Mitchell Motors are specialists in classic car restoration and work on all types of vehicles including ACs, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Bristols, Bugattis, Ferraris, Frazer Nash, Delage, Lancia, BMW, Jaguar and many more. All of our bodywork is carried out in-house and as well as our traditional methods we utilise innovative technology whenever we can.
Plastic Media Blasting, what is it and how can it help when restoring paintwork?
Preparation of the bodywork is of course the key to getting the best finish. Removal of paint is historically an issue for all classic car restorers. It’s always been a messy procedure whether using chemical or mechanical methods and awkward to use in those hard to reach crevices and shuts. Aggressive procedures risk damaging the vehicle panels and as we always like to be very thorough, paint removal was always very time consuming.
We found chemical strippers were good for large areas but in the more intricate areas it was very slow, messy and difficult to remove and clean away. Mechanical stripping was effective, but there was always a small amount of metal removal. We have never had panels or cars stripped in a vat as we had major concerns about caustic fluids being trapped in seams and cavities.
Blasting with grit was also always a worry as there have been so many panels rippled by blasters, it’s a common tale of woe. And finally, whilst soda blasting is a mild solution sometimes used, we listened to concerns that the soda would get trapped between panels and take on moisture, leaching out of seams after the car had been resprayed. This is obviously not acceptable! Soda is alkaline which means it would have the same effect as acid and could cause an electrolytic reaction, corroding the metal.
We discovered a method of blasting that uses an inert plastic media. It’s not hard like grit so it does not warp the vehicle panels. We purchased this innovative specialist machine - a Gritco mm40 which is capable of very fine metering and delivers the plastic pellets gently and economically.
Used properly, it doesn’t take on moisture or leach out of the seams and it has a neutral ph. In fact it’s so soft on the metal when removing paint that there is no key, so a little sand paper is needed to achieve this or we can subsequently etch the surfaces with a little light grit gently from a distance. Corrosion is also treated separately as required.
We are pleased to offer Plastic Media Blasting as a service in its own right as well as to complement our others; please call us on 01747 820223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and book your car in.
Bodyshop preparation for respraying
AC back to bare metal in the bodyshop