Should I Powder Coat my Alloy Wheels?

powdercoatIt’s a great question, and at Diamond Alloys West London we believe the simple answer is yes!

Why? Well, because an alloy wheel powder coat produces a smoother and longer lasting finish. The alloy is completely stripped back and prepped by hand and then given a full powder coat all round, front and back, to ensure the alloy is well protected. The final stage is to lacquer the alloys to create a lasting protective layer. We also highly powder-coatrecommend adding rims bands to your alloy wheels to protect them from kerbing. This is a minimal cost and can be installed at the same time as your refurbishment.

A powder coat alloy wheel refurbishment can also allow you to change the look of your rims. We have a range of standard colours in stock but have the skill and capability to enhance the look with custom colours to your choice. Our technicians are happy to help with colour selection when you drop off your car to our West London alloy wheel repair centre.

If you have any questions about our repair and refurbishment services, please call us on 0208 845 7788 and we will be happy to help.

Our Latest Alloy Wheel Repairs

diamond-cut-bmw-alloywheelsAt Diamond Alloys, we believe it is important to showcase our work. Not only because we are proud of what we do but also because it shows our valued clients how much care and attention our dedicated alloy wheel repair technicians put into each and every job.

We specialise in Diamond Cutting and powder coating; in fact every wheel that comes through our repair centre is powder coated which we think is the best a wheel can get in a refurbishment treatment because it helps us achieve a smooth finish and offer clients a long lasting effect.

We cater for trade accounts, so bodyshops and car repair centres, including some big name brands, and so consumers can rest assured we offer a premium quality finish. All wrapped up with the Diamond Alloys customer care and discount on a 4 wheel refurbishment (consumers only)

We have highlighted here just a few finishes that have come through the centre this week. Remember, we also recommend rim bands to help keep your rims kerb damage free! These can be fitted at the same time for a small change that could save you £££s in the future. Call us now on 0208 845 7788 and let us help you decide on a new look for your precious alloy wheels.

Where Did Alloy Wheels Come from?

Nowadays we take the availability of alloy wheels for granted, but they have in fact only been popular, and widely available, since the 1980s. So where did they come from?

alloy-wheel-finished-fbAlloy wheels have been offered sporadically since 1924. Before this, wheels were usually comprised of two pieces of pressed steel – the rim and the disc – which were welded together.  The other option was an aluminium rim, which was connected to the centre by metal spokes.

One of the first to realise that alloy wheels have the power to offer greater stiffness and reduced weight was Ettore Bugatti, who featured them on his Type 35 in 1924. The wheels also improved brake cooling, and Bugatti continued to develop cast alloy wheels until he arrived at the stunning 24 inch version used on the Type 41 Royale.

After the Second World War, the alloy designs were augmented by Panhard, which developed a radially finned aluminium brake drum to double as the wheel centre. Cadillac and Pontiac later introduced similar versions, which also had a centre cap covering the mounting lugs. Many vehicles had an adapted plate that allowed for the open-centre rims to work with wheel balancing machines.

diamond-alloys-corrosion-refurbishment-triumphThe 60s saw more makes offering alloys, although they still weren’t hugely popular. Abarth put magnesium wheels on most of their models from 1962, while Ferrari introduced their first alloy, the magnesium Cromodora Starburst, on their 275 GTB in 1964. The Corvette, the Alfa Romeo GTA, the 1965 Mustang, the 1965 Lamborghini Miura and the 1966 Fiat Dino also featured alloy wheels. Porsche came to the party slightly later, adding their first alloy to the Porsche 911S in 1966. They were consistent, however, and the alloy has remained standard on the 911 for decades. Aston Martin came to the party with an alloy on the DBS V8 in 1969, with Mercedes following a year later.

A variety of different wheels were favoured by different manufacturers, but it’s estimated that the Minilight wheel, introduced in 1964, was the most popular aftermarket wheel ever. Available in both magnesium and aluminium, the wheels were used by factory competition teams everywhere. The first budget-friendly wheel available to all motorists was an aluminium alloy offered on the VW Golf, Scirroco, Passat and Audi in 1974.

Alloy wheels finally reached peak popularity in the 1980s, and have remained that way ever since. Although their styling and design has evolved over the years, the benefits remain: better stiffness, lighter weight and unique styling that puts your own individual stamp on your car.

Why Powder Coat Alloy Wheels?

steveHave you ever wondered why alloy wheel specialists recommends a powder coat process for repairing and refurbishing alloy wheels?

Diamond Alloys is a powder coat specialist and to help you answer this question we have put together a list of the benefits of applying a powder coat process to your alloys along with some common questions with their answers.

The Benefits of Powder Coating Alloy Wheels

  • You’ll achieve a better and more durable finish with a powder coat.
  • Achieves a longer lasting result compared to painting alone.
  • Typically a one coat finish it can offer a quicker turnaround for completion.
  • Powder coating is an environmentally safe process because it produces few volatile organic compounds (or VOCs).
  • Creates the most even finished surface (horizontal and vertical) because the powder is sprayed and heated without drips or application traces.

