July 1, 2009
(NewsUSA) – For many automotive consumers, winning the race to
a safer and more fuel-efficient car is getting easier, pound-for-pound. Car enthusiasts are
beginning to understand what race car drivers have known for years: Forged wheels deliver
significantly better performance, safety and gas mileage than standard cast wheels.
Using the forging process, manufacturers can create wheels that are lighter and
stronger than those made with the same materials using a casting process. Consequently, forged
wheels help reduce a car's overall weight – a reduction, experts say, that has a wide range of
benefits for the car.
Forged wheels are at least 15 percent lighter than typically used cast wheels and
provide better mechanical characteristics, quicker acceleration, reduced fuel consumption and
shorter braking distance. These features can save lives, not to mention fuel and cash, says Mark
Lisnyansky, president of Magnesium.com, an information resource, and Lightest .com, a developer of
weight-reduction solutions for various applications.
Forged automotive wheels are manufactured by applying extremely high forces to
aluminum or magnesium billets. The wheels are stronger than cast wheels and can be designed with
thinner cross-sections, making them lighter and better suited for enhanced turning and acceleration
performance. Forged wheels facilitate better suspension response.
A trend has developed, especially among owners of SUVs and other luxury
automobiles, where more fashionable large-diameter wheels are being installed, Lisnyansky says.
Using forged wheels allows owners to achieve the desired look without adding more weight.
Few owners realize that their vehicle, particularly suspension, was not designed to
handle such a mass, according to Lisnyansky. By overloading it, they shorten the longevity of some
parts and adversely affect their ability to perform. Forged wheels, which sustain equal loads with
better characteristics, can reduce stress on the suspension and other components.
Many truckers have already switched to lighter forged wheels to realize immediate
economic benefits, including improved gas mileage and the increased commercial load. Bicycles and
motorcycles have been making good use of extruded and forged components (such as wheels) for years
- and not just for the racing applications.
Delivering superior vehicle performance, strength, durability and aesthetic
appeal, forged wheels are one of the next key milestones in vehicle refinement, Lisnyansky