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How car rims are made
Manufacturing method is very important in the final quality of the wheel.
Methods Of Manufacturing
There are a variety of ways to go about in actually creating a car rim. You will often hear of a wheel being in either one, two, or three pieces. A one piece is simply a wheel made in a single mold. Two piece rims are made from a center piece and a barrel that are welded or bolted together. Three piece wheels have a center, inside rim, and outside rim. Standard rims that often are already on your vehicle are made from steel and many people will choose to upgrade to a custom rim made from aluminum and magnesium alloys for better quality.
Forged Rims
Forging is one of the best methods of manufacturing a wheel. Forging consists of compressing a solid piece of aluminum under extremely high pressure and heat to form the rim. Roll forging is similar and uses rollers with impressions to create the final shape and has the additional benefit of requiring less aluminum therefore producing a lighter wheel.
Casted Rims
Casted Rim
The most common method of fabricating a wheel is done by casting. Liquid metal is poured into a mold and then after cooling is taken out for further polishing and finishing. A similar method which produces better results is counter pressure casting in which the liquid metal is sucked into the mold eliminating impurities that can be found on low pressure casts.
Chrome Rims
After a wheel has been cast it is sanded to remove any impurities and then cleaned and set to dry. It is important that dust and dirt do not interfere with the process so the wheel is set to dry in a mesh covering. Some wheels do not go any further than this and are called polished wheels and sell for a bit less than chrome wheels. Otherwise, the the wheel goes through several chemical processes before it is acid copper plated and ready for the next step.
Copper Plated Rim
After copper plating the wheel, the wheel goes through several more chemical baths and cleanings before the next coatings of nickel.
Nickel Plated Rim
Finally the chrome plating is applied. Some less expensive rims will skip some steps and will not go through a triple plating. These rims often will been seen with their chrome plating being chipped off after only a year of use. That is why many high quality rims are able to justify their price - they are of greater quality and will last longer.
Finished Chrome Rim
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