Environmentally Friendly, Metallized and Premium Paint Coatings

Metallized Finishes using PVD

Our Metallight™ finishes are a durable metallized coating. Harnessing insights into acrylics, urethane, metals and physical vapor deposition (“PVD”), we have developed a patented process that results in a metallized coating that is similar in appearance but more durable than plated chrome. With process temperatures less than 325°F, Metallight™ is ideal for critical cast alloys and electro-coated substrates, as well as certain non-metallic materials. Designed against the toughest automotive OEM specifications, the Metallight™ system holds up against corrosion, thermal shock, and UV exposure.

Importantly to our customers, through the use of a variety of metals in our process, we can customize the hue (tonality) of the metal finish to produce an unlimited number of different metal finishes from dark to light, silver to gold. We can also produce different finishes from high gloss to flat/matte.

Metallization Process

The patented metallization process is a five-step, twelve unit operational process method for applying, in an environmentally friendly manner, a decorative thin metal film coating to various substrates providing a desired aesthetic appearance in combination with a durable protective coating. The imparting of the actual metal finish occurs in a physical vapor deposition process inside a pressure vessel where the parts are put in atmosphere equivalent to approximately 20 miles above sea level.

The process:

  • Has multiple substrate applicability
  • Utilizes the same thermoset polymeric coating materials for the base leveling coat as well as the top protective coat
  • Involves a low cure temperature
  • Utilizes a radiation cured pre-metallization leveling layer
  • Uses only one metal film layer.

Our process applies to not only wheels and trim but to many substrates comprised of various metals, glass, ceramics, high temperature resistant thermoset polymer composites and/or thermoset plastic materials, which are formed, cast, machined or assembled. The invention decreases or eliminates physical surface preparation and duplication of coating equipment as well as the possibility of cross contamination in using dissimilar coating materials. Curing temperatures are below those which may degrade cast substrate temper or protective substrate coatings i.e. electro-coat.

Performance Characteristics

Throughout development of the metallization process, performance targets were set for the highest industrial levels required, that being the OEM automotive standards. At each phase of development the process was tested against General Motors 9985586 specifications for aluminum wheels and Ford Motor Company M2P180A07-2302 specifications for exterior trim coatings, the Company believes to be the most difficult of OEM durability testing to pass.

The following are the recent test results:

Test Specification Description Result
GM 9682P Filiform Corrosion PASS
GM 9508P Chip Resistance PASS
GM 9071P Tape Adhesion PASS
GM 4476P CASS Salt Spray PASS
GM 9525P Thermal Shock PASS
GM 4465P 96hr Humidity PASS
GM 3yr Florida Exposure PASS
Ford 240hr Water Soak PASS
FLTM BI 106-01 Initial Adhesion; Method B Grade 0 (No Loss) PASS
FLTM BI 104-01 Water Resistance Adhesion  @ 480 hrs. – Grade 1 No blisters, dulling or softening. PASS
FLTM BI 104-02 Humidity Resistance Adhesion @ 280 hrs. – Grade 0 No blisters, dulling or softening PASS
ASTM B117 Salt Spray Resistance – No visible creep or corrosion. PASS
FLTM BI 123-01 Scab Corrosion No cracking, checking or loss of adhesion with less than 3mm creep. PASS
Film Properties Color Water Clear
Gloss ASTM D1729/523 60° gloss 93.90%
Hardness ASTM D3363 Pencil Hardness
Sandability Easily sanded with 360 grit abrasive without loading.
Polishing Excellent finesse properties.  No change in surface appearance afterpolish, per Ford Motor process.
Film Build 1.5 – 2.8 mil. Capable of three times OEM reprocessing.


The below image depicts actual wheels having undergone the identical standard OEM required durability test (salt bath saturation). The wheel on the left is a Helios PVD wheel exhibiting virtually no degradation of coating finish. The wheel on the right is a chrome plated wheel which has lost all of its coating integrity.

Wheel Corrision Test

Helios Coatings Inc