Powder coating rims improve your wheels’ appearance while lowering the overall cost of your aesthetics. Rather than purchasing bespoke rims when they become worn out, refinishing them by investing in this process might help them look brand new again.
Powder coating uses ground particles of specified colours and resin. They get electrically charged as they are sprayed onto the refinishing surface, such as your wheel rims.
That charge allows it to cling to the metal and the wheels. They’re then baked so that the surfaces mix together to form a firm cure. This method produces a high-quality, long-lasting surface that consistently looks excellent.
Although there are other ways to improve the overall look and durability of your rims that need an updated surface, there are some advantages and disadvantages of powder coating wheels that you should consider today.
Thus, in this in-depth article by Expomaster, we will discuss what powder coating your rims mean, their benefits and drawbacks, as well as detailed information and video on how to powder coat rims step-by-step.
Table of Contents
- What is Powder Coating?
- Are Powder Coating Rims Preferable To Painting Them?
- Is It Possible To Powder Coat Any Type Of Wheel?
- What is the Lifespan of Powder Coating?
- The Average Cost of Powder Coating Wheels
- The Benefits of Powder Coating Rims
- List of the Drawbacks of Powder Coated Rims
- The Verdict on the Benefits and Drawbacks of Powder Coating Wheels
- Steps on How To Properly Powder Coat Rims
- Finishes For Powder Coating
- List of Companies That Powder Coat Rims In The USA
- FAQs About Powder Coating Rims
- Final Thoughts on Powder Coating Rims
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating refers to the process of completing a specified surface with a dry coating that is commonly applied electrostatically and thermally cured. The dry, powdered substance utilized in the powder coating process is made up of a polymer base mixed with curatives, flow modifiers, levelling agents, and colours.
Powder coating, when dried, is typically thought to be more durable than paint and is naturally resistant to chipping and flaking. This is because powder coating adheres to any metallic surface on which it is applied.
Powder coating technology advancements have offered a plethora of options for customers who want to customize their wheels. As new pigments are developed for usage each year, this coating can now be applied in practically any colour imaginable.
Are Powder Coating Rims Preferable To Painting Them?
Powder coating is often regarded as a superior alternative to painting a vehicle’s wheels. This usually boils down to a question of durability.
Because powder-coated finishes are electrostatically applied, a permanent link is formed between cured coatings and any metal base stock beneath. This is in contrast to paint, which just acts as a surface treatment.
As a result, powder-coated finishes are less likely to chip and endure far longer than painted finishes. This is significant given the rigours of road life.
Powder coatings also have a tendency to apply evenly and in a pretty textbook manner. Inconsistencies, such as thin areas or visible imperfections, are rarely encountered. Unfortunately, most painted finishes cannot be claimed to be the same.
Is It Possible To Powder Coat Any Type Of Wheel?
Powder coating can be applied to almost any metallic surface, including the majority of automobile wheels. Steel and stainless steel wheels, as well as aluminium wheels, can be powder coated, however, treating the latter brings its own set of issues.
Before having a set of aluminium wheels powder coated, much attention should be given. The temperatures required for curing powder-coated surfaces frequently exceed those used in heat-treating aluminium wheels.
As a result, the structural integrity of an aluminium wheel may be jeopardized during the powder coating process in extreme circumstances.
As a result, many manufacturers cancel the guarantee on any aluminium wheels sent for powder coating. While this should be of little concern to individuals who have owned their vehicle for a long time, owners of automobiles that are still under their original warranty period should think twice before proceeding.
Aside from the composition of a wheel, the condition of any rim intended for powder coating should be thoroughly examined. This is due to the fact that damaged rims are frequently difficult to evenly coat, which can result in a variety of cosmetic faults.
What is the Lifespan of Powder Coating?
Most well-placed powder-coated finishes can be anticipated to last for 15-20 years on average. This number, however, is subject to fluctuation due to conditions such as excessive UV exposure, significant wear/tear, and exposure to corrosive substances.
