In the bid by car manufacturers to create more and more of a distinctive and high end look on their premium models, diamond cut wheels are becoming increasingly popular.
The two-tone paint finishes really add to a car’s appearance and can be used to create an eye-catching and sporty look.
Like any alloy wheel, diamond cut wheels can get chipped and damaged through kerbing. The difference from normal alloys is that they can’t be fixed in the same way through filling and spraying as you’d lose that clean-cut metal look.
Instead, we use a special machine with a diamond tip tool (and yes, there are actual diamonds in the cutting tool!) to remove a layer of metal from the wheel that is thinner than a sheet of aluminum foil.
On average, it takes about 20 minutes to machine one wheel. However, the time consuming part is profiling the wheel, which uses a probe system to accurately map out the shape of the alloy and the size of the wheel.
This process takes longer than the cut of the wheel. Get this process wrong and the cut can go wrong and you will end up with a wheel set for the scrap bin.
Over the coming months we will be building our own profile bank for different manufacturers’ wheels. However, in the majority of cases we will scan each customer’s wheels rather than rely on pre-scanned templates from our own library.
Once profiled, the machine is then set going and the cut begins. It’s a mesmerizing process, as you’ll see from the video, and the results are fantastic!
Once the wheels are cut we then spray on a protective lacquer to protect the wheel from the elements.
You even have the option of adding a tint of colour to the lacquer to give a custom finish!
Diamond cut wheels can only be repaired a certain number of times before the wheel has to be replaced. Light scratches can easily be taken care of a number of times but with very deep curbs, you may only be able to repair the wheel once.
We have fully trained lathe operatives whose sole job it is to operate this state-of-the-art technology to refurbish diamond cut wheels. Concentration is key in this precision role.
With diamond cutting lathes starting from £30,000 and replacement diamond tips costing £100 to replace, they are a big investment for the company but we see this as just another area that we can add value to our used cars.