The right set of alloy wheels can really individualize a car and change the appearance dramatically. With so many options on the market, it does make it hard to choose what wheels you would want to put on your pride and joy.
When comparing alloy wheels to steel wheels there are a lot of advantages in having the alloy wheels on your vehicle.
Alloy wheels are a fraction of the weight of steel wheels;
The weight reduction gives your vehicle better fuel efficiency, handling, acceleration, and braking;
Alloy wheels are far more durable.
Aluminium alloy is made up of 97% high-grade aluminium and 3% of other metals such as titanium and magnesium.
The aluminium ingots are heated in a furnace for approx. 25 minutes at 720 degrees Celsius. The molten aluminium is then poured into the mixer where the aluminium is processed.
Argon gas is injected into the mixer to remove the hydrogen. This increases the density of the metal. Powdered titanium, magnesium and other metals are added to the mixer.
High strength moulds are cast with each design and the liquid metal is pressured poured from the bottom of the mould upwards to ensure the quality of the pour. This reduces the risk of air bubbles.
Throughout the process, the temperature of the alloy wheel is monitored closely as this will determine the quality of the finished product. Defects can be picked up early in the process through this heat monitoring processes.
It takes approx. 10 minutes for the metal to become solid. Once the alloy wheel is removed from the cast the temperature is reduced again in warm water. The alloy wheel is then taken through heat treatment processes for hours at a time. Heating and cooling the alloy wheel strengthens the wheel to be able to perform at its best.
Machine and man finish the product with cutting and polishing rough edges from the cast making the alloy wheel look closer to what we are used to seeing on the road every day. The alloy wheel can be painted any colour or have the machine finish when they have the bare metal look. A top protective coat is added to protect the paint as a finishing step.
Check our post on how to keep your wheels looking fresh for longer clicking here.