What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless Dent Repair, also known as its acronym PDR, is a recognized industry repair process that involves the removal of hail dents and other types of damages from a vehicles exterior surface panel.
It can be described as a micro-kinetic shrinking process, where pressure is applied in tight formations against displaced molecules, aiding the metals “memory” to return displaced molecules to original condition.
What is Metal “Memory”?
The “memory” of metal refers to the original placement of the metal molecules after being pressed into shape during the manufacturing process of a panel.
When molecules on a panel are displaced (dented) there’s a pressure or elasticity that encourages molecules to return to their original placement (the memory).
The use of heat guns, lamps and induction heaters are commonly used in dent repair, to aid the metal molecules to their original placement and to keep paint flexible and crack resistant.
How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?
Dents are most commonly removed with two types of procedures,
1- The use of metal rods to push a dent out from the underside of a panel.
2- The use of glue tabs to pull the dent out from the topside.
By using either of these techniques a skilled dent technician can restore a panels appearance eliminating the need to repaint the surface.
When Can PDR Be Used?
The paintless dent repair process is most often used to repair hail damage, but also has shown to be effective in fixing parking lot damages, like door dings and minor fender benders.
The paintless dent industry has been evolving quickly, and with the latest tools and training available, it has made bigger more complex damages repairable.
In a case where the metal is stretched it is usually accompanied by paint cracking or chipping, but when a repaint is needed it’s still possible to apply a PDR technique called “Push for Paint”.
What is a Push For Paint?
When PDR is not an option, and a conventional paint repair is needed, “Push for Paint” is the repair term used by body shops to describe using paintless dent techniques to lift the metal back to best possible condition, reducing the need for filler and also minimizing the size of the repair area.
In most cases, the metal can be placed back to 90% or better condition, making a block sand of some high build primer all that is needed to prep the panel for paint.
Push for Paint proves to be most effective when damage is in close proximity to an adjacent panel, and blending the colour into that panel is trying to be avoided.
How Can I Learn More About Paintless Dent Repairs (PDR)?
Depending on your intentions, there are several avenues where you can learn more about PDR.
Dent repair schools. With “one-on-one” training class’s this is the best and most effective way to become a professional Dent Technician. The benefits of having a skilled teacher over your shoulder could save you years of learning the hard way. Classes can range from $5,000 – $25,000 +, and last between 1-5 weeks.
Training DVD’s can be commonly found on various dent tool websites, which are also good places to learn more about the different tools and lingo used in the industry.
DVD’s usually come in packs, but some companies sell them individually.
Online training can also be a good place to start. It costs less than “one-on-one” classes and allows you to learn more at your own pace.
Just make sure you have a good wifi plan, because to learn PDR from scratch would take many hours of video.
Another good way to learn more is to like our Facebook page where we share content found from different parts of the repair industry.
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