Flow Form Wheels
Designed in Southern California, Built for the Open Road.
Why Flow Form Wheels?
Strength, Lightweight and More Options
When determining what manufacturing process to use for our line of Factory Reproductions wheels, three important factors were considered: weight, strength and options. Factory Reproductions wheels are made for vehicles that can veer off the beaten path or stay on a well-worn road. They need to be both lightweight and durable.
It was also imperative that we create a wheel line that offers more options than the standard OEM width and offsets, allowing for personal expression of style. All of these considerations pointed us in the direction of flow form manufacturing for our Factory Reproductions wheels.
Benefits of Flow Form Wheels
Because of the flow form process, the mechanical properties of the aluminum now have improved grain structure and increased strength compared to a traditional cast wheel.
With increased material strength, the rim barrel is spun thinner than a traditional cast wheel, reducing wheel weight. This results in improved performance and ride quality.
Multiple forming programs are written to allow for more widths and offsets than the traditional cast wheel.
The Flow Form Process
The procedure begins like a cast wheel where aluminum ingot, magnesium, titanium and silicon are heated to liquid form, filtered, degassed and inspected. The liquified aluminum is poured into the casting machine’s crucible to be pressurized into the high temp steel mold.
Once solid, the casting is removed from the mold, bathed in water, and general measurements are taken to confirm the correct wheel size.
To prepare for the flow form process, the wheels are conveyed through a preheated oven and placed on a preheated mandrel which is shaped in the final rim barrel profile.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of a flow form casting shows up at this point. A short rim barrel skirt appears, as it has not yet been formed into the full rim width.
With multiple passes, forming rollers slowly squeeze and stretch the thick aluminum skirt material resulting in the final rim barrel shape. This forming process produces an extremely consistent and uniform barrel thickness which absorbs impact energy better than one that is fully cast.
The wheels are then bathed in water once more and taken to a heat treat stage that locks in the proper hardness levels.
Flow forming is now complete and the rest of the traditional wheel manufacturing process resumes: lathing, machining, balance and leak testing, cleaning and applying finishes.
Once the wheels have passed through these thorough inspections, they can officially be considered flow form Wheels.
Specific quality control checks and rigorous wheel tests are performed to ensure strength, durability, and overall quality.
HYBRID CASTING AND FORGING PROCESS
Flow form is essentially a hybrid process of casting and forging wheels. When manufacturing with flow form, wheel performance is improved by increasing wheel strength and reducing wheel weight.
Your Factory Reproductions Wheels Are Ready For The Open Road
Because Factory Reproductions wheels have been manufactured using flow form, you can be certain that they are of the highest quality. These lightweight, durable wheels will allow your vehicle to travel further so you can experience new adventures and discover extraordinary destinations.