Can magnesium wheels be powdercoated?

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Q. Is it possible to powdercoat the wheels on my 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory? A mate told me they can’t be done because they are magnesium.
Airm8, MCN forums

A. Magnesium wheels weigh 30% less than alloy, which is a significant amount of unsprung weight to help handling.

They can be powder-coated and Steve Turner, of Turners Powder Coating Services in Chippenham gave me a quick run-through of the process: “Magnesium is porous and susceptible to oxidation, so components need to be stripped back to the metal carefully, then treated with chromate preparation.

“During these processes they need to be heated to an exact temperature for an hour and allowed to cool down too, otherwise they can become brittle. Without the chromate treatment there is also a risk of the paint lifting from gas bubbles in the metal.”

TPCS charge £80 for a front wheel, and £120 for a rear.

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