3M Tech Tips: Installing Automotive Foams Part 2

3M Tech Tips: Installing Automotive Foams Part 2


now that we know how to choose the proper foam let’s take a look at some ways that they can be applied on a vehicle let’s take a look at a practical application for the use of foams this is a real common application that you’re going to see in the body shop now it’s important again that we get the foam into the area that the manufacturer wanted it to be in we just can’t take foam and inject it into a panel and allow it to foam up and fill the whole cavity if that’s not what the manufacturer had to begin with so we have to try to match what they did part of the difficulty here and a lot of questions I get from technicians is how do I keep the foam where I want it one of the things we can do is create a dam to hold the foam from flowing into areas we don’t want it to go into so there’s a number of ways of doing that one of the things we can do is we can actually take some flexible foam and create a dam so all I would do is on a bench on a piece of paper I would extrude out some flexible foam it may take more than one layer might take two layers three layers depending on the thickness we need but I can extrude this out allow it to foam up and now I’ve got a piece of foam that would act as a dam so for instance if I wanted to put some rigid foam into this pillar I could actually use the soft foam as a dam first create it then slide it into the bottom of the panel now when I extrude some foam through a hole in the in the b-pillar here it’s going to block the foam from flowing out and foam up exactly where I want it so that’s one method we can do we could also slowly extrude the foam out through the tip if we have access and if we extrude it slowly and allow it to foam out of the tip so it’s actually not coming out until it’s foaming out if we just extrude a bunch of liquid out it’s just going to run off so we allow it to kind of foam out of the tip and fill that cavity right on the vehicle so you could do that way or may pre-made foam damn now there are some times where you may actually take a factory Dam out they use pieces of plastic pieces of metal and any time we can save those it’s always a good idea so hang on to that foam that Dam and put that back in so we can use it to retain the foam where it’s meant to be it’s very important that we get that foam back in where the manufacturer wanted it so what I need to do now is dispense some pillar foam into this cavity so I’m going to take a previously prepared cartridge that I’ve already equalized and I’m going to dispense the pillar foam slowly into this cavity now this this has a small foam time so it’s going to take several minutes before the chemicals start to react and pull them up to fill this cavity you’ve got some time with this phone so it’s okay to take a little time to make sure that you get it placed in the proper location as you can see it’s going to take a few minutes before the chemicals react and it foams up now it’s okay if you get some minor leaking down through the bottom of the dam that’s not going to be a factor but it’s going to retain the majority of the foam and keep it in place keep in mind that this is heavily dependent on temperature as well so the warmer your shop is the quicker and the more volume of foam you’ll actually get if your shop is cooler it may take longer and you may actually get a little smaller area of foam okay another nice little tip for getting the foam where we want it is to use a water balloon and inflate it with they’re inside that cavity so it blocks the foam from going all the way down into that pillar so I’m going to demonstrate that here again on this b-pillar so what I’m going to do is take a regular water balloon insert it through the hole in the area where I want the foam to be retained then I’ll take my blowgun and carefully and slowly fill that balloon then I would tie this balloon off and all my foam will be retained in this area here where I want it to be now that we’ve got our dam in place I’m going to dispense some of the flexible foam through a hole above to place it exactly where we need it to be so I’ve got a pre-prepared cartridge of flexible foam all equalized now I can install it down through the hole it’ll take just a couple minutes to begin to foam and again it’ll depend on the temperature in your shop how much volume and how quickly that will begin to foam so as you can see our damn act is as it should and kept the foam exactly where we wanted it to be so now that I have my flexible foam installed in the proper location I can begin to remove this dam so all I simply need to do is pop this balloon and try to remove it the best I can it may not come all the way out of the vehicle but this one came out nicely but if it doesn’t don’t worry it’s not going to cause any problems so just to wrap up what we need to know about the foams is their properties and characteristics how fast they foam how much time you have to work with them and what type of foam that the manufacturer wants in keep in mind that these foams are not only to absorb noise or to support panels but they may also be in there for safety reasons from the manufacturers so crash tests are done with these foams in place we need to have them back in place where they belong on the vehicle very quick easy simple tips that we’ve done here today should allow you to really make some successful repairs using the foams and getting them back in where the manufacturer wants them so if you need any more information on the products you’ve seen today or any other tips and tricks please visit us at 3m collision comm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *