Common Mistakes: Panel Bonding

When it comes to panel bonding, there are some common mistakes that can have a huge impact on the strength and quality of the repair.

The first common mistake that people make is not properly cleaning the area where the panel bond is to be applied. It's important to use the recommended cleaner/degreaser prior to adhesive application to ensure there are no contaminants that can cause an adhesion failure or premature corrosion in the area.

The next mistake that is commonly made occurs while positioning the replacement part. If repositioning of the part is needed, it is important to slide the part. Do not pick up the part and separate the adhesive. Lifting the panel introduces and traps air in the adhesive, weakening it at those points. Most panel bond manufacturers cover this in the technical data sheets (TDS) for the product.

  • Per 3M training material: "Do not lift the panel because air pockets could form in the adhesive between the replacement panel and the vehicle."
  • Per SEM: "If the panel must be repositioned, slide it instead of lifting to prevent creating air pockets."
  • Per Lord Fusor: “After the panel has been positioned, do not pull it away from the vehicle. If repositioning is necessary, slide the panels against one another. This maintains contact between the two surfaces.”
  • Per Plio Grip: "Align the new panel in place, and apply even pressure. After the panel has been positioned, do not pull away from the vehicle. If repositioning is required, slide the panels against one another to ensure no air is trapped in the bond line."
  • Per Kent: "Place the panel in position immediately; slide to realign if needed. Do not separate."
  • Per IES: "When repositioning, slide the panel. Never lift the panel when repositioning."

Panel bonding adhesives are used on vehicles more than ever. It’s crucial that the materials are used and handled properly. Which includes following the manufactures TDS and the OEM procedures.

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