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12 – What is Bondo?

Bondo is a trade name that has become synonymous with all plastic body fillers. Much like the brand name Kleenex which has universally become the name for tissue.

Plastic fillers became popular in the 1960’s because of their ease of use and minimal toxicity. Prior to plastic filler all rough body work had to be smoothed through the use and application of molten lead. The lead was heated up to a liquid state and then applied to the dented metal with a wooden paddle. The lead had to be applied quickly and with expert ability. Needless to say it took a lot of practice and resources to use it. Lead was used in many different ways at that time and auto body was just one example. As time went on scientist discovered that lead was toxic and it was eventually eliminated from the body shop altogether.

As for plastic fillers, they have continuously improved as dozens of companies now make their own versions of “Bondo”.

Plastic fillers start as two components, a soft creamy substance a little thinner than warm peanut butter. To that, a catalyst is added in a small ratio. A chemical reaction occurs and the two products combine and become warm. Within a few minutes the filler begins to harden. Once dried or cured, the “Bondo” can be sanded into almost any shape or contour. Typically, it is used to hide unsightly dings or dents in auto body work that cannot be smoothed to perfection with body hammers. When sanded in stages (and often applied or re-coated 2 or 3 times) an expert body man can make a previously dented panel appear to be perfect and without flaw.

So our thanks to the chemists that created all of the plastic fillers we use today. You have made dent removal safer and faster for body shops everywhere.

For flawless body work always insist on the best. Insist on Sturken Auto Body.

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