When it comes to wheels, there’s tons of them out there and it can be hard to separate the chaff from the good stuff. Here’s a bit about wheels that we think should shed some light on the matter.
What is the difference between different manufacturing types of wheels?
There are several different methods of manufacture used to produce aftermarket wheels, each offering its own unique pros and cons. The most popular methods of wheel production are: gravity casting, low pressure casting, Flow-forming, and forging. Below you will find an explanation of each method, so you can better judge for yourself which type of wheels would best suit your needs. Although many people confuse “light weight” and “performance”, the main strength for a performance wheel is the proper “Stiffness-to-Weight Ratio”. Many companies will tout how “light” their “Performance” wheel is, and consequently, many only look at the “weight” and not consider the stiffness, load ratings or durability aspects needed to create a proper high-performance wheel.
What is a Gravity Cast Wheel?
Gravity casting, relatively speaking, is the easiest way to make a wheel, and is much less expensive to produce when compared to a flow-formed or forged wheel. During the Gravity Casting process, aluminum, or an alloy is poured into a mold which uses earth’s gravity to form the shape and design of the wheel. Since gravity is the only force used in this type of manufacturing process, the material will not be as dense as a low pressure cast wheel (or higher quality construction methods) and so it requires more metal to achieve the same structural strength as other means of production. This means that a Gravity Cast wheel will be significantly heavier than a wheel produced with low-pressure casting or higher method of construction.
What is a Low Pressure Cast Wheel?
Low pressure casting utilizes virtually the same process as gravity casting, but with the addition of positive pressure to create higher density metal within the wheel, which translates into more structural integrity with less weight than gravity casting. Low pressure cast wheels generally cost slightly more than gravity cast, and are stronger. This is the most popular production method in use today
What is a Flow Form Wheel?
Flow form casting is a procedure that turns the wheel over a special mandrel, and forms the wheel using three hydraulic rollers that apply tremendous amounts of pressure. The pressure and turning motion forces the wheel area to form against the mandrel, creating the shape and width of the wheel. During flow forming, the wheel actually “flows” down to create the full width of the wheel. During this process, pressure applied to the cast wheel actually changes its physical properties, so its strength and internal integrity characteristics become similar to those of forged wheels. The added strength relative to material density translates to up to 15% weight reduction when compared to a standard low-pressure cast wheel.
What is a Forged Wheel?
Forged wheels are manufactured using a process that results in the strongest, lightest and most durable wheel, superior to other means of production. During the forging process, aluminum is shaped under extreme pressure, which translates into a very high strength, low weight wheel. Since making a forged wheel requires very specialized forging equipment, Forged wheels consequently often command a much higher price on the aftermarket than Wheels manufactured utilizing any other method. Check out just a few of the wheels ModBargains offers below. Call a Modification Expert if you would like guidance on what type of wheel and what style and offset is best for you. Call 714-582-3330 or visit ModBargains.com