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Thread: Removing powder coating from aluminum wheels?

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    Question Removing powder coating from aluminum wheels?

    How are you removing the original coating on aluminum wheels before recoating. I have found this to be a painstaking operation. Also do you charge extra to strip these aluminum wheels. Any comments or sugestions appreciated.

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    B17 is the quickest. You should be charging about $20-$25 per rim to cover the chemical and labor. You'll need a tank large enough to submerse the wheel and enough chemical to dip atleast half the rim. This will take longer only doing half at a time buit it will get you started. The chemical will have the stuff falling off in about 10 minutes. Once its all off, give it a quick rinse and then off to blasting.

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    What is B17 and where can i purchase it?

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    Miles chemical is great it the best I have used.

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    Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride) and formic acid works well, it looks like that B17 stuff is probably made of something like that. Hydrochloric acid works better, but there are far more risks in terms of processing and health so it's best avoided.

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    Senior Member UnknownCoatings's Avatar
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    Why are you not just blasting the original finish off?

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    blasting is not always the answer. You can put waves in the metal (aluminum) if the coating does not want to come off with ease and chem stripping can save you time and money. There is not much human labor in chem stripping and no other overhead like sand and electricity. once the coating is off and you have a bare wheel, whats it take to blast a rim down to a premium virgin surface? 5-7 minutes?

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    Senior Member UnknownCoatings's Avatar
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    Cost of the stripping agents is high, and if you are a legit business the fire inspector will not be your friend.

    Waves in the metal? If you are a sketchy blaster, or use way too abrasive of material.

    These wheels were powder coated two times now. I did them the first time, but because its a track car (Porche GT3 RS) they take a beating, and the owner wanted them redone. I blasted them with 100 grit green diamond, then coated them Ink Black from NIC

    Yes those are perfect reflections of the clouds.



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    How long to blast off your old coating?

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    Senior Member UnknownCoatings's Avatar
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    well with 100 grit it did take about an hour. normally a set of wheels is about 30 minutes.

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    I'm using 80 grit AO at 60psi with a venturi nozzle which is abour 120psi with a straight bore nozzle. I try not to be aggressive. Powder coating is a waste of my effort to blast off and even some painted wheels can take 30 minutes EACH for me to blast.


    waves - when you blast a spot and start working a line, as you are removing the coating the media is still removing more metal than it should be and this creates waves. flat surfaces are no longer flat. You see it more when you try to remove chrome from wheels or when you blast something powder coated with a high thickness. I have just chose to avoid it. B17 is what....$12/gallon? lets just say that it took one gallon per wheel. I would rather spend the $12 and dip it for 10 minutes than to spend 30 minutes blasting on one wheel. Id have to charge the customer $55 for that.

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    Unknown, do you hang your wheels up with plumbers tape?

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    Senior Member UnknownCoatings's Avatar
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    Yup, sure do. Plumbers tape, a 1/4-20 thumb bolt and a wing nut, then a chain with a hook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHDPC View Post
    Unknown, do you hang your wheels up with plumbers tape?

    I saw that too... thats actually another good Idea. better grounding than wire and you should be able to strip and reuse it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member UnknownCoatings's Avatar
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    I dont strip them ever, the stuff is too cheap, and the part I need to stay bare metal is always against metal so it cant get powder on it.
    when they are getting old and haggard, I toss them. I have them in all different lengths and in groups of 4 so I can always just hang a set as needed.
    I will put up pics tomorrow.

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    Junior Member jtpowder's Avatar
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    We are looking into other companies chem stripping, Glad this was posted. I think the overhead is low, saving time, electricity and frustration would be key to a very happy staff. I have "re blasted" wheels ughhhhh it sucks hahaha. Chem all the way baby then to put a light roughness via the blaster to the metal for adhearence would be priceless.

    Jt

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    I have no problem blasting the factory finiswh off aluminum wheels either, but re-blasting powder is VERY slow, what are you guys doing to remove chrome plating, is there an economical way to chem strip the chrome?? p.s has anyone tried that thermo-bond-3 filler yet ??

  19. #19
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    I made many calls at one time researching the best way to remove chrome, mainly from wheels. First off, you cant blast chrome off, not on aluminum anyways. If you blast it, you end up putting waves in the aluminum. Aluminum wheels are SUPPOSED to be stripped in NITRIC ACID, this is what a couple places told me. I don't remember the reason, I think it was due to the aluminum not being destroyed in the acid bath. Steel can be reverse plated in an ordinary chrome tank. Then you have the issue of there being different types of chrome on wheels. Some are real chrome, some are vacuum metalization. Not sure if you can strip them the same. More than likely, you will still have some copper stuck to the aluminum, I personally have not yet tried to blast a wheel that had been stripped of chome and still had some copper. The copper is softer and blasts away fairly easily. I have done it on some small parts. This is a process that has to be developed and followed correctly to keep from deforming the metal. I have just been turning away trashed wheels. Its not my fault that people spend $5000 on a set of rims and then drive them in the winter.

  20. #20
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    High Temp Metal Filler
    I use my local chromer to strip the chrome. It does leave a little copper on them. It does blast off easily. If you can turn down the blast pressure that is the safest way.

    Benco mentioned above makes the only stripper that I have found that really works on good powder. I have tried most all of the ones listed here. Benco's is fast and if you buy the gel version it does not run off.

    Hope that helps.

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