Carmakers use various ways to enhance the styling of their cars. One of the easiest and most prevalent ways to do this is to add a snazzy set of alloy wheels. Alloy wheels have almost always been associated with premium and sporty cars. They are so desirable that lesser priced models often come with wheel caps that try to replicate alloys. However, among all the different types of alloy wheels, it’s the diamond cut design that is the most attractive. Here, in this post, we tell you all there’s to know about diamond cut alloy wheels.
Diamond Cut alloys are nothing but a kind of alloy wheels that are marketed as a feature more premium than other types of wheels. Well, not all carmakers market these as ‘diamond cut’ – there is other marketing jargon, too. But, basically, these rims have a special finish that is achieved using specialised machines. These rims have a dual-tone finish with the base finish having a darker colour and the top metal having a shiny metallic finish. All cars whose alloy wheels have a dual-tone finish and have a great shine feature diamond cut alloy wheels.
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Manufacturing diamond cut alloys is done through a specialised mechanical process. This procedure requires special machines that are known as Computer Numerical Controlled lathe. The tip of this machine is made up of a very hard metal or diamond. These machines are used to chisel away painted parts of the alloys to give them a two-toned finish. It’s due to the diamond tip of the machines that these alloys have got their name. Here is the step-wise process of the manufacturing –
Step 1: The rim that is to be given a diamond cut finish is first painted in the desired colour and let to dry.
Step 2: Once the wheel is painted, it is mounted on the machine, which does a price measurement of the areas that need to be given the ‘diamond cut’ finish using a laser. This is also why some OEMs call these wheels ‘laser cut alloys’.
Step 3: The machine is then programmed by the operator to begin carving out the desired design.
Step 4: The mounted alloy wheel spins at a very high speed at which the diamond tip lathe strips out a very thin layer. The stripped part has a great shine and forms the two tone finish with the base paint.
Step 5: A coat of lacquer is then applied to the wheel preserve the finish and shine.
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Originally, diamond alloy wheels were available only on the really expensive cars from BMW and Mercedes. However, we need to credit Hyundai for becoming the first carmaker to offer them in the mainstream market. Today, most carmakers offer these rims at least on the top-end models. These manufacturers include the likes of Tata, Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, VW, Skoda and Renault.
Like everything, there are pros and cons of even diamond cut alloys. Firstly, they are a lot more expensive to produce and purchase as compared to the steel wheels or even powder-coated alloy wheels. This is simply because of the process to manufacture them. Another problem is with their maintenance. Scratching these alloy wheels would mean little chance of repair. Unlike normal wheels, they can’t be re-painted as achieving the great shiny finish through repainting is impossible.
So, as you see, diamond cut alloy wheels are really the fad. Also, the process to manufacturer them makes them so much more special than the usual rims. However, there are even a couple of disadvantages to them. Not only are the expensive to buy and maintain, they’re even not as robust as steel wheels. Well, it’s certainly not like you’ll have to be very careful when driving, but you just can’t go off-roading with them. So, in case you’re buying an off-road vehicle, it’s best to not choose the variant with these wheels.
Diamond cut is the name of the finish that a premium type of alloy wheels come with. These wheels have dual-tone look and are quite shiny.
Diamond cut alloy wheels are not only lighter than the regular steel wheels but are even a lot more stylish. They can hence, help you with higher street presence and improved handling. However, they’re not suitable for off roading and are not as robust as steel rims. They’re also costlier.
The price of the diamond cut alloys depends on their size, design and the car manufacturer who’s selling them. Obviously, bigger wheels with more intricate designs will be a lot costlier. Plus, a mainstream carmaker like Maruti or Hyundai would cost you anywhere between 8-10,000 rupees for an alloy. However, BMW or Mercedes might cost over Rs 50,000 for a rim.
Plain alloy wheels have a single-tone powder coated finish. However, diamond cut alloy wheels have a dual tone and a shinier look through precision crafting.
Steel wheels turn out to be a lot stronger than diamond cut allows due to having a combination of carbon and iron. This makes them more durable, more shock absorbent and even cheaper to manufacture. They can even withstand a lot more weight and pressure.
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