Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan have approved Chief’s Vulcan Adhesive De-bonding Unit for use in the structural repair of their vehicles.
The Vulcan ADU is the only tool designed to use infrared heat to break the bonds of structural adhesives joining automotive steel, aluminum and carbon fibre panels.
Using the Vulcan ADU, technicians can de-bond panels faster and dramatically reduce the risk of damage to underlying components. This provides significant improvement over using open-flame torches, grinders or chisels to separate such panels.
“Most automotive OEMs are using increasing amounts of glue and epoxy adhesive bonding to add substantial strength to their cars and trucks without adding weight. Separating thin layers of material connected by these adhesives can be challenging,” said Lee Daugherty, Director of Collision Sales, the Americas, for Chief parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG).
“Because Chief is dedicated to bringing collision repair shops and technicians the equipment they need to keep up with evolving automotive design, we identified the need to find a better way to remove such adhesives without causing additional damage during collision repair,” added Daugherty. “It is gratifying to have Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan recognize the value of the Vulcan ADU and approve it for use in repairing their 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.
Chief’s unique Vulcan ADU works on any vehicle surface, including aluminum, carbon fibre and steel. It uses short waves of infrared heat to produce up to 600 degrees of heat concentrated at the surface of the material being treated. This technology quickly heats 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.