Wheels are high performance wheels that can go on any car. Aluminum
has had success in infiltrating vehicle areas that have traditionally
belonged to steel, but one component where it has become a clear winner
is wheels. In 1980 steel was the material of choice for 90% of wheel
production, but by 2003 Aluminum Wheels had surged to 60% of production.
Aluminum Wheels range of one-piece wheels in sizes 18",
19", 20", 21", and 22" for street applications
and 18", 19", 20", and 22" flat face and motor
sport applications. Center disc sizes for three-piece and two-piece
modular wheels range from 15" through 26".
Automakers found that adding styled aluminum wheels
was an easy way to communicate that a vehicle was a cut above, so
they spaced them for entire trim levels, pushing volumes up. Also,
the tight tolerances held by cast-and-machined aluminum wheels surpassed
their stamped-and-welded steel counterparts, leading to greater uniformity
and less vibration on the road. This became particularly important
for truck wheels, given the rise in popularity of SUVs, since those
tall, big-wheeled vehicles are more sensitive to transmitted road
The forging process uses high pressure and temperature
to change the non-directional grain structure of the cast aluminum
starting material to the high integrity multi-directional grain structure
of forgings. The aluminum remains solid throughout the process as
the forging dies come together and change the shape of the round cast
bar to the cylindrical shape of a wheel.
The Aluminum Wheel is around 35 pounds lighter than
a similar constructed steel one. This weight difference many vary
depending on the manufacturer of each. This reduced weight contributes
to better ride and handling by lightening the un-sprung weight. While
you might think that 35 pounds per wheel should not make that much
difference, it is reported that each pound taken off the un-sprung
weight reacts to four times that, or in this case, 140 pounds. It
further would reduce the gross vehicle weight by 140 to 210 lbs. for
a single rear axle or a tag axle type respectively.
This forged blank is then placed in a custom built spin-forging
machine to spin out and forge the rim section. The resulting radial
grain direction places the highest material strength in the same direction
as the operating loads. The result is premium strength.
Aluminum Wheels run nearer to perfectly true than standard
car rims. This is a result of the method they are built in comparison
to steel. Though one method of making aluminum wheels involves a cast
product, wheels are produced using forged aluminum that is turned,
compared to stamped steel that is welded in the process. A noticeable
difference in handling, and or ride, has been experienced by some
There are basically two finishes available on the aluminum
rims, straight polished aluminum, or a no scrub coating treatment.
Each comes with its own different advantage. The straight polished
finish can be kept with the highest quality of mirror finish, far
out shining the dura like no scrub type. However, this takes elbow
grease from time to time. The no scrub finish is truly a wash and
dry. No hard work required. However, they do not come close to meeting
the shine of the non-coated.