As a professional in the collision repair industry, every skill set requires ongoing practice and refinement by training. This ensures that the techniques and repairs made on the workshop floor are continuously improved and or maintained at the highest level possible; a customer’s car should not be used as a practice ground.

Whilst technology has evolved over the years, it is beneficial to review the basics of inspecting repairs for safety and quality. Welds are one of the first things to consider. Critically important, welds have a significant impact on the longevity of a repair – including another potential collision.

For instance, the visual inspection of a weld is a crucial start – whilst something may look okay on the surface, looks can be deceiving. Panel fit-up, flange preparation and weld penetration are all items that should be a part of the visual inspection and can give an indication on the quality of a weld.

Destructively testing provides another way to examine the quality of a weld and is a vital step in the repair process. Destructive testing is carried out by tearing and twisting the test weld, to show if a proper weld has been created. One destructive testing method is the macro etch test. This method of testing typically involves the removal of small samples of the welded joint.  These samples are polished across their cross-section and then etched using a mild acid mixture, dependent on the base material used.  The acid etch provides a clear visual appearance of the internal structure of the weld so that an assessment can be made on its strength and effectiveness.

To upskill the collision repair industry with their welding knowledge and experience, I-CAR Australia are offering a complimentary welding equipment online course with every paid registration into an I-CAR Australia Hands-On Skills Development course. This offer is valid until 30/06/2022.

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