What Do Panel Beaters Do?

March 08, 2012 02:56pm | Smash Repair and Accidents

Panelbeating is a profession in which an expert uses specialised tools to repair damaged vehicle bodies or manipulate body panels to modify the shape of a vehicle. The same profession is also referred to as an auto body mechanic. This position requires the expert to be versatile as they work with manipulating, repairing, and also replacing a number of materials such as alloys and steels, fibreglass, plastics, and carbon fibre.

Panelbeaters use metalworking techniques such as planishing which is finishing the surface of the panel by finely smoothing out the sheet metal. They also make use of putty and fillers to restore damaged panels to their original appearance, as in many cases the metal can never look the same without these fillers.

Panelbeaters most commonly work with vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, four wheel drives, vans and buses. While other panelbeaters have specialities such as trucks, boats, or even aircrafts, and some choose to focus on customisation work such as vehicle restorations or hot rod modifcations.

Becoming a qualified panelbeater or auto body mechanic requires a trade apprenticeship.  This may also involve studies at TAFE (Certificate III in Automotive Vehicle Body). 

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