Alcoa introduces new aluminum wheel alloy for lighter weight but stronger wheels
20 October 2013
Alcoa, the inventor and global leader of forged aluminum wheels, introduced its most advanced aluminum wheel alloy in 45 years. The new material enables lighter weight wheels at increased strength with the same corrosion-resistant characteristics as the industry standard, also made by Alcoa. Alcoa expects to introduce a new, advanced wheel featuring the alloy in early 2014.
Unveiled at the American Trucking Association Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, the new lightweight alloy, called MagnaForce, is on average 16.5% stronger than the industry standard, Alcoa’s 6061 alloy, in similar applications. Alcoa will use the material to manufacture wheels for commercial transportation, where lighter weight products that increase fuel efficiency are in high demand.
Alcoa invented the forged aluminum wheel in 1948, using an alloy it had developed for the aerospace industry. In 1968, Alcoa set the industry standard again when it launched its 6061 alloy for forged aluminum wheels. Alcoa’s 6061 material provided a strong, durable alloy, resistant to corrosion that is used to this day by all major forged aluminum wheel manufacturers. During that time, Alcoa’s experts have continually met increasing demands for lighter weight wheels, engineering products that today are 10 pounds (4.5 kg) lighter than wheels from 20 years ago, using the same alloy.
Alcoa’s scientists and engineers at the Alcoa Technical Center, the world’s largest light metals R&D center located outside Pittsburgh, invented the MagnaForce alloy following two years of development.
Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products is part of Alcoa’s downstream business, Engineered Products and Solutions. Through the third quarter of 2013, Engineered Products and Solutions contributed 25% of the company’s total revenues.
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