EVANSVILLE, Ind. (Nov. 20, 2013) — Commercial vehicle wheel maker Accuride Corp. has developed Steel Armor, an advanced corrosion-fighting coating technology for commercial vehicle steel wheels.
According to Accuride, the proprietary new three-phase coating process features "enhanced corrosion-fighting properties" designed to extend steel wheel service life by up to two years. The company intends to provide it as the standard coating across its full commercial steel wheel portfolio, starting in early 2014.
"The introduction of our revolutionary Steel Armor coating technology ups the ante for steel wheel corrosion protection in the commercial vehicle industry," said Accuride President and CEO Rick Dauch. "Corrosion continues to be a multi-billion-dollar problem for fleet operations and demands a solution. Steel Armor provides that solution for steel wheels."
Mr. Dauch noted that the product's premium rust protection can dramatically reduce fleet maintenance costs and "represents the kind of value-driven technologies that we continue to pursue for our customers here at Accuride."
Steel Armor's sharp-edge protection helps to reduce corrosion where rust tends to form first, such as flanges, hand holes, bolt holes and hub holes, the company said. It contains the growth of corrosion by blocking rust at the point of entry—where gouges, chips and scrapes have exposed metal.
Accuride said it exposed wheels coated with Steel Armor to 12 independently performed tests, including industry standard salt spray and chip resistance test, along with UV transmission and Xenon testing.
The company did not say what it invested in developing the technology, but noted it's investing more than $6 million at its wheel plants in Henderson, Ky., and Monterrey, Mexico, to upgrade their powder coating capacities ahead of the launch of products using the new technology.
"While others outsource their steel wheel coating, we're committed to keeping that expertise in-house," said Craig Kessler, vice president/engineering. "Coatings and their application methods are among our core competencies."
More information on Steel Armor is available on Accuride's Wheel End Solutions website.