Alloy wheels are manufactured, designed and widely used in the automotive industry. These materials provide greater strength, better heat conduction, varied performance levels, and enhanced aesthetics for your vehicle’s wheels.
For the uninitiated, alloys are a mixture of metal, such as aluminium or magnesium and other elements. Know, however, that while steel is an alloy of iron and carbon commonly used as a material for wheel production, the term “alloy wheel” is confined to only wheels with nonferrous alloys.
In this article, we’ll share with you the four common types of alloy wheels:
1. Aluminium alloys
As mentioned, this type is the most popular one, apart from magnesium. For one, it’s lighter than its pure metal counterparts, yet it’s just as durable as they are. It also looks way better than other kinds of wheels. One thing that it gets compared to more often is steel, which is one of the most common materials used in wheel manufacturing. But as mentioned above, steel isn’t considered as alloy wheels due to its iron content.
2. Magnesium alloys
Coming next is magnesium alloy, which works similarly—it’s light, strong, and aesthetically pleasing! In the past, the so-called mag wheels made from magnesium were commonly used for racing. They eventually became prevalent in car production in the 1960s, which is why it’s easy to see vintage cars with pure magnesium materials. The problem, however, is that it is prone to corrosion and that tends to pit and crack over time. For this reason, the magnesium alloys have been introduced in the market.
3. Die casting
For the uninitiated, this type is a manufacturing process that involves heating the metal under intense high heat. This process is more affordable than other manufacturing methods without affecting quality and corrosion resistance. It usually comes in two forms, as follows:
- Low-pressure: Under this, the metal is sealed when heating. The pressurised air then forces the molten metal up a straw-like filler tube into a mould, which then turns into a new solid form to produce an alloy wheel!
- High-pressure: This is similar to the low-pressure die casting where the metal is sealed and poured into a filler tube. The difference is that a piston pushes the metal into the die quickly under high pressure. Once solidified, you’ll have a brand new wheel!
4. Forged wheels
Forging is a much more complicated process that creates the best performance in your wheels. This process entails a mixture of heating, rolling, high pressure, and hammering. Once completed, the alloy’s molecular structure becomes more solid, lighter, and stronger. Know that forged wheels can be performed in one, two, or three pieces, where the wheel only needs to be assembled into the finished product. Ultimately, forging will be your best approach for a better wheel performance, although it’s a costly and labour-extensive process.
There’s no doubt that a wide range of alloy wheels are readily available in the market. At this point, you know what types to choose from—aluminium alloys, magnesium alloys, die casting, and forged wheels. If you’re looking for lighter, more durable, more resilient, and more visually appealing wheels for your car, then alloy wheels will be your best bet!
Here at Wicked Rims, we provide professional wheel refurbishment along with powder coating, diamond cutting, aluminium welding, and straightening services. If you’re specifically looking for an alloy wheel refurbishment in Essex, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!