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Technical Report The Construction of Alloy Wheels

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Technical Report The Construction of Alloy Wheels Dan Peart A223245 Integrating Studies Introduction Aluminium alloy wheels are now used in all branches of Motor Racing, ranging from Touring cars and Rally cars to Formula One cars. The Alloy wheels offer far superior mechanical properties than the conventional steel wheels formerly used. These benefits include reduced un-sprung weight, i.e. not held by the suspension, providing more precise steering input and improved responsiveness. Alloy wheels also improve acceleration and braking due to the reduction of weight. The added strength of a quality alloy wheel can significantly reduce wheel/tire deflection in cornering. This is particularly critical with a vehicle equipped with high performance tires where lateral forces may approach 1.0g. The metals in alloy wheels are excellent conductors of heat - improving heat dissipation from the brakes - reducing risk of brake fade under demanding conditions. Additionally, alloy wheels can be designed to allow more air to flow over the brakes, this can help cooling. The alloy used in the finest road wheels today is a blend of aluminium and other elements. The term "mag wheel" is sometimes incorrectly used to describe alloy wheels. Magnesium is generally considered to be an unsuitable alloy for road usage due to its brittle nature and susceptibility to corrosion. ...read more.


* High tooling costs. * Restrictions on the range of alloys that can be cast. Low Pressure Die Casting This process is a compromise between gravity and pressure casting; it tries to eliminate the unwanted properties from both methods. A mould or die, is mounted on a holding furnace and is connected to the molten metal by a feed tube or stalk. The furnace is pressurised by the introduction of air above the surface of the molten metal causing it to rise steadily in the stalk and gently fill the mould. The air in the mould cavity is expelled through vents in the die and when the cavity is filled, solidification starts. When the metal has solidified as far back into the die as is required, the pressure is released in the furnace and the molten metal left in the stalk drops back into the molten pool A further short cooling period is allowed to ensure that all sections of the casting are solid, the mould is opened and the casting removed. The molten metal is contained in a crucible. The crucible can be topped up with molten metal using a filler port. ...read more.


In two-piece construction, a centre is forged and then welded or bolted into a spun or stamped outer rim. In a three-piece wheel, the centre is bolted to an inner and an outer rim half. Three-piece wheels have the advantage of being easily customizable for a variety of widths and offsets. Conclusion A good quality, pressure cast wheel, if made with the right material (T-6 aluminium), is plenty strong enough for a road racing car, and certainly for any rally car. The payoff in forged wheels comes in weight and durability. These racing wheels cost more, but are generally stronger and lighter than an equally-sized cast wheel. Billet and Forged wheels are much lighter and stronger than cast alloys and because they are not made from one piece they can be repaired relatively easily. However cast wheels are far less expensive and are more suited to large order quantities whereas billet and forged are more suited to one off designs. References 1. Clegg, A.J. (1991). Precision Casting Processes. Pergamon Press 2. Heine, R.W. et al. (1976) Principles of Metal Casting. Tata McGraw-Hill 3. Breithaupt. J. (1999). Physics. Palgrave Foundations 4. http://www.efunda.com/processes/metal_processing/squeeze_casting.cfm 5. http://www.fisherpaykel.com/pml/products-&-services/low-pressure-die-casting.cfm 6. http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1392 7. http://www.worldaluminium.org/production/processing/casting.html 8. http://www.factbook.net/Alzo/production.html 9. http://www.scoobyworld.co.uk/trolleyed/6/ 10. http://www.alloynet.com/html/faq.html Contents 1. Introduction 1. Casting Processes 2. Gravity Die Processes 3. Pressure Die Casting, Low Pressure Casting 4. Squeeze Casting, Billeting 5. Forging, Conclusion 6. ...read more.

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