Case Study: Hard Anodised Wheel Hubs

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Project Brief:
Anodised back plates to add strength and wear resistance to a carbon fibre wheel while maintaining a consistent attractive aesthetic.

Industry: Engineering/Automotive>


Organisations:
Hargo Engineering and Carbon Revolution


Finish:
DecoUltra ZD black

Precision engineering experts Hargo engineering have been providing specialist CNC machining and engineering services since 1976. Since 2019, they have been machining aluminium backing plates for Victorian-based Carbon Revolution, who supply high quality carbon fibre wheels to the global automotive industry, including for luxury car brands such as Porche, Mustang and Ferrari. These incredibly lightweight, durable carbon fibre wheels require a insert and a backing plate that will provide them with extra strength and wear resistance.
These inserts and backing plate, added to either side of a Carbon Fibre wheel, are held together with clips, sandwiching the carbon fibre wheel and adding extra protection. Each wheel requires 5 inserts and one back plate. These inserts and plate, made from aluminium, required a coating that would protect them from external damage, wear or corrosion, while maintaining an appearance fit for luxury brands.
Appearance was a critical factor for Hargo Engineering when choosing a coating for their parts. The inserts in particular, on the outside facing side of the wheel and having an interface with the wheel nuts, are visible to the end user. This means that any finish used must be a consistent colour and free from any blemishes.
Durability also played a key role - the wheel nuts must be able to be removed frequently throughout the lifespan of the wheel, without damaging them or the finish.
The required drawing specifications for the wheels also required very tightly-controlled micron thicknesses and dimensional tolerances. The back plate, positioned on the inner side of the wheel with an interface with the vehicle wheel hub, needed to be very flat and fit onto the wheel hub with very little clearance. This means the thickness of the finish must be to exact specifications, to prevent the finish interfering with the functioning of the wheel.
DECO's DecoUltra™ ZD hard anodised finish proved to be the ideal solution for this job. The highly durable hard anodised finish is able to withstand hardwearing applications, allowing it to protect automotive wheels which may be exposed to frequent movement as well as external forces such as the elements or impact from gravel and other items on the road. It is also resistant to scratches, meaning the wheel nuts could be removed when necessary without adding large, unsightly scratches to the finish. As DECO offers the choice of any custom micron thickness, and can achieve tight tolerance requirements, DecoUltra™ ZD allowed Hargo to protect their machined parts without compromising functionality.
Finished with DECO's Midnight Jet™ black anodised finish, Hargo were also able to achieve a consistent, attractive black colour which complemented the carbon fibre wheels perfectly, adding a luxurious tone.

To find out more about Hargo Engineering, click here.

To find out more about DECO's renowned DecoUltra™ ZD hard anodised finishes, click here.

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