Alloy wheels are automobile wheels that are made from aluminum/magnesium/chrome metals that serve as the base alloys. These alloy wheels differ from normal steel vehicle's wheels, as they are lighter in weight. They improve the cars' performance by increasing their mileage. Alloys are also known for their heat conducting property that surpasses the steel wheels .This improves the overall heat dissipation of the brakes, thus reducing the chance of brake failures in extreme driving conditions.
These alloy wheels are also considered to be chic as they are not hidden behind the hubcaps. Thus they reduce weight of the car. However these alloy wheels are pricier than ordinary wheels making then slightly less palatable for general consumers.
Magnesium alloy wheels are also referred to as mag wheels , are sometimes used on racing cars, instead of the heavy steel or aluminum wheels as they give better weight reduction and acceleration. The wheels are formed in only one-step by hot forging from the magnesium alloys ZK60 and MA-14. The Russian variation of the ZK60 is used in this process. The disks made of cast magnesium are also used in dirt bike wheels. The weight of a typical magnesium automotive wheel is about eight-twelve kilo grams.
Magnesium wheels may be lighter than aluminum alloys but are easily flammable and are banned in some arenas of motor sports in the United Kingdom due to occurrences of fires. These fires are very difficult to extinguish and are really hazardous as they can become fatal for the driver. The fire initiates as and when the tire gets punctured and the wheel scrapes the rough road surface for a prolonged period. There are some variants of Magnesium alloy wheels available which may have low corrosion resistance.
These hazardous features of Mag Wheels along with being expensive make them impractical for usage in most common vehicles. Aluminum wheels are often popularly referred to as "mag wheels" and are preferred over the mag and chrome wheels.
Many wheel brands which include Panther Wheel, American Racing Wheels, Motegi Racing Performance Wheels, Weld Racing, BBS, 5Zigen, Volk Racing and Konig are known manufacturers of quality alloys. The aftermarket wheels have also been inundated with the vast incursion of reasonably priced chrome wheels from East Asia.
With India, investing in alloy wheels through Synergies Castings Ltd. and other companies - of late has also emerged as a leading supplier of chrome wheels. They are able to manufacture products to a universal scale due to the availability of cheap but highly trained and experienced labor. One of the oldest aftermarket wheel companies dating back to 1956 is the American Racing, which owns Motegi Racing and Weld Racing among other famous brands.
A recent trend in the manufacturing industries includes joint venture partnerships being shaped between offshore firms, local importers and distributors. These partnerships have initiated a stern competition between the giants of manufacturing and thus leading them to do an extensive R&D. This has left the market flooded with a vast collection of superior alloys to choose from, thus benefiting the car users.