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What Are Flow Formed Wheels?

Created by Jay Walling
Date Created: 1/16/2019
Last Updated: 3/1/2022

With Flow Formed wheels, this technology is used on many of LMR's newer SVE Mustang wheels. Check out this process & how it differs from cast & forged.

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What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged - What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged

There have been many questions regarding the new Flow Formed wheels with the introduction of many different wheels in our SVE wheel lineup. These questions revolve around what flow form wheelslink text are, why they are more expensive than cast wheels, and what makes them stronger and lighter? First, we have to look at the flow forming process to answer these questions.


What Are Flow Formed Wheels?

What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged - What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged

Flow Formed wheels are wheels made by applying pressure to the wheel's inner barrel while it is spinning after the casting has taken place. This flow forming technology compresses and stretches the aluminum, increasing the tensile strength and durability of the wheel. This allows the wheel to be much lighter, stronger, have a greater shock resistance, and have a higher load rating 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 wheel manufacturing process compares to each, let's look at each type.


What Are Gravity/Low Pressure Cast Wheels?

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Cast wheels are the most affordable wheels on the market as the manufacturing process is quicker and easier. Most OEM wheel manufacturers use this process due to the cost-savings. Cast wheels can be categorized into two subcategories, gravity cast, and low pressure cast.

Gravity cast involves pouring molten aluminum alloy into the mold from the top using gravity as the factor of ensuring the mold is fully encased.

The low-pressure alloy wheel casting process 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 no noticeable difference in tensile strength between the two.


What Are Fully Forged Wheels?

What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged - What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged

Fully forged wheels are not hard to spot as they will be the most expensive and lighter wheels on the market. This is due to the way that fully forged wheels are manufactured. Instead of using molten aluminum, they start 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 forging process ensures that your final products have a lighter wheel and stronger wheel, but you will pay a pretty penny for it.


SVE FLOW FORMED WHEELS

What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged - What Are Flow Formed Wheels - Cast Vs Flow Formed Vs Forged

SVE Wheels® is dedicated to providing the highest quality wheels that heighten the styling and performance of your Mustang in the aftermarket wheel industry. SVE Wheels® are explicitly designed for 1979-Present Mustangs. Each aftermarket wheel is carefully measured down to every millimeter to ensure the best fitment, finish, and functionality on the market. SVE Wheels® prides itself in its flow-formed Wheel options for any of your late model Mustangs.

We offer a wide variety of finishes to suit just about every color of Mustang. We also provide multiple 5-lug wheels for different year ranges. All SVE Wheels® are backed by a two-year finish and a lifetime structural warranty for the ultimate peace of mind.


Which Wheels Should I Choose?

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This will be determined by what you plan on doing with your vehicle and how much abuse you are going to give it. Most people will be just fine with cast-aluminum wheels or flow-formed wheels for daily driving. When you start to involve some racing, whether it be road racing or drag racing, or an off-road application, you may want to look into stepping it up to flow formed. To find out the best wheel for your Mustang, feel free to give our wheel experts a call at 1-866-507-3786.


Thumbnail image of the author of this article, Jay Walling.

About the Author

Jay has written content for Late Model Restoration for over 10 years, producing over 120 articles. Jay has an extensive 25-plus-year background in automotive and is a certified Ford Technician. Read more...