Cast vs Flow Formed vs Forged Wheels – The Real Difference

Quality. Safety. Performance. When it comes to choosing performance wheels to sell, as a buyer, you want a product to please the end consumer, as well as a product to represent your company in the best light possible. To get more news about Alloy rims, you can visit official website.

So what does the consumer want? And what will benefit your company most?Based on our experience from the companies we’ve worked with, they prioritize quality and safety, shorter production lead times, and efficiency in application for the end consumer.
To help bring some clarity as you research which wheels to source, this article will cover the three main wheel options and how they relate to those goals in terms of strength, load bearing, cost, application, and production times.
Let’s start with the cast wheel. Casting alloy wheels is the most common manufacturing method on the market. Casting is a metalworking technique that’s been used in some form or another for thousands of years where hot liquid metal is poured into a mold and allowed to cool.

When it comes to manufacturing wheels, this is important for several reasons as it affects the performance, strength, and cost of the wheel. As the liquid alloy cools in the mold, there is a chance for greater porosity, or inconsistencies in the metal. There are different methods to lessen this, but the end result is a wheel with lower load bearing potential. These inconsistencies can also lead to cracking when under pressure. To counter this, more material needs to be used, which results in a heavier wheel than the other two manufacturing methods.

As cast wheels don’t typically have the strength or the lightness for serious performance, flow formed wheels, or forged wheels might be a better option for those applications.The second manufacturing process creates what is most commonly known as “flow formed” wheels. This is a relatively new method, that’s a sort of hybrid between forged and cast wheels (although it’s not to be confused with forged wheels as the process is entirely different.)

The first main benefit here is a lighter wheel because less material is used. Different flow forming techniques and manufacturing processes result in a wheel that’s anywhere from 15% to 25% lighter than a cast wheel.

The second is increased strength. The flow forming process both compresses and stretches the metal, changing its composition and increasing its tensile strength. This leads to increased shock resistance and a higher load capacity.Flow formed wheels are a great option for those who want something lighter and more durable than a cast wheel. On the track, for example, less weight leads to less rotating mass, a benefit for both greater acceleration and breaking efficiency.

For quality assurance and safety on the road, it’s important to research carefully before choosing a well-respected manufacturer, as the source and composition of their alloy, along with the unique techniques they use for flow forming all make a difference in the final product. Five well respected flow forming manufacturing companies to start with include:

Konig – One of the most recognizable aftermarket wheel brands around, Konig has been making quality and trust wheels for almost 40 years. Car enthusiasts and global OEM brands alike know them for their high standards in wheel manufacturing.

Enkei – A Japanese Corporation established in 1950, they are known for developing some of the lightest performance wheels on the market. They all the largest Japanese car manufacturers and General Motors in the OEM market, they also supply the consumer automotive aftermarket, as well as the Formula 1 McLaren Honda team since 1995.