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Rear View – A Carcility blog

Types of Car Wheels

Types of car wheels

For most of the time, there is not much consideration paid into how our car wheels are, or their type. Being the primary contact to the road, your car wheels and tyres make for the most crucial as they help maintain a grip, providing stability for a safe and smooth ride.

Your wheels are much more than your car’s appearance. To set your purpose right, to select the right wheel type for your vehicle, you must be aware of the different wheel types, thus picking the best that fits your car and style of driving.

How Many Types of Wheels Are There?

The wheels quite often seem to be the simplest of the components in the making of an automobile, (whether it is a car, truck or a bus) – this is not the case. The wheels that we see rolling today have not been this way from the start. Over the years, manufacturers around the world have been investigating and researching numerous techniques and production processes to improve their overall quality and efficiency.

Several different types of wheels vary based on their primary strength, composition and its effect on fuel’s efficiency. Let’s go through these different types of wheels mentioned below.

Steel Wheels

Steel wheels a.k.a. ‘Steelies’ in popular car enthusiast’s terminology are the standard wheel type. 

These wheels have been around since the first cars hit the roads. Through the years, these steel wheels have taken up several changes in their form and design. There is no artistic flare involved in its design as the entire sheet gets prepared into the shape required for the rim by pressing out the different sections of the wheel and then welding them together.

The most common drawbacks of steel wheels include their heavy structure and their poor designs, for which several manufacturers use wheel covers.

Alloy Wheels

The alloy wheels are the modern versions in which a molten alloy of lightweight materials is poured into pre-moulds to get differently designed wheels. They are lighter and stronger than the conventional steel types. Materials such as magnesium, nickel or titanium are mostly alloyed with aluminium which has a high strength-to-weight ratio. A lighter wheel will decrease the overall weight of the vehicle which will make it fuel-efficient. 

Alloy wheels form a specced feature of several of the modern vehicles, specifically the luxurious ones. These alloy wheels are now a part of several hatchbacks as well and have developed over the years in several spectacular forms.

Chrome Coated Wheels

These are the fashionable versions of expensive wheels in which copper, nickel and chromium are used as coating on the existing wheel type. The layers act as protection against corrosion and provide a reflective mirror finish.

Based on the type of wheel manufacturing process involved, the wheels are further classified into the following:

Cast Wheels vs Forged Wheels

In the masking of cast wheels, a single block of molten metal is poured into a mould that gradually takes the shape of a wheel. 

Forged Wheels are the stronger, lighter version of the cast type. These are made from a solid block of billet aluminium, that is firstly shaped into the wheel form. Then considerable pressure is added to increase its strength followed by the final design on its completion.

Single & Multi-piece Wheels

The cast wheels are also known as the Single-piece wheel, they are made from a single piece of metal through either forging or casting. The multi-piece wheels will have two or more parts. For 2-piece wheels, the center section connects to an outer barrel of the wheel. A 3-piece wheel uses the same basic idea but there is an inner and outer section to the barrel which is sealed to be airtight. 

What Is the Best Type of Wheel? 

The car rims in the wheels can be one of the important factors that will determine how smooth your rides will be. While the steel wheels are considered as a heavier, sustainable and cheaper option, the chrome or alloy wheels are mostly preferred for their lighter and fashionable appearance. Several factors will come about while comparing the alloy and steel wheels, which includes strength, appearance and price.

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