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topic 706

Starting a small business chroming wheels


I have never done any Chroming before,but I am Interested in starting a small business chroming wheels, can anybody help me with details of where I can get the Equipment or advice to which equipment is better. I prefer a machine that can chrome alloy or aluminum wheel to mirror shine. Please send brochure or information to:

Kray N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Biloxi, Mississippi

Electroplating Engineering Handbook

weiner book
Chromium Plating

Weiner & Walmsley


Hi, Kray:

You can certainly go into the business of chroming wheels if you wish; there seems to be a good market, with lots of people wanting their wheels chromed or rechromed. But it's quite difficult.

Chrome plating involves stripping the old finish, polishing, buffing, detergent cleaning, etching, acid desmutting, zincating, nitric acid stripping, re-zincating, cyanide copper plating, buffing again, recleaning, electroless nickel plating, acid copper plating, semi-bright nickel plating, bright nickel plating, chrome plating, and de-ionized water rinsing--as a bare minimum. Waste water treatment and air pollution monitoring and control are a huge part of it.

What I am saying is you don't so much buy a machine as build a factory. If you are interested, see our FAQ on chrome plating. I think you'll find this a helpful introduction. Then you may wish to get a few recommended plating books. Finally, please review our FAQ getting started in plating before you buy chemicals and become forever responsible for them. Good luck!

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Why wouldn't it be possible to build equipment to repolish aluminum wheels that makes use of electropolishing or anodizing as an alternative to chrome plating? Lots of the wheels on today's cars and light trucks are aluminum, not chrome. Most of them look crummy after five years or so.

David F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]


It is possible, David. It's probably more a question of aesthetics than of any other issue. Bright dipped and anodized wheels are nice, and some people may like them better. But some people like the look of chrome. That glint from polished chrome plating can't be matched by anodizing.

Further, only some limited grades of aluminum can be bright dipped and anodized to any aesthetic effect. Most casting alloys, like the great majority of today's "alloy wheels" would be mottled gray and miserable looking. Bright dipping and anodizing cannot fix it because only aluminum can be anodized, not the silicon, copper, magnesium, and other alloying materials. But you probably can buff the wheels to a nice shine. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Kray N.,

There are many plating companies currently chrome plating automobile wheels. It is the most difficult, labor and time intensive product to plate. You must also consider the warranty for the wheel produced which is currently 1-3 years. If you are not already familiar with the plating process in general, this is a very difficult starting point. Unless you have a lot of money to lose, I would not consider this project.

Gary Patigler
- Richmond, California



geronimo [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]


The kit that I see, Geronimo is for tin-zinc plating rather than chrome plating. I'd still say you should start by reading our FAQs first, but if you want to spend a hundred bucks as a learning experience I suppose the Eastwood kit is fine.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

(2003) -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

I am looking into the Chroming Business and need some help if anyone could please mail me with some info...Chroming Alloy wheels

Carl R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Harahan, Louisiana


Hi Carl, we've appended your inquiry to this existing page instead of spawning a duplicative thread.

If you follow the requested links, you'll see that for mass production this is probably a million dollar project. The thing to do then may be to to locate the suppliers of such plating installations and have them take you on a plant visit to other customers who are chrome plating wheels so you can get the full picture.

Please see our directories of Chemicals and Equipment and contact those suppliers. Good luck!

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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