Wheel Surface Protection


Maxion Wheels, a global manufacturer of automotive wheels and automotive structural components, is looking for new surface finishing solutions for its automotive-related products. The core of this challenge is to propose ideas or concepts of new surface finishing solutions that have been under-explored or not explored throughout our company’s history. The proposal needs to propose a future feasibility study of the materials and structures as well as consider current automotive regulations
and safety requirements (i.e., load, high temperature, impact, corrosion, durability, recycling).


There are several reasons why new surface finishing solutions are introduced into vehicles, but the most common in the current market is the need to increase the aesthetic durability of the wheels. It is also known that there are impactful electrification and shared trends in the mobility sector. These trends are followed by a growing demand where the design is a differentiator factor, with that showing case the desired cover is even more important.

Key Success Criteria

The proposal should show an improvement on one or more of the following (comparison reference is standard steel or aluminum used in the automotive segment):

• Reduced external scrap (e.g., customer complaints)
• Minimal cost impact on current products;
• Increased manufacturing flexibility;
• Increased productiveness;
• Lower carbon footprint in the production process
• Anti-corrosion properties;
• No adverse effect on the vehicle/wheel performance (e.g., weight, durability)
• Recyclability.

Possible Approaches

Examples of desirable proposals include, but are
not limited to:

• New coating technologies
• Biomaterials
• Materials with self-healing properties
• Materials with nanotechnology
• UV clear coat with better resistance
and low energy curing
• Graphene
• New surface technologies/solutions to
add functionality to wheels

All new concepts will be considered, including combinations of different approaches (e.g., lightweight material with anti-corrosion properties; new manufacturing process of new material, etc). The final product need to pass our customer’s specifications, and chemical and mechanical tests.

Approaches not of interest

Theoretical ideas with no experimental support.
Stand-alone insights are not enough.

Items to be submitted

Responses from Maxion Wheels’ employees, as well as external contacts (i.e., companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors) are welcome. We are looking for a concise abstract/executive summary. The proposal should briefly describe the technical approach and which knowledge gaps you are addressing. It should provide information on technology performance, background, techniques and methods that have unique technology or protectable intellectual property, as well as a description of the responding team and their related experience. Once a proposal is accepted, the idea owner will be fully supported to further elaborate a project plan.