This is approximately twice the longevity of painted-on finishes, which have a projected service life of 5-10 years under optimum conditions. Powder-coated coatings, however, are nevertheless vulnerable to many of the same flaws as paint-based finishes.
Powder-coated wheels will definitely chip and fade over time due to normal road wear and tear. This type of wear is to be expected on any rim, regardless of surface treatment.
The Average Cost of Powder Coating Wheels
For many customers who want to have their wheels powder coated, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost of such services. While there have been numerous accounts of “at-home” powder coating, the majority of these cases involve the use of rubberized spray finishes such as Plasti-Dip.
Though these finishes can be put to a vehicle’s wheels with satisfactory results, they are not called powder coating in the real sense. Actual powder coating, on the other hand, is normally done by specialists in a dedicated facility.
Because of the complexity of this work, one should anticipate paying a reasonable fee for such services. The cost of supplies frequently affects the actual pricing of powder coating services.
Powder coating a set of four wheels, on the other hand, will cost between $350 and $700.
The treatment of smaller, sedan-sized wheels with a single base coating is at the lower end of this price range. The top end of this price range, on the other hand, covers larger wheels that will receive additional gloss or clear coats in addition to the normal base.
The Benefits of Powder Coating Rims
1. Powder Coating Provides a Better Level of Resistance.
As you travel, your vehicle’s rims will see a lot of action. Depending on the season, you may begin to experience flaking, chipping, or corrosion difficulties caused by salt, road grime, and other external elements with each turn. Debris on the road, or even gravel on a country street, can cause damage that must be repaired.
The powder coating on the rims will create a non-porous surface that will protect the wheels better than regular paint. You will suffer less overall damage as a result of some unforgiving situations than you would in most other scenarios.
2. Powder Coating Increases the Durability of Your Wheels and Rims.
After the powder coating particles are sprayed onto the rims, they are baked at high temperatures in an oven. This technique causes the coating to fuse together, resulting in a curing process that contributes to the product’s longevity. A thicker surface, constant surface covering, and longer overall life is all benefits.
When a powder coating is applied correctly to your rims, the surface can last up to three times longer than regular painting work, which some car owners prefer.
3. To Powder Coat Rims is Better for the Environment.
When you can redo your own rims, it can feel like you’re saving money and doing something nice for your vehicle – or even the environment. The only issue with a regular paint covering is that many of the chemicals used to coat rims contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This product is not only toxic to your lungs if inhaled, but it is also damaging to the ozone layer.
When you choose a powder coating for your wheels instead, you can totally avoid the risk of VOCs. You won’t have to deal with any leftover paint, which is nearly impossible to catch or reuse once your wheels are finished. If you have leftover powder from this technique, you can easily recycle it.
4. Powder Coating Improves the Coverage of Your Rims.
When comparing coverage between regular liquid paint and powder coating, the latter always comes out on top. There are some sections of your wheels where applying liquid paint without affecting other parts of the car is nearly impossible. If the rims are elaborate or have detailed motifs, you will run into this problem when painting them.
Powder coating employs an electrostatic technology that, when paired with the curing process, allows you to reach the most difficult portions of your wheels and assure proper coverage across the whole surface.
5. When Compared to other Surfaces, To Powder Coat Rims Will Save you Money.
Although the initial cost of powder coating is often higher, choosing this surface option for your wheels can save you a significant amount of money in the long term. According to Thumbtack pricing data, the average cost to do a whole set of wheels ranges between $400 and $700.
If there isn’t much demand for the product, certain places may offer this service for a little less. There are other providers who charge more than $4,000 for difficult jobs.
6. Powder Coating Has a Far Shorter Cure Period Than Paint
When comparing liquid coatings for your wheels to powder coating, the powder coating option requires a shorter processing time. It will also go through the drying and curing processes faster. Instead of taking many hours to prepare your rims, the powder coatings can be ready in as little as 10 minutes. Painted wheels may take many hours to dry without heat, or 45-60 minutes if an oven is available.
That means you’ll be in and out in no time with your new style. If you conduct the work yourself, you’ll also be working with fewer staging locations, which means the spatial needs will be much lower.
