In a previous article, we talked about the benefits of Powder Coating your wheels/rims with L.A. Wheel and Tire's high quality and high-tech processes. And while it's nice to see all the cool colors and textures, some people like to get behind the "science" of powder coating, and really see the specifics: temperatures, times, inspection criteria, etc.
Well, this article is for the gear-heads among you! But first, watch the video!
Check out the video to see the process, accompanied by our in-house musical talent!
The Powder Coating Process
STEP ONE: First, our wheel experts inspect the wheels to assure that they are round and true, and free of any corrosion or cracks.
STEP TWO: Before applying the Powder Coat, we carefully prepare the surface of the wheels. [Proper prep takes a lot of time, but it is essential to getting a good finished result.] That means chemically stripping the surface and media blasting it to a 0.7 mil anchor profile, which makes for a strong, lasting mechanical bond, and an even, durable finish. We also carefully mask the mounting surfaces of the wheels so as to avoid interference with fit and the attachments for the wheels.
STEP THREE: Then, we prebake the wheels at 375 degrees for 20 minutes to â€œoutgasâ€ impurities that would adversely affect the finish. Prebaking is done at the same temperature as the curing bake to assure that impurities that might otherwise â€˜bubble-outâ€ in the final curing are removed before the powder is applied. Temperature is kept below 400 degrees to prevent softening of the aluminum. Baking and pre-baking are done in large, industrial convection ovens with tight control over temperatures and the rate of change in temperature.
STEP FOUR: After pre-baking, the wheels must be slowly cooled down to less than 180 degrees before the â€œpowderâ€ is applied.
STEP FIVE: The wheels are then hung on a double strand of conductive wire around the barrel of the wheel.
STEP SIX: â€œPowderâ€ (a mix of very finely ground pigments and resin) is then â€œfoggedâ€ at low pressure onto the wheels. Low pressure can be used since the nozzle, (either a corona gun or a tribo gun, depending on the finish being applied) imparts a strong electrostatic charge (between 10-90,000 volts) to the powder opposite to the charge that the conductive wire gives the wheel. The wheel literally attracts the powder, which makes for a uniform coat even in crevasses and other recessed areas.
STEP SEVEN: Following a careful, even application of the proper powder, the wheels must be slowly brought up to 375 degrees and baked for 30 minutes to properly cure. We carefully monitor the baking temperatures in our state of the art ovens.
STEP EIGHT: Finally, the wheels must be cooled at a controlled rate to get a strong, even finish.Â This process creates a final DFT coating of 1.5 mil.
STEP NINE: Then, the wheels are inspected at least twice (by both our Powder Coat artists and by our wheel experts) before being packed with custom foam inserts to protect them during shipping.
THE FINAL STEP OF AWESOMENESS: The wheels arrive at your doorstep, and you are the proud owner of some amazing, custom powder coated wheels that will make your neighbors jealous!
Click some pictures in the gallery below to see some of the amazing effects you can get with Powder Coating!
Want wheels like these? Please visit us at:
www.LAWHEEL.com or call
1-800-584-2832 (toll free in the U.S.) or (818)-626-8867
Comments, questions or concerns?Â Don't hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us!