Originally Posted by larry2c
First, I really like this thread - thanks for sharing your knowledge MrMeeseeks!
My question has to do with the finish & painting of aluminum skins. I work in aerospace and see plenty of aluminum parts but few have the sort of finish an automotive body part has. There are also special considerations when applying paint to aluminum. What are they doing to make the aluminum skins equivalent to the steel ones in appearance?
I'm glad you're enjoying it, thanks for the feedback!
Now painting is not exactly my forte, admittedly, but I was awake for one or two body shop classes some time ago. So by special considerations I'm going to assume you mean the pre-treatment of the metal before its painted? Once primed the paint should adhere to both steel and aluminum in the exact same way.
As for aesthetics I'm not really sure. I would hope that Ford has equipped themselves with the proper tools and isolated bays for preparing/painting aluminum (to avoid any metal cross contamination). Which brings up a good point that if you're going to have a body shop work on your vehicle it's best to find one experienced in finishing/refinishing aluminum as well as steel.
I'm not sure if Ford gets their aluminum panels already pre-treated or not...but for years many automobile hoods have been aluminum and are treated and cleaned in a chemical bath. I'd forsee a lot of rising short term cost for either Ford or the aluminum supplier to now be treating a much larger percent of aluminum for each vehicle.
With steel you can simply seal over any cut-throughs after abrading but with aluminum you'd have to apply some sort of conditioning first if you managed to cut through the electrocoat if you don't want refinish failures.
Are there any particular aesthetic issues you're worried about with the painted aluminum?
Originally Posted by SCORGE
This thread is cool...thanks Marty and Meeseeks.
I'll probably be a mechanical engineer by the time this is over..haha
I hope to see a shout-out on your resume