A wheel is composed of a hub (the center wheel portion), spokes (radiate from the hub) and rim (the outer section of the wheel where spokes attach to and that holds the tire). These components can sometimes be one piece, and other times 2 or 3. Modern performance wheels are all vritually made from aluminum by one of 2 processes: casting or forging. The terms “cast” and “forged” often describe a set of wheels indicating the process for manufacturing the wheel.
In the wheel industry, casting is the most-common aluminum wheel type. Casting is the process of pouring aluminum in molten form inside a mold in order to form a wheel. Different ways of how this can be done exist. This is an art and needs to be done with skill and precision. In contrast to casting, a forged wheel starts off as a solid piece of metal known as a “billet”. This solid aluminum billet is subjected to heat and extreme pressure, which compresses the material, forming a raw forging. The raw forgings are then lathe-turned and milled using CNC machines into different profiles. The various shapes and application of the wheel allows for the creation of a range of different wheel designs. In this case, the finished product is highly dense, quite strong and is therefore very light.click here to read an information post about how alloy aluminum wheels are made
The casting process can be done in different ways, and while it sounds simple, it requires highly skilled hands to do it properly. The most basic casting process is known as gravity casting. This offers a quite reasonable cost of production. It’s also a good technique for more visually oriented casting designs or when reducing overall weight isn’t a primary concern. Low pressure casting makes use of positive pressure to accomplish casting quicker and get a finished product with improved mechanical properties (higher density) over a gravity-cast wheel. This produces wheels that offer a great value for the after-market whilst still maintaining a lighter weight and more strength. It’s the most common manufacturing process approved for aluminum-wheels targeting the-O.E.M. market.
Forged wheels are the ultimate in one piece wheels. Generally speaking, a forged wheel is lighter as compared to a cast wheel of the same width and diameter, and stronger compared to a cast wheel of an equivalent or close to the same weight. And so, a high-quality forged wheel will cost you more, be lighter “per inch” and stronger “per lb” than the cast wheel. The extra strength of forged wheels may provide more clearance for suspension or brakes components since the aluminum doesn’t have to be as thick. Most people will replace stock-cast wheels, with bigger diameter, forged wheels, with rubber-band tires on them.
Some of the special-set of wheels manufactured for the-O.E.M. limited production or high performance vehicles such as F1R wheels, utilize this kind of technology. This results in a strong and lightweight wheel at a reasonable cost. The flow forming process & the HLT technology used to make F1R combine, creating mechanical characteristics that are similar to those-of forged wheels. This allows a dramatic wheel weight reduction while enhancing structural-rigidity contrary to a standard-cast wheel. F1R Wheels contribute to an increased performance level by reducing unsprung weight, whilst offering unparalleled strength, durability, and, certainly, individual style.