7. Powder Coatings Can be Applied to a Variety of Wheel Materials.
When powder coating wheels, you’ll generally be working with metal materials such as aluminium, steel, or stainless steel. If you choose, you can also utilize brass in this method.
This option may also benefit a range of non-metal rim components, such as fiberboard or glass. The only restriction you have when creating a durable finish is that the material you use must be able to withstand heating.
8. You Can Make Use of All of Your Materials.
When working with powder coating materials, practically all of the coating is used. That means you won’t have overspray losses as you would with typical liquid paint. This product also does not include any solvents, thus there is no evaporation loss. This product has an almost perfect use rate.
List of the Drawbacks of Powder Coated Rims
1. Color Application Issues Can Arise With Powder Coating.
When you choose powder coating over paint, there may be concerns with the final tone or hue that you receive once the rims are removed from the oven.
The baking process produces a consistent output most of the time. Although the recycled product can creep into what you’re using. This means that cross-contamination can occur even when the same particles are applied to all of your wheels.
Powder painting your wheels may not be the greatest solution if you want a precise colour-matching experience with your vehicle.
2. The Surface Thickness Can Be an Issue for Some Wheels.
When you require a strong finish that can withstand abrasion, powder coating is a good solution for wheels. Also, when you want to produce a thin surface on your rims for a specific aesthetic, this choice will work against you.
It is nearly impossible to build thin surfaces when using this option. If your project requires a build that is less than 6mm thick, you will need to use a different procedure to achieve the desired results.
3. With This Surfacing Choice, You Must Consider The Beginning Expenditures
Powder painting your wheels is a viable choice if you have a local source who would put together a whole set for less than $400. When your service is in high demand and charges ten times that amount, the start-up expenditures may bankrupt the rest of your project.
This problem also affects providers. To begin with, operators require a particular booth to apply the particles to the surface. Then there’s the oven, which must be a specified size and function at high temperatures to avoid limiting the size of the working rims.
4. To Achieve A Solid Coating, The Rims Must Be Ground.
If you want the powder coating to last, you must grind the rims to make the surface usable for the baking process. That means any paint on the wheels must be removed before you can begin. This preliminary work can quickly become a headache if you already have a powder coat on there that has to be touched up.
Because of this drawback, touch-ups are harder to do if some scratching occurs. You must return it to your supplier to complete the task (which may require a total redo). Nevertheless, you must paint the product to make it visually similar, which eliminates many of the benefits you had in the first place.
If you have a non-metal surface, you must use a fluidized bed coating application. This makes the coat more difficult to accomplish.
5. There Is Less Control Over The Coating’s Smoothness.
When you work with an experienced powder coating vendor, the outcomes are usually consistent. Because the baking process works with the electrolysis to create a firm bond, you have less control over the final smoothness of the surface.
There are instances when the heat isn’t quite right or the powder doesn’t adhere properly, which means your rims will need to be restarted because the look is inconsistent.
6. Powder Coating Can Be Difficult On Thicker Items.
When working with a standard set of wheels and rims, powder coating can provide a faster drying time. Your curing and processing activities will also speed up. If you want to use heavier rims or larger parts with your car, your advantages may be somewhat offset.
This problem occurs because the entire portion must be heated sufficiently to reap the benefits of this product. Because the expanded size necessitates a greater volume of warm air and exhaust, the work takes longer to accomplish. This can nullify many of the economic advantages offered by this technology.
The Verdict on the Benefits and Drawbacks of Powder Coating Wheels
If you want to refresh your look or repair what you already have, powder coating is a realistic alternative for most wheels. Although it may not always be the optimal solution, the value is usually well worth the investment.
The advantages and disadvantages of powder coating wheels may not apply to every driver. However, these important considerations can assist you in determining whether a custom look is appropriate for your car. Before starting, consult with your physician about all of your options to ensure that you obtain the desired results.
Steps on How To Properly Powder Coat Rims
Step 1: Work on Preparation
Professional equipment is used to remove the tires. The wheels are then hot pressure cleaned to eliminate any remaining dirt and grime. The alloy wheels are then placed in a chemical stripping tank to remove the old paint and clear coat.
