- Powder coating is applied electrostatically to alloy wheels, then baked in an industrial oven.
- The balancer, strip tank, and dual-action sander are used to safely prepare for powder coating.
- A professional shows us how the colored powder can transform and protect wheels for up to 20 years.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: This is powder coating, a process where colored powder is applied electrostatically onto alloyed wheels. It’s far more resistant to weather damage and wear and tear compared to traditional painting.
Eddie: Hi, I’m Eddie, from The Wheel Specialist. We specialize in professional wheel repair and powder coating. Today, I’m going to talk you through the step-by-step process we use to transform wheels using powder coating. The first thing we do is take the wheel off the car. The next step is to check the tires are all right. Once we’ve removed the tire, the wheel will be put on a wheel balancer to check if the wheel is buckled. If the wheel is straight, we take it straight to the strip tank. We dip the wheel in the strip tank, and it removes the old finish and takes it down to the bare metal. The wheels usually stay in the tank for between two and four hours. Then afterwards, they’re removed and then power washed off. Due to the chemicals, the gunk and the paint, the old paint and the old powder coating comes off fairly easily when it’s power washed. Once fully cleaned, the wheels are ready for their repair process. Then the wheel is taken to the shot blaster. Once a wheel has been blasted, we sand out any damage. It’s important to keep the DA flat when you’re working with it, otherwise you could create steps in the wheel. When the wheel has been fully prepared, it gets sent off to the powder coaters. The wheels are then hung up and then placed in the oven for 32 minutes for preheat. While the wheels are preheating, we check the powder gun and any paint gun ready for powder coating. Once ready, the wheels are removed from the oven. Powder coating works by applying dry powder electrostatically. This is done by applying an electrode on the rail to create a negative charge. Although, in our system, it’s integrated. The powder coat is applied with a positive charge. This causes the dry powder to stick to the surface of the wheel. Once completed, the wheel is placed back in the oven for an additional 16 minutes. While we wait, we prepare the metallic paint, which is then lightly applied over the powder coat to produce the finish. Typically, the wheel goes in the oven three times and receives two coats of powder and one coat of wet paint. Then we apply a powder coat lacquer to finish the wheel. This ensures the best possible finish. Once the wheel is finished, it’s cooled naturally on a rail. And then the final quality inspection is carried out.
Narrator: On average, powder coating can range from $US400 ($AU532) to $US700 ($AU931), but freshly powder-coated wheels can maintain their finish for 15 to 20 years. And for car fanatics looking to preserve their ride, it’s worth the price of admission.