Alcoa® Wheels wheels are forged from a single piece of aluminum. No welding, plates or joints. The powerful alloy is forged in shape with an 8000 tons press. The total mechanical strength is maximized by heat treatment. Alcoa® Wheels are therefore five times stronger than their steel counterparts. This is measured by placing an equal static load on both rims. A steel wheel loses its shape by deforming 5 cm under 13,600 kg. A single Alcoa® wheel can withstand a load of up to 71,200 kg before similar effect.
Even the smallest deviations are machined away to make aluminum disks completely stable and balanced. Only tire mounting may change this stability and require balancing weights.
The natural oxide layer of aluminum is itself a corrosion inhibitor. Still, especially in the north, more salt resistance is needed. Coatings are a thing of the past: the only solution for extreme durability is chemical immersion of the protective agent. This is the Dura-Bright® treatment. The added benefit of shielding is to eliminate the need for polishing. Under normal conditions of use, the surface remains bright for years simply by washing. The more advanced successor to XBR® is EVO® technology that allows washing in pH range from 2 to 12. The reinforced edge protector Dura-Flange® is also immersed in the rim structure. This prevents sharpening giving the DF wheels at least double the life time of other aluminium wheels under the same conditions.
You will recognize an Alcoa® wheel by roll stamps on the rim’s inner edge. They include JWL and DOT certification, as well as the date of manufacturing. The JWL-T refers to the Japanese impact resistance test, and the DOT marking indicates filling the requirements of the American standard FMVSS 120 for road use. The Alcoa® Wheels logo appears as a sticker on the oldest rims, but since 2009 it has been engraved prominently on the metal.
Impact test results
The Japanese JWL test simulates a vehicle hitting a high curb at a speed of 50 km/h. A weight of 910 kg is dropped on the tire/rim assembly:
The steel rim is significantly deformed and air leaks out of the tire. Alcoa® Wheels passes the test succesfully.
One of the wheel identification features is its lightness. The latest MagnaForce® alloy used in Ultra ONE® wheels allows up to 51% lighter weight than steel. Total weight reduction depends on the combination. Changing to Alcoa® Wheels drops weight as follows:
-12,0 kg per 19,5 x 7,50 wheel
-13,8 kg per 19,5 x 8,25
-13,3 kg per 22,5 x 8,25 Ultra ONE®
-15,9 kg per 22,5 x 9,00 Ultra ONE®
-25,0 kg per 22,5 x 11,75 ET0
-17,8 kg per 22,5 x 11,75 ET120
This reduces the weight of a 9-axle combination by an average of 465 kg.