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Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:25 am
by Ltoddokc
I've seen a few threads about Ligero's ceramic coated kinlin rims and since they aren't currently available I'm wondering about the feasibility of having a local shop do a ceramic coating on a couple rims. They specialized in automobile engine part coatings so they have plenty of experience dealing with high heat applications. Does anyone have any opinions on this route? Btw, im not affaid to admit that this is purely for cosmetics, I just hate that shiny silver brake track but don't really want to gamble on Chinese carbon clinchers just yet.

Also, is there a reason why no one is powder coating rims? I don't know anything about powder coating other than its applied at 400 degrees so it seems like brake heat wouldn't be an issue. Would the friction from the brake pad wear through the coating?

Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:25 am
by Weenie

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:42 pm
by ergott
Ltoddokc wrote:Would the friction from the brake pad wear through the coating?


Yes.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:40 pm
by FIJIGabe
I would have reservations about doing this. First, there is the issue with having the wheel heated to 400 degrees for a long period of time (over an hour, depending on application). That may cause a degradation of the resin. I'm not a materials engineer, but it's something that should be looked into.

Secondly, is the issue of actual braking improvement. Ceramic coating of piston skirts and the like, are usually done to reduce friction (you coat the piston skirt to reduce friction on the piston walls, particularly on cold-start). If that's the case, I don't think you'd get any benefit by doing that to the wheel. Sure, you will prevent heat transfer to the rim (like coating an intake runner, or headers), but at the expense of braking ability.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:42 pm
by Ltoddokc
Thanks ergott & fijigabe

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:41 am
by davidalone
dont think this is a good idea.

I am a mech engineer, and from my knowledge of materials, not all ceramics are created equal. when you hought of coating the brake track I assume you were thinking of ceramic brakes found on mountain bike rims? I believe those are specially formulated with the ceramic fibers embedded during manufacture.

as FijiGabe pointed out, most coatings of ceramics are actually done to reduce friction- in this case your shear force is not going to be very high, unlike in a brake situation. Ceramic coatings are also done in the medical device industry through plasma sputtering and other highly technology intensive techniques, but then again these are done to reduce friction.

FYI ceramic-metal bonding interface is not going to be very strong anyway. you're bonding an ionic compound to a metallic compound which is not going to be the strongest of bonds.

what I think you could do is try anodizing the rim surface. it would wear out over time, but that would take awhile. you'd need to find a manufacturer with a big enough anodizing tank to do it though.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:42 pm
by HillRPete
Ceramic coating is possible, has been done, and works. There's obviously Mavic with their discontinued "Ceramic" rims, but more along the lines of what you're thinking of -- i.e. 3rd party coating -- Fuerte Bici was offering ceramic coating for carbon rims a while back. Check out http://www.fuertebici.com/news-post/ceramic-coating-now-available/. AFAIR the company that did the coating was Zircotec. If you believe them, Fuerte had to stop the program because of not being able to put through numbers that made it profitable for all parties involved.

If it's just for your personal use though, I would endorse davidalone's suggestion of anodized rims. I've heard encouraging reports of carbon pads preserving the ano layer: http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/news/90-race23-long-term-test.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:30 am
by thisisatest
In an engine during cold start, they're not necessarily concerned with friction, but with wear.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:04 pm
by davidalone
that coating by zircoech looks pretty cool and novel... although the temperature they'd be spraying it on REALLY seems to me like it would damage the underlying CF. I'd like to see how thye do it.

Although, as earlier siad, this is probably not an ecnomically feasible option for just personal use.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:52 am
by jooo
Maybe ask http://www.ceramikoat.com/ if they've got anything suitable?

They also have facebook and crazy8 is a member on mtbr.com forums.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:29 pm
by FIJIGabe
thisisatest wrote:In an engine during cold start, they're not necessarily concerned with friction, but with wear.


yes. What causes the wear? Reduce friction, reduce wear.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:16 pm
by HillRPete
Gabe, I don't think friction is a major concern for the brake-track application though. Polished aluminium doesn't have high friction (against polished aluminium, say), but it still makes a fine braking surface -- it's all in the pad.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:26 am
by davidalone
most brake tracks are not polished. they are machined aluminium.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:45 pm
by FIJIGabe
i have never seen a polished aluminum brake track. From what I have seen, they are a machined aluminum.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:44 pm
by HillRPete
Yeah most are machined, except probably for the anodized ones, which wouldn't look very nice otherwise.

In any case it's always the pad being responsible for the friction.

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:28 pm
by cajer
Did anyone find anymore information regarding this?

Re: Having rims ceramic coated

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:28 pm
by Weenie