Alcoa’s New 20 Inch Forged Aluminium Wheel Blanks Use Aerospace Technology
Alcoa’s new 20 inch forged aluminium wheel blanks use aerospace technology to improve weight and performance
By: Martyn Roberts
Alcoa has extended the range of lightweight wheel forgings supplied to Solomon Alsberg for their exclusive high-performance alloy wheels. The aerospace-derived metallurgy of the Alcoa blanks allows Solomon Alsberg to create a wide range of ultra-stylish wheels that improve vehicle performance and dynamics as well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The 20 inch blanks supplied within this programme are produced from billets of 6061-T6 aluminium, using the same technology as the wheels it produces for the Boeing 747. The superior strength of this alloy in one-piece wheels allows a significant weight saving over cast or multi-piece wheels. The forging process aligns the metal grains uniformly along the contours of the wheel, allowing less material to be used thus reducing weight. Alcoa’s weight-optimised 20 inch forged wheel can weigh as little as 7.5kg – up to 7kg less than a typical cast alloy wheel of the same diameter.
Forged wheels provide a fast-to-market, low cost light-weighting solution for car makers that want to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. Alcoa’
Less mass also improves vehicle dynamics. With lower unsprung mass there is less work for the suspension; tyres remain in better contact with the road surface as the lighter assembly is easier to control when hitting bumps; particularly important when cornering. This translates into improved grip, traction and braking, better vehicle control and a smoother ride.
“We found that Alcoa offers the ideal mix of lightweight product with competitive pricing, quality and flexibility,”
David Yates, marketing manager for Alcoa Auto Wheels Europe, points out that the new blanks will help high-end aftermarket manufacturers provide a wide range of styles that differentiate their range and add the many benefits of high technology to the luxury and style already achieved by large alloy wheels.
“We are delighted to be working with Solomon Alsberg, helping the company achieve significant growth not only in Russia but also across Europe,” concludes Yates. “Our blanks allow them to create many designs from a single forging, giving them manufacturing flexibility and a real competitive advantage.”
About Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products
Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, serves the commercial vehicle, automotive, and defence markets with products used in a range of applications including cast and forged aluminium wheels, aluminium space frames, specialized vacuum die cast products, niche products such as Dura-Bright®
Alcoa is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminium, fabricated aluminium and alumina combined through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminium products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, structures and building systems. The Company has 97,000 employees in 34 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com
Market Engineering, North Bar House, Banbury, OX16 0TH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1295 277 050
Alcoa Wheel Products, Hall Place Enterprise Centre, Church Hill, Harbledown
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 9AG
Tel: +44 (0)1227 452413
Page Updated Last on: Aug 07, 2009