Powder coating

We seem to be coming across an increasing amount of powder coated alloy wheels that are degrading within a year of being powder coated.
Is this a problem anyone else is finding or is it just in our area?

One Response to Powder coating

  1. admin says:

    Hi Tony,
    Powder Coating alloy wheels should only be used when the alloy/s need to be completely stripped. In the majority of cases the alloy/s don’t need to be stripped. Most of the damage that we come across is kerb damage and scuffs, if the alloy/s is not heavily corroded then wet painting and 2k lacquering should be the only option.
    The powder coat finish is often prone to orange peel – Unlike spraying paint, it is impossible to control the finish of powder coat as it dries in the oven, the gloss finish is nowhere near as glossy as with the wet paint finish therefore after a short period the alloys often look tired and degraded.
    In certain wheels, powder coating could be dangerous; unless the composition of the alloy is known it should not be exposed to temperatures of up to 400°F as this can alter the strength of the wheel. In particular forged aluminium wheels – the process will often weaken the alloy; re-crystallisation can begin at around 300°F depending on the makeup of the alloy compound.
    Powder coated wheels chip easily – powder Coat is very tough but also brittle with no flexibility therefore they are vulnerable to stone chips. These chips can be difficult to repair without having a full refurbishment – the colours can be difficult to match and also spot repair. If the alloys are kerbed again the client is often forced to use the original refurbishers who may have discontinued the colour.
    I think the biggest disadvantage of Powder coating is that it can’t be offered as a mobile service, the customer is forced to take his car/alloys to the repairer and then leave the car/alloys with the refurbisher for days. This inconvenience can’t be underestimated and should be taken into consideration when comparing quotes from a static site and a mobile service. Often a static site will imply that the powder coating application is superior to OEM recommended wet painting to justify the inconvenience of taking the car/alloys to them however a wet finish used on normal kerb and scuff damage, when applied by a professionally trained technician, will result in a superior finish.
    Colm

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