Tuesday, 12 April 2016 21:26

Chief® Introduces Three New Tools for Collision Repair: New Welder, Rivet Gun and Debonding Unit

Chief Vulcan Adhesive Debonding Unit Uses Infrared Heat Aluminum Panels

As automotive OEMs incorporate more aluminum, high-strength steel, carbon fiber and other “exotic materials” into their vehicle designs, they are also using new methods to join these materials together. Structural adhesives are used extensively in vehicles designed with aluminum, but are also becoming increasingly popular with OEMs in the manufacture of traditional steel-based vehicles.

1) Three-Phase, High-Amperage MIG/ MAG Welder
Chief has expanded its line of inverter synergic pulse MIG/MAG welders to include its first three-phase, high-amperage model, the MultiMig 621. The MultiMig 621 can be used to weld and braze aluminum, galvanized sheet metal, stainless steel and high-strength steel.

“The MultiMig 621 is a great choice when welding certain thick structural aluminum components,” explains Mickey Swartz, director of global product management for Chief parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “It is also ideal for inverter pulse brazing because it can operate at a lower temperature, with better temperature control, to protect the material characteristics of high-strength steel and any anti-corrosion coatings.”

Like all Chief MIG/MAG welders, the MultiMig 621 features the synergic-pulsed technologies required by most OEMs for aluminum welding. The MultiMig 621 has a double pulse feature that allows the weld to cool slightly during the low frequency operation. This reduces the chance of drips. It also reduces deformation on thin pieces while providing full penetration on thicker sheets.

The MultiMig 621 comes loaded with a large number of synergic programs that preset welding parameters so technicians can start welding immediately. Multiple programmable options, such as crater fill and hot start, are also available to customize the welder’s operation to meet specific customer needs, working conditions and technician preferences.

The MultiMig 621 is multi-input line voltage capable: It can run on any voltage from 200 to 480 volts. It features Integrated Power Factor Correction (PFC) technology to reduce energy waste. The welder is equipped with a built-in cart that includes storage space for a gas cylinder.


2) New Chief® Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun Pierces Usibor® and Other High-Strength Steels

Chief’s new Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun puts out almost twice the force of the company’s standard rivet gun, enabling collision repair technicians to use it to install rivets in even the strongest steels, including Usibor®. The Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun is approved by Mercedes-Benz.

“The new Chief Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun was developed to meet Mercedes-Benz specifications, including being able to pierce Usibor,” explains Mickey Swartz, “This is our strongest rivet gun, with a compression force of 22,000 lbs. vs. 12,000 lbs. available from our universal PNP90 rivet gun. While our universal rivet gun can be used on virtually any current automotive application, the Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun is designed for the next wave of vehicles that will incorporate even more high-strength steel.”

The Chief Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun uses the same pneumatically driven hydraulic pump and pressure intensifier as Chief’s standard PNP90 rivet gun, but adds a few more built-in features. The Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun includes a retract feature and a dial to adjust the output working pressure. The mobile hydraulic tool not only outputs 10 metric tons of compressive force, it also gives 8 metric tons of tension force to hydraulically retract the punching tool from metal sheets at the push of a button. The dial provides infinite adjustment of the working pressure so the output force can be controlled to the desired level.

With a small adapter set that reduces the output pressure, the Heavy- Duty Rivet Gun is backwards compatible to the PNP90, so shops that already have mandrels for the standard gun can use them with the Heavy-Duty version. The Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun can be used to install self-piercing or flow form rivets and to punch holes.

Because the Heavy-Duty Rivet Gun is larger than the standard model in order to deliver higher power output, Chief is offering it with a cabinet equipped with a boom to help reduce technician strain and fatigue.

3) Put Down the Chisel: New Chief® Vulcan Adhesive Debonding Unit Uses Infrared Heat to Separate Aluminum Panels
As automotive OEMs incorporate more aluminum, high-strength steel, carbon fiber and other “exotic materials” into their vehicle designs, they are also using new methods to join these materials together. Structural adhesives are used extensively in vehicles designed with aluminum, but are also becoming increasingly popular with OEMs in the manufacture of traditional steel-based vehicles.

Repairing collision damage to areas built with structural adhesives can be challenging. The most effective method technicians currently have to separate bonded pieces of aluminum is to manually chisel them apart. This approach is not only physically tiring, but involves considerable risk of damage to the panel being removed, as well as the surface behind it. For panels made of carbon fiber, the only option is to grind through layers, releasing harmful carbon fibers if the dust is not properly captured. That’s where the new Chief Vulcan Adhesive De-bonding Unit (ADU) comes in.

The patent-pending Chief Vulcan ADU is the first product specifically designed to break the bond of structural adhesives in automotive applications. The Vulcan ADU uses infrared radiation technology to quickly heat the surface to a temperature where the first layer of glue underneath releases cleanly—in as little as 20 seconds. With the adhesive bonds broken, the technician can then easily separate the materials with less risk of damage to either piece. The epoxy remains smooth and hard, not sticky, leaving behind a clean work surface. The Vulcan ADU can be used on any vehicle surface, including aluminum, carbon fiber and steel.

“The need to meet 2025 CAFE standards is driving automotive manufacturers to explore an incredibly wide range of materials, joining methods and other light-weighting technologies in a relatively short period of time,” says Swartz. “As a result, the collision repair industry is innovating like never before to develop new tools, equipment and repair techniques. The Chief Vulcan Adhesive Debonding Unit is a solution to an issue that wasn’t important just a few years ago. But as OEMs incorporate glue and epoxies into their manufacturing processes for more and more vehicles, collision repair shops need to be equipped to efficiently separate those bonded components to properly repair the vehicles.”
Applying heat is a proven method for releasing adhesives, but although there are several options available for traditional steel panels, tight temperature control is needed to not overheat high-strength steels. Aluminum is more challenging because it dissipates heat very quickly and requires a lot of input energy: more than is found in traditional induction heaters or heat guns.

The Vulcan ADU uses very short waves of infrared radiation to quickly produce up to 600 degrees of heat concentrated at the surface of the material being treated. Even though the unit produces very high output temperature, the lamp’s handles and sides remain cool to the touch for safe operation and prolonged lamp life.

The Vulcan ADU has three modes of operation.

1) Manual: Pulling the trigger will produce whatever level of power the technician set until the trigger is released.
2) Automatic: The technician sets both a set point temperature and the power level, and the unit will control to that level while the trigger is pressed.
3) Programmable: The technician can set up to five steps including a specific temperature and how long the Vulcan should stay at that temperature.

To learn more contact your local Chief distributor or call (800) 445-9262. Chief is also active on Twitter, twitter.com/ChiefAutomotive and Facebook, www.facebook.com/Chief Automotive. For video, visit chiefautomotive.com/video-library.