The Two Main Types of Alloy Wheels
Alloy wheels are an alternative type of wheels that offer a number of features and benefits that traditional, factory-installed steel wheels do not. They provide a wider variety of designs than steel wheels, and they are lighter and help improve the performance of your vehicle. Alloy wheels can be broadly defined in two main categories: aluminum and magnesium alloy wheels. Understanding the differences between the two main types of alloy wheels can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Aluminum Alloy Wheels
Aluminum alloy wheels are made primarily with aluminum mixed with other metals and are the most common type of alloy wheels on the market. Aluminum alloys are much lighter than steel wheels while still providing the structural stability to stand up to the wear and tear of constant driving. Additionally, aluminum alloys are much easier to work with than steel is, allowing for more complex and aesthetically pleasing designs to be made.
Aluminum alloy wheels come in two variants: they can either be made through casting, in which molten metal is poured into a mold, or through forging, in which the aluminum is placed under high pressure and then stamped. Wheels made by casting tend to be less expensive because the process is less labor intensive, while forged wheels provide greater strength and reduce the risk of the wheel cracking.
However, it should be noted that aluminum alloys are slightly malleable, which means that they can be more easily damaged in a collision and bent out of shape than steel wheels can be. Additionally, they can be hard to repair, which means if your aluminum alloy wheels become damaged, you will have to have them replaced, a significant expense.
Magnesium Alloy Wheels
Alloy wheels that are made primarily out of magnesium are even lighter than aluminum alloy wheels are, further increasing the overall performance of your vehicle, as less weight means higher top speeds, faster acceleration times, and better agility and maneuverability while driving. Thus, they are primarily found on racing vehicles, where every pound counts.
However, magnesium alloy wheels are significantly more expensive than aluminum alloy wheels are, making them a poor choice for the average consumer. Additionally, they are more prone to cracking than aluminum wheels are. It should also be noted that magnesium alloy wheels can burn if exposed to fire, which can be a safety concern.
For more information about tires, contact a representative from a company like the Collier Tire Auto & Truck Repair Center.