Most Commonly asked Question About Powder Coating?

diamond-alloys-powder-coat

What colour finish can I achieve with a powder coat?
There is a wide range of colours available. You can also add texture, achieve a matt or gloss finish.

Is a powder coat finish dangerous?
Powder coating are not classified as dangerous and there are no solvents used in powder coating.

Does powder coating prevent rust?
Unfortunately no, but the finish is durable and last longer than many other processes which is why it is so possible, ensuring return visits to the workshop are fewer.

Can I get powder coated alloys diamond cut?
Yes, all our Diamond Cut allows wheels have a powder coat base. This can be painted a colour to accentuate the effect of the cut.

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Can I get a smart repair powder coat?
No. Powder coatings are a workshop applied using specialised equipment. The equipment includes an electrostatic spray gun, spray booth and an oven to bake the coating. On site application is not possible given the hot curing cycle required to fuse the coating.


What has static electricity got to do with powder coating?
Powder coatings are electrostatically charged by the spray gun. This works by very high voltage (80,000 to 100,000 volts) being delivered to the electrode. This high voltage ionizes the air creating a field of electrons or negative charge. The powder is pneumatically conveyed into this electrostatic field, picks up a charge then heads to the nearest ground. So lots of static electricity is generated by the spray system.

diamond-alloys-powder-coat2How should I care for my powder coated alloys?
Pollution, dirt, grime and salt can all accumulate on a powder coated surface over time. To extend the life of your powder coated alloy wheels a simple regular maintenance program should be implemented for the removal of residues.

In areas where pollutants are more likely, especially in coastal or industrial regions, a cleaning program should be carried out on a more frequent basis. To clean a powder coated surface, carefully remove any loose deposits with a wet sponge and then use a soft non-abrasive brush or cloth in combination with a mild household detergent solution to remove dust, salt and other residues. Finally rinse all powder coated surfaces with clean water.

How do you make better tyres?

It’s easy to be sceptical about anyone who says they’re revolutionising tyre design. After all, they are literally trying to re-invent the wheel. Yet if you’re convinced that there’s nothing left to innovate in the world of rubber, tread depth and air pressure, then this AutoExpress article is well worth a read.

In it, the journalists travel to Goodyear in Luxembourg in order to view the latest tyre developments and sneak a peak at the wheels of the future. As they discover, what Goodyear have produced in recent years is already miraculous: the BH-03, for example uses the movement and heat of the tyre to generate electricity, which created the potential for on-board electronics to gather and transmit data about the road and tyre conditions.

But it’s what they still have in store that’s truly impressive. In 20-30 years the company believes that its Eagle 360 tyre design, which has a spherical shape and a brain that moulds its bionic skin to suit the road surface, will actually be in production.

Between now and then, however, the company expects to see the development of smaller tyres carrying heavier loads, due to the proliferation of battery packs, as well as an increase in chip-in-tyre technology to aid the advancements in automated vehicles. The latter also could spell the end of humans having to worry about checking and maintaining their own tyres, leading to much safer driving conditions for everyone on the road.

Lastly, the article features a fascinating insight into how the company designs and manufactures new tread patterns, a process which takes about two years from start to finish. It’s worth reading to get a sense of how much hard work goes into crafting every inch of your tyre – and it certainly makes you appreciate the four rubber rings that help you get from A to B every day!

Get the must have alloy wheel look for 2017

_bs_8418According to Oliver Rak, Project Manager at Mercedes Benz, when it comes to what is on trend for alloy wheels this year “It is a continuation of last year’s trends: large formats are still very much ‘in’, as well as are light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish, whose allure stems from the contrast between the seemingly bare metal surface and the painted areas.”

This seems in line with trends at Diamond Alloys alloy wheel repair and refurbishment centre in West London. General manager Amerjit Ubhi commented, “Although we do get requests for Shadow Chrome or Gloss black finish, by far the most popular request we have for an alloy wheel finish is a Diamond Cut. The process starts with a thorough strip down and then powder coat which gives the alloy wheel colour. Then the face of the wheel is cut to reveal a shiny metal finish (a bit like a CD); if a dark colour base is chosen the Diamond Cut will really accentuate the design of the rim. The alloy wheel is then lacquered to protect the finish.  It’s a great look and I’m not surprised it’s the height of fashion for rims!”

Take a look at some Diamond Cut alloy wheel repairs we have carried out in our London wheel repair workshop.

Do I need Summer Tyres?

summer-tyresIt’s a great question and Diamond Alloys is on hand to help you decide.

