Why should I consider RealChrome wheels?

If you like standing out from the crowd you should consider these wheels.  They are the brightest, most durable chrome finish available.  They are processed to exceed Original Equipment requirements and tested to ensure continuing performance.

If you would like to reduce the amount of time and cost cleaning and polishing your current rims.  You should consider realchrome wheels.  The shine can be maintained with frequent soap and water washing and sporadic chrome cleaning on stubborn areas.

How much chrome is on the wheels?

Actually the Chrome layer is very thin and can only be seen under a microscope.  The entire electroplating process is approximately 3 hours long with the chrome tank being the final stage.   As seen in the following photo there are five thicker layers of different types of nickel that are actually deposited onto the raw aluminum before the thin layer of chrome is added.

HT Forged wheel Micrograph.

 

Are all chrome wheels created equally?

You may have heard that chrome is chrome and as long as it is shiny they are all the same.  This cannot be further from the truth.  All chrome wheels are not created equally.

What you need to know about chrome wheels:

The chrome finish actually refers to the last stage of the plating process and is so thin it can barely be seen under a microscope and contributes less then approx 0.3% of the plating thickness added to the original wheel.  Although the chrome layer is important the rest of the process is responsible for the final color and the longevity of the plated product.

The chrome layer should be a min. of 0.25 um thick and contain microscopic holes that help spreadout the corrosion.  This should occur on a 3 Ni layer system containing a Semi-Bright, High Sulphur and Bright Ni layers. This is critical to delay the onset of corrosion to the base substrate.  The whole process begins with a thorough cleaning of the raw wheel and an initial strike layer to ensure proper adhesion to the wheel.

How do you know if your product meets these requirements?  Although this may be difficult to verify there are some items to look for that will give you more confidence

  • Is the plating Company Certified to a 3rd Party Quality and Environmental Standard? An ISO or TS Certification may not alone ensure a great product it does ensure that the Co has a Quality system that should allow them to succeed.  An ISO 14001 Certification ensures they do this while protecting the Environment.
  • How long has the company been supplying the part?
  • What testing is done to verify the products performance? And how often are these tests performed?  Do they test the finished assembly or just the plating performance (Rotary Fatigue and Impact testing to ensure the wheel performs as designed even after the plating has been added?
  • What type of product do they start with?  A brand new certified wheel or a previously used wheel.
  •  Do they supply to original equipment manufacturers or only aftermarket suppliers?  Aftermarket wheel plating companies in most cases do not meet the requirements required by original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s)
    • Often using a simplified plating system using 2 layers of Ni vs a 4 or more layer system
    • Lower total Ni thickness
    • Does not need to meet an OEM specification
    • Less testing of plating
    • Les testing of finished product
    • Lower warranty
    • Coating on tire side to reduce tire slippage, reduce bead seat degradation improve corrosion protection on entire area including the contact area from the plating tooling
    • Original wheel, Brand new Forged Aluminum wheel
Where can I purchase RealChrome wheels?

Please review the Distributors Page, which contains an interactive map containing the contact details of current distributors.

How do you stand behind your RealChrome wheels?

We are very proud of the performance of our RealChrome premium plated products.  These wheels are backed by the following Warranty:

RealChrome stands behind our quality and workmanship and will warrant them for plating and/or plating process related defects.  The warranty for RealChrome wheels is for a period of 5 years from the date of RealChrome manufacture as shown on the sticker located on the tire surface of the wheel.

RealChrome wheels are warranted against:

  • Base metal corrosion due to plating related defects.
  • Blistering and/or Peeling due to loss of plate adhesion.

The repair or replacement does not include cost of installation, labor, or freight cost of returning the product to our RealChrome facility.

Products returned for warranty will be rejected for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Damage or scratches caused by neglect or road damage of any kind.  Road salt, mud and brake dust can become corrosive if left on your wheels for a prolonged period of time; regular cleaning is essential to maintain the high luster of this product.
  • Corrosion as a result of neglect will not be covered by this warranty.   The purchaser is responsible for and assumes full responsibility and liability for any and all damages to the wheel, the vehicle, passengers, or anyone or anything that may occur from road hazards or accidents.
  • Wheels that show corrosion and/or discoloring (bleeding) from contact with another wheel, hub, drum, wheel nuts, nut and hub covers.
  • Damage caused by mechanical mutilation including improper installation.
  • Damage caused by accident, attempted theft, or abnormal use.
  • Damage or marring caused by use of abrasive, acidic or corrosive materials.

New lug nuts must be used to ensure washers are not seized

Proper torque specifications must be followed.

This warranty is not transferrable; it applies to the original wheel owner.

 

What is the best way to clean my RealChrome wheels?

Your RealChrome wheels, plated with the proprietary RealChrome process, are manufactured to maintain their bright mirror finish for many, many years.

Frequent normal washing using a clean terry cloth towel with mild soap (dish soap) and water is recommended.  Off the shelf chrome cleaners free of any harmful acids may be required periodically to clean stubborn areas.  Do not use cleaning solutions containing harmful acids such as hydrofluoric or oxalic on chrome plated products.   Acids may cause the chrome to stain (milky or greenish appearance) or may remove the chrome entirely.

RealChrome wheels may become scratched or damaged by road debris or being struck by other objects, tools, etc.  This may break the surface of the chrome and potentially expose the aluminum substrate of the wheel. In that event, oxidization of this exposed area will occur, but will be limited to the exposed area.  In this case it would be beneficial to keep these areas clean and dry to reduce the oxidation process.  If desired you could do a spot repair on the individual site of damage by thoroughly cleaning the site, completely dry it perhaps with a hairdryer and then coat with protective car wax or even with silver or chrome coloured touch-up paint.  Continue to follow suggested cleaning instructions.

 

How do I return a Warranty concern?

In the unfortunate event that a potential warranty concern please contact us by email at warranty@RealChrome.com.  The claim will be reviewed and if potentially valid a return authorization number will be provided.   The return authorization number gives the authorization to return the wheel however it does not validate a warranty claim.   Each returned wheel will be evaluated by the quality department at RealChome.  If the wheel is a valid warranty claim you will be sent a replacement wheel or the wheel will be repaired at RealChromes discretion, return freight included.   If it is not a valid warranty claim your wheel will be returned to you at your expense.

How are RealChrome Wheels tested?

As part of the validation process each design is tested to SAEJ 267 test specifications after the part has been plated.    During production the product is tested extensively as outlined in the attached test report.

MASTER Heavy Truck Test Report (2)

 

How do I become a distributor?

This process can be started by contacting the RealChrome account manager.  Contact information is found on our contact us page.

How/Where are RealChrome wheels produced?

Brand new light weight forged aluminum wheels are purchased from Accuride’s North American Facilities.  The Parts are polished, plated and packed at KEI and shipped to various distributors.  These wheels are fully processed in North America.  Please see www.kuntz.com for more specific information on the production process.