traditionally would have been sealed using mastic in production cars, which is less robust and more unsightly than metal spraying with zinc. The zinc also offers additional anti corrosion properties, in the repair and seam areas, that are vital to the longevity of the vehicles the Vanshack Team works with. The Vanshack Team refers to this as Flame Seal.

Metal spraying is an excellent alternative to galvanising when spraying entire car panels, Flame Coat provides a good base for the final paint coating to be applied. There are no heat distortion issues, associated with galvanising thin panels, and the coating can be applied in localised areas or over the whole panel. Once the panel has been metal sprayed, Vanshack then applies an appropriate paint coating to the highest standard set by professional coach-works companies.

For more Automotive Metal Spraying applications, Click Here.