Alloys may just be the best thing since iron. The only difference is that a metal alloy will surely last you longer and can be tempered into a stronger material. But how exactly is an alloy wheel made?
The standard wheels are made up of magnesium and aluminium. The two materials merged together make a lighter and stronger wheel. The fact that the wheel is lighter makes the car more efficient as it does not have to carry an extra load on the tyres.
Making this alloy wheel requires a furnace heated to an incredible temperature, enough to melt down the two metals. Aluminium is the first element melted. The molten metal is poured into a mixer and gets argon gas added to it in order to remove all the hydrogen. By removing the hydrogen it becomes less porous. It is important to have no holes in the wheel as pressure applied on the wheel could cause the air bubble to crack through the metal. If this happens the driver of the car could be in a serious accident by losing control of the vehicle.
After the density is increased in the aluminium mixture, powdered metals are added. The powder includes titanium (strength), magnesium (lightweight) and other metallic elements. The combination strengthens the wheel for a longer lasting use.
The alloy mixture has to be separated into three different moulds that make up the wheel. The heating process will take about three weeks to cast and this ensures a strengthened part. The metal alloy will be injected into the mould from the bottom to avoid any air bubbles that may cause defect whilst driving. The process goes through different kinds of pressure and temperatures for a well-cast wheel.
With most metal alloys that get tempered, the mould with the pressurised metal will be placed in cold water to “seal” the casting and the new properties.
To neaten the edges of the wheel, a blade that has been heated will cut the edges to smoothen out any sharpness that could cause problems to the tyre.
To test the porousness of the wheel, it is submerged in water. If no bubbles escape, the wheel will be taken for painting. Three layers are applied to the metallic surface. The first is a base coat to make the colour last, the second layer is the colour of the wheel and the third, and last, layer is to prevent corrosion of the alloy.
It is important to have a good quality wheel installed on your car. Not only to show off your status but also because the wheel supports the tyres and ultimately they support you. Your wheel wholesaler should provide you with nothing but the best quality wheels.
A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Visit our website for details and images of our mag wheel range.