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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I really wanted to order black wheels with the Lotus, but it seems I will be denied this option for the forseeable future. Someone on another forum suggested I look into powder coating the wheels that come with the Elise as an alternative. Has anyone had this done before and can comment on the quality, durability, look, etc. of the finished product? Is this even an option if the wheel has already been chromed or done as a polished aluminum? Any pitfalls to look out for? I've done a bit of googling on the subject, but I'd like to hear some comments from others who've done it before.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks to both of you for providing past threads. I guess I deserve a big duh for not searching this forum better. ;)

I'm so in for black customized wheels, but I definitely don't want to jeapordize the strength/rigidity of the LSS wheel.
 

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Hey guys, I keep seeing these threads about powder coating wheels. You need to tread carefully here. I have seen powder coated wheels crack. It is often a result of the additional heat cycle that powder coating does to the casting.

I got this reply from one of my favorite race car fabricators:

"There is probably some truth to the rumored failure of powder coated wheels after all. I talked to a friend who does heat treating for aerospace fasteners and there is such a thing as "overaging" aluminum parts by doing an additional solution treatment beyond T6. Its done to increase certain properties in the alloy at the expense of strength. T7 and T8 are designations for these levels of treatment. The precipitation temperature is ~400F to achieve the T7 and T8 states of the alloy and it appears that powder coating ovens hit this temperature."

Shinoo has some contacts in the industry, (sorry buddy) and given sufficient time, he should be able to chase down the specifics of the Lotus wheels, and whether the manufacturers think this is an area for concern. Until we get some specific feedback from them, I would advise against powder coating your wheels. It's just not worth it.

BTW - I want my LSS wheels in black too.
 

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Robert Puertas said:
Hey guys, I keep seeing these threads about powder coating wheels. You need to tread carefully here. I have seen powder coated wheels crack. It is often a result of the additional heat cycle that powder coating does to the casting.

I got this reply from one of my favorite race car fabricators:

"There is probably some truth to the rumored failure of powder coated wheels after all. I talked to a friend who does heat treating for aerospace fasteners and there is such a thing as "overaging" aluminum parts by doing an additional solution treatment beyond T6. Its done to increase certain properties in the alloy at the expense of strength. T7 and T8 are designations for these levels of treatment. The precipitation temperature is ~400F to achieve the T7 and T8 states of the alloy and it appears that powder coating ovens hit this temperature."

Shinoo has some contacts in the industry, (sorry buddy) and given sufficient time, he should be able to chase down the specifics of the Lotus wheels, and whether the manufacturers think this is an area for concern. Until we get some specific feedback from them, I would advise against powder coating your wheels. It's just not worth it.

BTW - I want my LSS wheels in black too.
Please do not alter the finnish on high tech wheels, for their own sake. there are many ways this process could affect wheels adversley - across a majority of refinishing styles.

In this case, the additonal heating of a heat treated metal may infact reverse the advantages of its initial heat treatment.

I agree that powdercoating's bake temps are what damages high end wheels.

If you must refinnish, you'll get you best results with untreated gravity cast wheels.

Alex
 

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UV Powder Coating is safe

I showed my friend this thread because he was in the process of power coating a set of forged wheels. He imediately called the shop and asked about the safety issue of heat cycling forged wheels. The guy told him they use UV lamps to cure the powder coat and it is no warmer than a standard light bulb.

I did a search and found this:

"Powder coatings cured with UV light offer increased benefits over thermosetting coatings such as faster curing cycles with lower temperature requirements. This allows heat-sensitive substrates such as wood, plastics, and some alloys to be coated using powder. Coating of parts containing both metallic and heat-sensitive substrates becomes possible when UV powder coatings are used."
 

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Interesting! How well do they hold up in exterior use, though? I mean, if the UV radiation affects the paint structure, won't continued exposure outdoors have *some* effect?
 

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that's good news!
 
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