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topic 12181

Chrome wheel plating problem


I have read that chrome plated wheels will over time form stress cracks related to the differences in thermal coefficient of expansion between the chrome and the metal that it is plated to and this can lead to peeling of the chrome and possibly tire pressure loss due to the cracks running up under the tire bead.

Can someone give me insight to this problem?

Joe O'Donnell
- St. Petersburg, Florida


The conclusion is correct, but the steps leading to it are not. Chromium plating has been used to solve thousands of challenging engineering problems on piston rings, aircraft landing gear, hot molding, jet engine internals, and on and on. So the theory that its coefficient of thermal expansion causes peeling to develop is complete nonsense.

But peeling does occur and can lead to the loss of bead; so if it does, tell the plater or wheel manufacturer that you want your money back because it wasn't plated properly and you're not going to listen to any pseudo-scientific lame excuses.

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

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