Most guidelines suggest summers tyres should be used from April to October. Summer tyres maximum safety performance is achieved at 7+ Celsius degrees where the compounds and the tyre design allow good grip and handling on both wet and dry roads (well it is Britain!). Applying summer tyres will also enhance your driving experience by offering more comfort and lower noise due to resistance and roll which are reduced with summer tyres. You’ll also enjoy a longer tyre life and improved fuel efficiency along with better mileage and steering stability results.

Take note, new summer tyres come with a tread depth of 8 mm. If they fall lower than this the wet grip of summer tyres is reduced. The minimum legal depth in the UK is 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tread width and around the entire circumference of the tyre. Tread depth that is too low will increase the risk of aquaplaning and can increase your stopping distance so ensure you check them regularly. If they need changing, don’t delay, contact to Diamond Alloys and we will find the right tyres at the right price to meet your budget.

A Cut Above the Rest – Diamond Cutting Alloy Wheels

img_5661-2We love to shout about how good we are at repairing and refurbishing alloy wheels. We believe the proof is in the pudding and so regularly share finished wheels on our news page and social media so you can see just how good our Diamond Cutting finish is.

The process cuts a very thin layer of alloy away to remove any kerbing damage and produces a shiny effect a bit like the back of a CD. This can be contrasted against a dark black gloss or shadow chrome finish for dramatic affect to accentuate the shape of the alloys, or with standard silver for a more subtle effect.

Take a look at our galleries and it might inspire you to opt for a new look! Our technicians have years of experience and are highly skilled and can create a finish to your desired look. If you have seen something you like on another car, then snap a picture and show us, we’ll do our best to create a similar look depending on your alloys spoke design.

ALL our alloy wheels have a powder coat base as standard including our Diamond Cut alloy wheels. This gives a sound base which is smooth and long lasting; remember, we powder coat front and back, not just the face of the wheel. If you have seen a look you like here, simply give us a call on 0208 845 7788 or get a quote on-line here.

At Diamond Alloys, We’ve Got Your Back

img_6760-smallHave you ever had someone ‘pop in’ to see you unexpectedly? Did you then do what millions of us do, and spend five minutes frantically making the place look as clean and tidy as possible – perhaps by hiding all the dirty dishes in a cupboard? There’s no shame in these temporary measures, because that’s just what they are – temporary. You’re simply trying to give your guest a pleasant experience, not to mention protect your reputation as a homeowner! What you’re not doing is permanently keeping those dirty plates in the cupboard, or leaving that pile of un-ironed laundry hidden behind the sofa forever. That would be terrible, right?

img_0929-3smallIf you agree with that, then you can imagine how we feel about companies that only repair and maintain the front of the wheel. It’s the same kind of thing – they’re only treating the areas that people can see and letting the hidden areas, in this case the back of the alloy, become filthy and unloved. The worst thing is that it often isn’t made clear that this is what the company has done, mean that customers think that their wheels are more protected than they are in reality.

img_3071-2smallHere at Diamond Alloys we powder coat and paint the entire alloy, not just the front. This is because we are committed to providing the highest quality service possible, and because we believe that all parts of an alloy should be cared for equally, regardless of whether or not they are visible. Powder coating the whole alloy results in longer-lasting rims, which is what anyone who cares about the health of their wheels deserves.

If you’d like to find out more about any of our repair processes, from powder coating to diamond cutting, please check out our blogs which document them all in detail. You can even watch our YouTube videos to see exactly how we do the repairs and painting – on both sides of the wheel!

Diamonds are a Car’s Best Friend

range-rover-alloysOnce you start looking into repairs that will preserve the aesthetics of your car’s wheels, it won’t be long before your research leads you to the phrase ‘diamond cut finish’, or ‘diamond cutting’. This is because a diamond cut is widely regarded as the crème de la crème of alloy finishes, one that provides the highest possible quality and precision, giving your wheels a prestigious, high calibre look.

Diamond cutting works by finely cutting the alloy wheel on a lathe, removing only what metal is required – nothing more, nothing less. The process starts, however, with a specialist clean of your wheel, completely removing all dirt, grit and tar, ensuring that our team can make a thorough examination and decide on the best possible repair for the damage.

vw-caddy-van-alloy-wheel-refurbishmentAfter the cleaning the wheel is powder coated, allowing for a smoother finish once the repair is complete. Then comes the precision cutting, which leaves a pure, shiny finish. Following this expert diamond cut comes a coating of scratch-proof lacquer, after which the wheel is baked in the oven and then carefully inspected to ensure it meets our quality standards.

Even if you’re not fanatical about your wheel aesthetics, it’s worth considering a diamond cut repair because many car companies fit diamond cut alloys to their vehicles as standard. If your car is intended to come with this style of alloys then it’s worth preserving the continuity, not just to ensure the car looks its best but also to give yourself the best possible chance of attracting a high resale price should you ever come to put it on the market.

If you have any questions about our diamond cutting repair service, or want to know whether it’s appropriate for your wheels, then please do get in touch.