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Chrome plating on alloy (aluminum) wheel

RFQ: Can I get aluminum rims chrome plated? I used Simple Green and it pitted them. Please give estimate of cost. THANKS!

Everet P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
rims owner - Bartow, Florida, USA
May 13, 2009

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)

Q. I own a polishing shop in Mississauga Ontario and am doing good. Our quality is well improved . But still we are depending upon somebody's services for plating. As far as I know nobody is setup in Ontario for chroming on alloy wheels (car/ truck rims). if somebody can guide me how typical is this and what is required for this system to setup please?

Surinder G
- Mississauga, Ontariom, Canada

A. There are good reasons that there is not a local shop. Government regulations! The next is cost. It is so labor intensive that it is cheaper to buy a new mass produced wheel than to chrome plate an old one. There is a lot of technique involved, it is not a "dip it operation". Take a look at the letters that are already here (use the search engine) and it has been covered hundreds of times.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Q. My factory has plated chrome on alloy wheels for 7 years. We have a successful process. We can plate to 22 inch alloy wheels and acceptable from both European country and USA. Believe me that only my factory can plate on alloy wheels in Thailand because others don't know about the tactics of plating in each step. But now my factory has big problem: nobody wants us to plate chrome on their wheel because most consumers prefer chrome wheels which come from CHINA. Soon my factory may close if I still cannot get any new orders from anywhere -- despite my factory having both excellent polisher and highest quality plating line but nobody want to plate alloy wheels anymore. It is a pity?

Aon Dum
- Bangkok, Thailand

What can anyone say, Aon, except that you have our sympathy? Between currency manipulation and slave labor, no one the world over can compete against Chinese manufacture whether they be the highest technology shop from Europe or a startup making subsistence wages in Asia. In the USA, countless plating shops have closed. For some reason "human rights" and "fair trade" are issues of concern for textiles but haven't gotten traction for car parts or the thousands of items that fill Wal-Mart and Home Depot shelves to the rafters :-)

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Thank you.
I have a problem about corrosion resistance in the deep recesses of alloy wheel. There are two problems, the first is yellow spot and red spot that disperse all over the wheel surface both high current and low current area. What cause does it came from?
The second is white rust at the low current area that it look like volcano and the plating layer were lifted from the aluminum. What cause does it came from?
Alloy wheels were plated with 7 layers including triple plated nickel. What 's more? microporous chromium was also applied on it?

Aon Dum [returning]
- Bangkok, THAILAND

A. In answer to your second question there are 2 possibilities. The alloy casting may have porosity or there is not enough plating thickness in the L.C.D.

Kevin Burns
- Kitchener Ontario Canada
February 24, 2008

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