Cast Wheels VS Forged Wheels, What’s the difference?

The terms “forged” and “cast” are often used to describe a set of wheels to indicate the process used to manufacture the wheel. In the wheel industry forging and casting are the two predominant types of processes used to manufacture wheels.

During the casting process molten aluminum is either poured or drawn using a vacuum into a mold, where it is formed into the desired wheel shape and allowed to cool. Once the wheel has cooled minor modifications such as drilling and trimming are made, allowing for quick and inexpensive production. While a cast wheel may be easier and less expensive to manufacture, the process of allowing the molten aluminum to solidify leads to porosity, which are essentially inconsistencies in the material structure that unaccounted for can lead to cracking, oxidation, pitting in the finishing, and a reduction in the wheel’s structural integrity. To counteract this deficiency, manufacturers are forced to design with larger tolerances which lead to heavier wheels in order to achieve the desired structural integrity.

In contrast to casting, a forged wheel begins as a solid piece of metal referred to as a “billet”. This billet is then subjected to heat and intense pressure, which compresses the material to form a raw forging. These raw forgings are “forged” into different profiles to allow for the creation of different wheel designs.

The raw forgings are then lathe turned and milled in-house using our CNC machines to form the final shape and application of the desired wheel.

Due to the immense pressure that the billet undergoes during the forging process, the metal is less porous compared to cast wheels and has an interlocking and aligned grain structure. Although this can only be viewed under a microscope, this structure results in improved strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion and oxidation. Due to the more consistent forging, the same structural integrity can be achieved using less material in a forged wheel versus a similarly designed cast wheel, this lighter weight translates into improved overall vehicle performance. Forged wheels are often made into traditional one-piece monobloc wheels, or due to their inherent strength to weight, they can be made into two- and three-piece variations to give manufactures enormous flexibility in creating custom offsets and widths that would not normally be available in a monobloc construction.

Although the forging process may be more time consuming and costly than cast wheels, they offer significant benefits to the consumer. COR and Axiom wheels are designed and machined in-house, which means we have extensive control over the manufacturing process ensuring the highest level of quality and craftsmanship. In general, our forged wheels offer a 10 to 15 percent reduction in weight compared to factory cast wheels with some examples achieving a 35 percent reduction in weight.*

So, if you’re looking to upgrade your set of factory cast wheels, our forged wheels will not only improve the look of your vehicle, but contribute to an increased level of performance by reducing unsprung weight, while providing unmatched strength, durability, and, of course, individual style.

* Please note the exact weight reduction will be dependent on the factory wheel style and the wheel being used for the upgrade.