Alloy Wheel Casting Methods
What is Alloy Wheel?
The term alloy wheels is usually given to wheels ‘cast’ from a mixture of aluminum which is light weight and great at dissipating heat and small amounts of more rigid metals whose presence in the ‘mix’ provides rigidity and helps prevent cracks propagating.
Alloy metals provide superior strength and dramatic weight reductions over ferrous metals such as steel, and as such they represent the ideal material from which to create a high performance wheel. In fact, today it is hard to imagine a world class racing car or high performance road vehicle that doesn’t utilize the benefits of alloy wheels.
Casting is an efficient way to produce a high-quality, strong alloy wheel. There are two methods used. One system is known as gravity casting and the other is low pressure or negative pressure casting.
This is the casting process whereby the molten material is poured into a mold and allowed to cool. These molds are usually made by machining a piece of material on CNC machine equipments to produce a wheel that only requires minor finishing (like drilling or possibly trimming of some excess metal) to be considered complete.
Negative Pressure Casting
The other system used is the low pressure or negative pressure casting. Here instead of pouring the molten material into the mould, the molten alloy is drawn up into the mould using a high-pressure vacuum.
–Portions Courtesy of YHI