California Chrome Wheel Inc. Chrome Exchange Specialists

The Chrome Plating Process

CalChrome Chroming Process
Summary
Introduction

Chrome plating of an aluminum wheel is an intricate and time-involved procedure. Below are some of the major steps required to chrome plate a wheel. Additional proprietary operations contribute to the wheel's final form. (Our Clientele)

Pickup and delivery: The CalChrome Trucks
1. WHEEL PICKUP
Local pickup is available in many regions on the West Coast.
Receiving large orders via LTL trucking
2. RECEIVING - Large Orders
Wheels are unloaded, sorted and prepped for processing.
Receiving individual orders via standard shipping
3. RECEIVING - Individual Orders
Individually shipped orders are received daily through ground delivery services.
Unpacking of individually shipped orders
4. UNPACKING
Individually boxed wheels are unpacked by hand.
Inspection of incoming wheels for damage
5. INSPECTION
Wheels are inspected, and checked against included paperwork and photos are taken.
Each wheel is engraved with a unique tracking number
6. TRACKING
Each wheel is engraved with a unique tracking number.
Detail of tracking number engraved on wheel
7. TRACKING - Detail
Detail of tracking numbers.
The wheels are stripped to bare aluminum
8. PAINT STRIP
All paint and primers are removed at low temperature so wheels dont warp.
All solutions are rinsed, collected and recycled.
9. PAINT STRIP
All solutions are rinsed, collected and recycled.
Showing before and after of the paint stripping process.
10. BEFORE / AFTER STRIP
Showing before and after of the paint stripping process.
Semi-Automatic polishing for the outer lip of the wheel
11. SEMI-AUTOMATIC
This procedure brings the lip and outer edge area to a high luster.
Polishing detail areas of the wheel with hand tools
12. DETAIL POLISING W/ HAND TOOLS
This work is necessary to process the detail relief areas of the wheel (windows).
First stage of polishing for large areas of the wheel
13. FINAL POLISHING
This final procedure polishes the larger facial areas of the wheel.
Jitterbuff eliminates waves in broad areas of the wheel
14. JITTERBUFF
The flat part of the wheel is worked to eliminate waves in the material.
Wheel is completely cleaned to remove polishing compounts
15. SOAP BATH & RINSE
The wheel is put through a special operation to remove all polishing compounds.
Aluminum is chemically etched which aids in metal adhesion
16. CHEMICAL ETCHING
The wheel is put through various chemical baths to etch the surfaces.
Wheel is copper plated to help fill in porous aluminum casting
17. COPPER PLATE
Copper plating helps fill imperfections in the porous, aluminum casing. Not all platers utilize this important step.
Wheel after copper plating prior to copper buff
18. COPPER PLATED WHEELS
After the completion of this procedure, copper wheels must again be polished before the next plating step can occur.
Copper buffing brightens and smooths the surface further
19. COPPER BUFFING
Upon completion of the copper plating, the surface of the wheel needs to be brightened to a high-luster finish.
Tight areas and windows are buffed by hand
20. COPPER BUFFING (DETAIL)
Once again, the relief areas (window) needs to be brightened to a high-luster finish.
After the wheel is copper buffed, all of the polishing compound must be washed away to ensure proper adhesion of the following metals.
21. COPPER BATH
After the wheel is copper buffed, all of the polishing compound must be washed away to ensure proper adhesion of the following metals.
Copper plated wheels are inspected prior to receiving following nickel and chrome layers.
22. INSPECTION
Copper plated wheels are inspected prior to receiving following nickel and chrome layers.
Semi Bright Nickel
23. SEMI-BRIGHT NICKEL
Semi-bright nickel provides the base layer for excellent corrosion resistance in multi layer nickel systems and function as a "barrier" to prevent base material corrosion.
Bright nickel plating bath
24. BRIGHT NICKEL
Bright nickel is the metal that is primarily responsible for the bright shiny reflective qualities of a chrome wheel.
Auxiliary anodes
25. MICROPOUROUS NICKEL
Micropourous nickel (particle nickel) provides improved CASS-resistance due to a high amount of incorporated micro particles in the final nickel layer.
Auxiliary anodes
26. AUXILIARY ANODE
This device is placed on the wheel and helps to ensure complete and even coverage.
Auxiliary anodes
27. AUXILIARY ANODE ATTACHED
This device is placed on the wheel and helps to ensure complete and even coverage.
Chrome plating bath
28. CHROME PLATING SOLUTION
Alloy wheel shown after being dipped in chrome solution.
Final rinse
29. FINAL RINSE
Any remaining solutions are removed.
Final cleaning and inspection
30. INSPECTION & CLEANING
As each wheel is cleaned and inspected, it is identified by the customer number that will determine its packaging.
Completed Part
31. COMPLETED PART
Here is the completed part. It has been paint-stripped, polished, copper-plated, copper-buffed, nickel plated, and chrome plated.
Tracking info on completed wheel
32. TRACKING
Completed wheels are tracked once again to ensure proper delivery.
Custom boxes for the ultimate protection
33. INDIVIDUALLY BOXED SHIPPING
19 inch and larger are boxed with our proprietary foam molding process for shipping via UPS, OnTrac, or palletized shipment.
Custom boxes for the ultimate protection
34. INDIVIDUALLY BOXED SHIPPING
18 inch and smaller are boxed with protective rings for shipping via UPS, OnTrac, or palletized shipment.
Palletized wheels shipping out via LTL truck
35. PALETIZED SHIPPING
Large volume orders are loaded onto pallets and shrink wrapped.
Boxed and wrapped wheels shipping out via UPS
36. WHEEL DELIVERY
Individual orders, including mummy wrapped tire & wheel packages can be shipped via UPS.
Orders with tires are mounted and road force balanced
37. WHEEL MOUNTING
Wheels with tires are professionally mounted and road force balanced.
Local installations are also available by appointment
38. INSTALLATION
Installation directly to vehicle by our trained technicians is available to local customers.
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California Chrome Wheel Inc. hours of operation
including telephone / internet sales and installation services:

Mon-Fri Saturday Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM PST By Appointment Only Closed
Se Habla Español
Shipping & Receiving:
24850 Avenue Rockefeller
Valencia, CA 91355
Billing:
PO Box 802936
Santa Clarita, CA 91380-2936
Phone: (661) 294-0170 | Fax: (661) 294-0104

All manufacturer logos are used for identification purposes only,
and does not represent an affiliation, authorization nor licensing with such manufacturer.

California Chrome Wheel Inc. - The Chrome Wheel Exchange Specialists Chrome Plate Your Wheels