There are more types of wheels than you may have previously been aware of. Consider this.
According to Thomas Net:
“Wheels or rims regardless of their mix-matched terms, they may be the simplest components on a vehicle. But manufacturers are continually researching and developing the latest production techniques in wheel design and ways to make the strongest yet lightest material to implement into the production process. Car wheels today are available in a variety of materials and sizes, from alloy, chrome, and even gold plated in sizes 15 to 28 inches in diameter. The vehicle driven should be taken into consideration when purchasing wheels as they may affect the vehicle’s performance and handling.
Types of Wheels for Industrial/Commerical Applications
“Various kinds of wheel construction are used in the aftermarket. Certain construction types allow for intricate styles and finishes or allow for lightweight material to achieve high performance. However, the safety and strength characteristics of the wheel are based on the design and manufacturing quality build by the manufacturer. The following are the most common types of wheels offered by wheel industries:
“Steel wheels are the most common type of wheels. They are considered cheap and functional; they are the wonderbread of rims. However, due to their low costs also comes with several costly issues. Because of the weight of steel (regardless of their strength), it will weigh in on fuel economy and speed, and take a toll on the car’s handling. Furthermore, it can potentially damage the brakes as the steel rims do not dissipate heat efficiently.
“Alloy wheels are lighter compared to their steel counterparts. Aluminum alloy is considerably lighter metal and additional strength are achieved with other metals such as titanium, magnesium, and nickel. Allow wheels also achieves efficient heat transfer over steel rims, which allows for heavier braking load without warping or damaging the brakes. However, alloy wheels do have their potential issues when opposed with strong force causing damage. They will crack or fracture rather than bend like steel impeding them from easier repairs.
“Forged wheels are some of the strongest wheels on the market. The process is achieved by a billet of material which is subjected to extremely high heat and 900 bar of pressure, compressing the metal into an extremely dense and immensely strong wheel. This process makes these wheels extraordinarily light and multiple times stronger than their equivalent casted wheel. Cast wheels are manufactured from the liquid metal being poured into a mold. Cast iron wheels are significantly easier to produce over forged wheels, which also affects its price and quality.
“Chrome wheels are not made of solid chrome but rather a lightly coated finish. Chrome coats do not add any performance benefits but act as a primer on the wheels, preventing oxidation. It’s mostly for aesthetics and used for sunny and dry weather.
Other Wheel Types
- “Ductile Iron – Ductile iron wheels have many of the same characteristics as cast iron. It also has a higher tensile and yield strengths and resists breaking or chipping.
- “Polyurethane – Polyurethane wheels feature a higher capacity material than rubber and provide longer wear.
- “Mold on Rubber – Rubber offers a cost-effective and provides a cushioned and quiet ride for the product being transported.
- “NyTec-MD – NyTec-MD is a nylon filled material which provides a high load capacity, floor protective wheel. This material is resistant to harsh environments. The non-abrasive and vibration dampening material offers a quieter operation over steel or cast iron wheels.
- “Phenolic Resin – Phenolic resin wheels offer a load carrying capacity approaching that of cast iron or steel wheels. Phenolic resin wheels are a cost-effective alternative with increased rollability and will not damage floors.
- “V-Groove – ‘V’ grooves are machined from either cast iron or hot forged steel wheels. V-grooves work on the track or off track and are essential where precise alignment or indexing of equipment is necessary.
- “Flanged – Single and dual-flanged wheels operate on a rail for locating fixtures in a precise position for indexing through a work cycle. Premium cast iron and steel is used for the wheel material to provide high strength and long wear.3
- “Pneumatic – Pneumatic wheels offer the highest cushioning, shock absorbing caster/wheel, without moving to a more expensive spring loaded caster. Capacities of pneumatics are limited due to the soft cushioning characteristics of the wheel.3
- “Drive/Keyway – Drive/Keyway wheels are offered from 3” to 18” diameter. Bore sizes from 1/2” to 2-7/16”. Drive surfaces of poly, rubber, or steel. Excellent for power transmission applications…”