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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 3:16 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Aluminum Wheels Failure after Re-Powder Coating.

I have the wheels of my SS1000 stripped down and ready to send for re-powder coating (after sand blasting first to remove the old coating) when I heard a "rumor" that re-powder coating an aluminum wheel makes it more fragile and prone to break because of the highish heat involves in the process.
Not a clue if that applies on cast or forged aluminum wheels.
Any insight on the subject ?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 3:47 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry I can't answer your question but are you sure your wheels were powder coated to start with. I'm not sure but I think most Ducati OEM wheels are just regular paint.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 4:41 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Do a search, there was a very recent thread on this, along with some mention of a new process that allowed lower temperatures when powder coating.

The problem is that the powder coating process would effect the aluminum tempering. That of course assumes that your rims have been tempered...which who knows.

You might do some research and find out if they have, in which case you are going to want to be careful that the heat cycle required for powder coating does not cause the aluminum to lose the strength that was purposely designed into it.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 4:49 pm   #4 (permalink)
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I know for a fact that Magnesium wheels should never be powder coated ( unless it can be done at much lower than normal temperature. ) Heating magnesium wheels makes them extremely brittle and more prone to crack and/or fail.

I do know that aluminum wheels are frequently powder coated. It seems to not be a problem, however if it were me I would look for the low temperature powder coating .

Personally I would have the aluminum wheels hard anodized instead of powder coated. My second choice would be to have them painted with automotive epoxy based paints, or at least good quality auto paint that is made for all weather applications. Most bike wheels come from the factory with painted wheels. Some higher grade bikes will have powder coated wheels.

Let us know what you find out.

I too am interested in what people have to say about this topic.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 10:11 pm   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry I can't answer your question but are you sure your wheels were powder coated to start with. I'm not sure but I think most Ducati OEM wheels are just regular paint.
Not sure either but I remember that I read somewhere that the OEM Marchesinis are powder coated.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 10:27 pm   #6 (permalink)
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I have been running some powdercoated 999 wheels on my sport classic for about 6000 miles. over a year since i had them done. no problems to date. they are the aluminum marchs.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 1:07 am   #7 (permalink)
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Heat used for powder coating (200+/-) is not detrimental to Aluminum wheels. Most of what is floating around are uneducated guesses about the process: the weakening of the 'heat treatment' of Aluminum (forged @ 300-) which is not anywhere near powdercoating temps is not as common as the stories will have you believing. There are bad ways to do anything, but it's hard to prove that a long-standing and widely used process like heat curing powder coated wheels is causing strength issues all on it's own. If a wheel can be welded and perform a lifetime of trouble free duty, when the temps for welding are astronomical compared to baking powdercoating, I'd say your wheels will be fine.

Consider that the main reason wheels being re-coated have had damage to them and had suspect repairs done, then the possibility is there for failure down the road. If the wheels were taken to a reputable wheel repair specialist, you can be assured that they are performing the work according to research and training that they had to get certified by in order to do those types of repairs.

If you have real concerns about the powder coating process, take the time to call a wheel repair shop and get their professional opinion. Then spread that info around like the gospel, and forget about here-say.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 7:51 am   #8 (permalink)
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Not sure either but I remember that I read somewhere that the OEM Marchesinis are powder coated.
Does anyone know how to tell the difference between powder coating and paint by looking at the wheel?
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 11:21 am   #9 (permalink)
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Does anyone know how to tell the difference between powder coating and paint by looking at the wheel?
Paint will have a smoother finish and will have a higher gloss level than powdercoating. Powder is usually duller looking and has a good amount of orange peel depending on the mil thickness. Both have the potential to carry a little dust on the surface (within the coating) but paint can be color sanded and brought to mirror like finishes. Lastly, depth of color is far superior with paint as the color options and material qualities have far more options than powder.

In your case Mike, just lick the wheel. Powder tastes & smells like China enamel paint from Harbor Freight. Paint leaves that chemical taste like you get from a week in the hospital.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 11:27 am   #10 (permalink)
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Paint will have a smoother finish and will have a higher gloss level than powdercoating. Powder is usually duller looking and has a good amount of orange peel depending on the mil thickness. Both have the potential to carry a little dust on the surface (within the coating) but paint can be color sanded and brought to mirror like finishes. Lastly, depth of color is far superior with paint as the color options and material qualities have far more options than powder.

In your case Mike, just lick the wheel. Powder tastes & smells like China enamel paint from Harbor Freight. Paint leaves that chemical taste like you get from a week in the hospital.
Hmmmm, mine all taste like paint. The 10 spokes on the 999 taste best though.
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