With the introduction of many different wheels in our SVE wheel lineup, there have been many questions regarding the new Flow Formed wheels. These questions revolve around what flow form wheels are, why they are more expensive than cast wheels, and what makes them stronger and lighter? To answer these questions, we have to first look at the flow forming process.
Flow Formed wheels are wheels that have been made by applying pressure to the inner barrel of the wheel while it is spinning after the casting has taken place. What this does is compress and stretch the aluminum, increasing the tensile strength of the wheel. This allows the wheel to be much lighter, stronger, have a greater resistance to shock, and a higher load capacity when compared to cast wheels.
Flow Formed wheels are the middle ground between gravity/low pressure cast wheels and fully forged wheels. To understand how the Flow Formed compares to each, let's look at what each type is.
Cast wheels are the most affordable wheels on the market as the manufacturing process is much quicker and easier. Cast wheels can be categorized into two subcategories, gravity cast and low pressure cast.
Gravity cast involves pouring molten aluminum into the mold from the top using gravity as the factor of ensuring the mold is fully encased.
Low-pressure casting involves injecting the aluminum into the bottom of a pressurized mold, filling it from the bottom up to help reduce air bubbles. While these two methods differ, there is not a noticeable difference in tensile strength between the two.
Fully forged wheels are not hard to spot as they are going to be the most expensive and lightest wheels on the market. This is due to the way that fully forged wheels are manufactured. Instead of using molten aluminum, they start out with a solid piece of billet aluminum. A press takes this piece of aluminum and uses high pressure to hammer out the wheel to the specific design. This process ensures that you have the strongest wheel possible, but you are going to pay a pretty penny for it.
This is going to be determined by what you plan on doing with your vehicle and how much abuse you are going to give it. Most people are going to be just fine with cast or flow-formed wheels for daily driving. When you start to involve some racing, whether it be road racing or drag racing, you may want to look into stepping it up to flow formed. To find out what the best wheel is for your Mustang, feel free to give our wheel experts a call at 1-866-507-3786.