How to Get the Best Alloy Wheel Powder Coating in Long Island
Powder Coating has become an increasingly popular way to paint your alloy wheels, as it creates a much tougher surface than conventional paint, coatings, or lacquers and will never chip or peel. Not only is it a great method for resistance treating your wheels, but it is also made of paint and metals and can be matched to any color you are looking for. Whether you need to match a rare vehicle color or want a special accent tone to your wheels, powder coating can provide this with a greater depth of texture and shine than any wet coating. If you are looking for the best alloy wheel powder coating in Long Island, a good first step is to understand the process.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a powerful and environmentally friendly way to protect and paint your metal alloy wheels. Unlike normal paint, the powder coating materials and process do not use harmful solvents or chemical carriers to transfer the color and coating. The mixture is, in fact, completely dry and made up of solid powdered particles of pigment, resins, and fillers loaded into a special spray gun. The spray electrostatically charges the powder as it exits at a low velocity, causing the mixture to stick to your wheels. Then the wheel is cured in a powder coating oven, melting the particles together into a solid coating. When the wheel cools, you will have an incredibly strong protective and decorative finish that is highly resistant to cracking, peeling, intense abrasion, corrosion, and chemical exposure. Powder coating protection typically meets and can significantly exceed the finish performance of solvent-based wet paint coatings.
What Are My Powder Coating Options?
Powder coating can go on any structurally sound metal alloy wheels, and is available in almost any color you can think of. Metallics are particularly popular, and the mixtures include actual flecks of metal that melt into a natural sheen. For people who want to paint their wheels, either to match their body paint or attractively contrast it, have over 200 colors to choose from. Much in the same way as wet paint options, you can also choose to mix colors for a perfect match if what you want is not among the base colors. Finally, just because it says ‘powder’ does not mean the final product is not shiny. While you can have a matte texture if you want to, the powder refers to the fact that no wet materials are used, and the melting cure process does effectively create a smooth, shiny surface.
How Does Powder Coating Work?
Step 1. Start By Clearing the Wheel
Because powder coating involves spray application and high heat, no parts of the wheel that are not the central alloy frame can be worked with. This means that the first step to any powder coating project involves removing the tire and accouterments. With the tire removed, the frame is then stripped of valves and any stick-on weights that had been added for balance. Now the wheel is prepared to start treatment.
Step 2. Get Down to Smooth Metal
Once you have the wheel clear, it is time to remove any preexisting coating. Even if you have never painted your wheels before, there is often a layer of protective sealant or lacquer on plain alloy wheels. The best way to clean them is by gently sandblasting the wheel. This ensures that every fleck of previous paint, coating, and lacquer is removed, leaving nothing but the smooth alloy surface.
Step 3. Repairing Minor Surface Damage
If you are restoring older wheels, there is a possibility that even under the old removed coatings could be some unevenness due to damage. In this case, your coating professional can dress and fill any chips or minor dents around the rim edges and face. This will make sure the powder coating applies evenly and provides the maximum appearance and protection for your wheels.
Step 4. Smooth with Heat Treatment
One of the best ways to perfectly smooth out your alloy wheels is with a quick heat treatment. Often, an alloy’s surface will take damage that is hard to see but has a serious effect on how the metal responds to coating, especially powder coating which is melted on in the curing process. A gentle heat treatment will very briefly soften the metal of your wheels and smooth out any air or tiny imperfections in the surface.
Step 5. Protect The Threads
Every wheel has a certain amount of tooling that you do not want to powder coat. Threaded holes, shafts, and galleries need to be protected so that they will still function correctly when you reconstruct the wheel with its component parts and attach it to your car. To do this, powder coating tape and silicone plugs are used to protect these areas during the process.
Step 6. Apply the Powder Coat
To make sure that every possible surface is coated, standard operating procedure is to suspend the wheel by a metal hook from the ceiling or a reasonably tall stand. You want it about chest to shoulder height for maximum convenience. Then the powder spray gun is loaded with your particular mix of pigments, metal flecks, resins, and dry filler. As you spray the wheel, the gun electrostatically charges the powder mixture so that it sticks to the alloy via powerful static-cling instead of relying on wet chemicals for the temporary bond.
Step 7. Curing the Coating
Once every desired angle of the wheel is coated in the powder mixture, it is time to cure it. Curing can mean a lot of different procedures, depending on the goal and material. In this case, curing means ‘baking in a hot oven’. The time and temperature depend on both your wheel alloy and the coating formula you selected, but is usually no more than half an hour at between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. During the high-heat cure, the powder particles melt together to form a smooth and nearly indestructible coat.
Step 8. The Clear Coat
The final layer of the process is the clear powder coat, which is not made of powder but is specifically formulated to enhance the appearance and protective power of your powder coating. For this step, the wet lacquer is applied over the coated surface of the wheel, then cured a second time to bond and set it. If you asked for any additional effects, they would go on between the powder coating and the clear lacquer.
Step 9. Reassembling the Wheel
With the coating and curing process complete, your wheels will look fantastic and be ready for reassembly and use. The tire is reattached along with the small collection of valves. The tire is then rebalanced, and any necessary weights will be added inside the wheel to maintain your new, stunning appearance.
Where Can I Find a Powder Coating Service?
Powder coating is a specialty metal service, which means that it falls into a unique point on the automotive and metal restoration Venn Diagram. Your options can range from auto body shops that have a powder coating station to specialty companies that offer nothing but powder coating. While this may sound difficult to choose from, you can always fall back on online reviews to determine which company offers a high-quality service that listens to what you want. For the best alloy wheel powder coating in Long Island, use TLC Metal Restoration, a custom metal restoration business. From dedicated workmanship to bountiful happy customer reviews, they can help you create the perfect color and texture for your powder coated wheels. To check out their services or schedule your wheel coating, please contact TLC Metal Restoration today.