Step 2: Blasting and Inspection
To remove defects and corrosion, the wheels are light material blasted. Each alloy wheel is inspected for defects, particularly severe scratches or cracks on the face and lip of the rim. Any damage will be corrected before proceeding to the next phase.
Step 3: Application of Powder Coat
CNC’s in-house powder coating facility was designed exclusively for wheel handling. The wheels are pre-heated in an industrial oven to de-gas the alloy before being primed with a powder coat.
The rims are then allowed to cool. After applying the final clear coat, the wheels are returned to the oven for another 30 minutes.
Step 4: Final Visual Examination
After cooling and quality inspection, the wheels are ready to be fitted with tyres and electrically balanced. Your newly powder-coated wheels have been installed on your vehicle. The end effect is a brilliant, even, and consistent appearance, as well as an extremely durable and long-lasting finish for your rims.
Finishes For Powder Coating
Powder coating comes in a variety of colours and finishes to choose from. It might be a basic finish like black, silver, or white, or it can be a bespoke finish like red, bronze, or shadow chrome.
You can choose your preferred powder coat colour and then the finish, just like with standard alloy wheel spray paint. To obtain the desired effects, there are three powder coat finishes to choose from.
High Gloss Finish
If you want your wheels to stand out with a high sheen, go with a gloss finish powder coat. It has a smooth, shiny, and opulent factory-like finish. Every time a powerful reflection sparkles your bike as the rims spin, this powder coat finish will turn heads.
Satin Finish (Semi-Gloss)
If gloss is too gleaming for you and matte is too flat, a satin finish is an ideal compromise. The semigloss finish is less reflecting but not too flat – it’s somewhere in the middle. Satin powder finish provides for just the proper amount of reflection to show off the wheel’s natural beauty.
Matte powder coat finishes are popular among automobile enthusiasts who wish to give their ride a more athletic appearance. It gives a vehicle an aggressive, tough, and race-inspired image, making them particularly popular with aftermarket tunes, sedan cars, SUVs, and 4×4 vehicles.
List of Companies That Powder Coat Rims In The USA
If you are looking for companies that powder coat rims near you in the USA, check this list below.
ADS (American Dry Stripping) was established in 1985. It grew steadily throughout the years from humble beginnings. They are continuing to grow and diversify its customer base. Its reputation and service are known across New England. They regularly provide high-quality abrasive media blasting and finish powder coating (surface finishing) services.
80 Wampus Lane #13 Milford, CT 06460
Express Phoenix Wheel Repair is a high-quality rim straightening, welding, and cosmetic wheel repair firm that specializes in luxury and aftermarket rims.
7741 N 68th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85303
Performance Automotive and Tire Center is truly a one-stop shop for all of your automotive repair, tire, and maintenance needs. They provide qualified, courteous personnel and cutting-edge technology to get your car back on the road. Whether you are bringing in your car or truck for manufacturer-planned maintenance or experiencing a performance issue.
6322 E Superstition Springs, Ste 107, Mesa, AZ 85206
FAQs About Powder Coating Rims
Is Powder Coating Rims A Good Idea?
Powder coating creates a thick, non-porous layer that protects your wheels from nature elements. This includes water, dirt, salt, road filth, and other contaminants. In other words, your wheels will not only look fantastic, but they will also be more protected for a long period. So in short, yes, it is a good idea to powder coat rims.
What Is The Lifespan Of Powder Coat Rims?
Most well-placed powder-coated finishes can be anticipated to last for 15-20 years on average.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Rims Powder Coated?
Inexpensive: While prices vary based on the installation, wheel complexity, size, and materials used, the average powder coating job for a set of aluminium alloy wheels costs between $400 and $500.
Is It Better To Paint Rims Or Powder Coat?
It is better to powder coat rims.
Final Thoughts on Powder Coating Rims
Finally, we have come to the end of this extremely in-depth article. Which consists of all you need to know as regards powder coating and how to powder coat rims. Keep coming back for more here on Expomaster.com.ng.
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