There are many wheel manufactures for the ZR1 style of wheel but the process used in manufacturing can differ. The two main process used in the manufacture of wheels are casting and forging; these process are briefly summarized.
Casting is the process whereby molten aluminum is poured into a mold. After cooling, final machining and finishing work is performed to have a nice finish. Some cast wheels may be heat-treated as well. So what are the pros and cons of the casting technique of interest to customers? The "pros" to cast wheels is that they are cheap to manufacture and easily made in high volumes. The "cons" are that they are typically heavier than forged wheels due to their relatively low material strength properties.
Forging is the process whereby aluminum billet stock is cut to specified length depending on wheel size, heated, and pressed into shape using very accurate dies, successive steps. and pressure. Forging imparts energy into the metal thus altering the internal grain structure of the aluminum and imparting additional strength in comparison to the original billet rod. The USW Forged wheel is heat treated to a T6 condition in the case of 6061-T6 to get the right mix of strength and ductility. So what are the pros and cons of a forged wheel? The "pros" of a forged aluminum wheel is that it has a higher specific strength and higher toughness in comparison to a cast wheel. This allows an engineer to design a wheel that is lighter, stiffer and less susceptible to cracking under impact and with better fatigue properties than a cast wheel. The "cons" are that forged wheels are typically more expensive.
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Last edited by Sheldon@USWforged.com; 05-19-2013 at 11:16 AM.