Lloyd Schiller, a consultant who advises dealerships on their service operations, is urging his clients to build walls.
"Rubberized curtains are not the sound way to keep the dust from comingling. Essentially, it's a very heavy duty shower curtain. The idea behind having only curtains is to separate steel filings and dust from aluminum filings and dust. I'm sure it will keep 70 to 80 percent of it from escaping, but there's still an opportunity for some of the dust to escape when it's not a sealed unit."
Schiller says erecting walls need not be an expensive proposition.
The dealerships can simply put up a galvanized steel wall with drywall or pressed particleboard panels.
"You're not talking about a structural wall with concrete blocks and bricks. There may come a time five years from now when everything you're doing is aluminum, and you tear that wall down."
Meanwhile, collision shops need to remove aluminum dust from the air to prevent fires and explosions.
"Aluminum dust in the correct concentration is explosive if it comes in contact with an ignition source," says Jason Bartanen, director of industry-technical relations for I-CAR, the nonprofit collision repair group that is organizing F-150 repair training for Ford dealers and independent collision shops.
Ford wants dealers to purchase special sparkless vacuums for collision shops.
Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt says the company has reminded dealers and technicians that airborne dust, "from metals to wood, can be flammable, and proper ventilation practices should be followed."
By year end, Ford wants a network of about 1,500 aluminum-capable body shops, including about 800 dealerships and 700 independent shops. About half of Ford's 3,000 dealerships have body shops.
Ford maintains that most of its body shops are already capable of doing most repairs on the redesigned pickup.
But Ford is creating the Ford National Body Shop Network of dealers and independent shops capable of large structural repairs.
The network, whose members have the proper tools and training, will be Ford's conduit for insurance company repair referrals for the pickup.