Every aluminum wheel starts out as hardened molten liquid.
The question is -- Does it stop there too?
Unfortunately, when it comes to liquid forged aluminum, the answer is yes.
The molten aluminum is simply poured into a wheel shaped cast, machine pressed, cooled down, cleaned off, boxed up, and shipped out to America.
To us, this process is lazy, haphazard and unacceptable.
Liquid casting doesn’t take the time to fortify and perfect the aluminum before shaping it. It doesn’t consider the grain flow that determines the strength of the alloy.
With liquid casted aluminum the grains form into a random structure. This random structure leads to plenty of weak spots. In fact, if you looked at these wheels under a microscope, they’d be riddled with holes like a sponge.
Their porous structure may be faster and easier to make but is much likelier to bend or break under a heavy load.
Most manufacturers of liquid forged alloy wheels are not up front and honest about what they are making. They use terms such as liquid forged, cast forged, liquid casted, or even avoid naming the process altogether to try to swindle their customers into thinking they are receiving a well made alloy wheel.
The term they use may say forged, but they are not forging billets into wheels. They are using molten liquid that does not have the strength your truck wheels need. A more honest name would be liquid pressed aluminum wheels.
To expose this sham even further, you can see in the video on the right a standard 1-ton impact test between truck wheels made from fully forged aluminum, steel, and liquid casted aluminum. Spoiler alert: the wheel that was liquid casted fails miserably.
Fully forged aluminum demands a higher-caliber craftsmanship. It’s the only kind of alloy you should put on your truck. It’s one third the weight of steel and pound for pound the strongest material on the road.
It’s made by taking the molten liquid your wheels start out as and cold rolling it several times. This produces a condensed billet that has long unidirectional grains. These grains are what greatly improve its hardness, rigidity, and brings its strength to the next level. The billet is then heated up and forged over a die into your new alloy wheel.
Another benefit of these tightly woven grains is that it allows the fully forged aluminum to have a higher density than cast aluminum. The more dense an object is, the higher the quality of shine you can polish it to.
Picture this exaggerated example: If you poured and pressed concrete into a mold then you’d have a structure that mimics the porous formation of cast aluminum. If you then attempted to polish the concrete, you’d fail because it doesn’t have a grain flow that allows it to be dense enough to hold a shine. Compare this to a slab of granite that has had it’s natural grain flow condensed under thousands of pounds for many years into a high density cut of stone. With the dense granite, you can polish it to a very high grade shine much like the countertop in your kitchen.
In the fiery debate between fully forged aluminum and liquid casting it’s clear that fully forged aluminum offers a better grain flow, more structural integrity, and more resistance to the heavy load it bears.
The brand you choose for your truck wheels matters. Be on the lookout for places that try to sell you cheap casted aluminum wheels like Eagle Alloy or Vision Wheel.
BuyTruckWheels.com doesn’t sell liquid cast anything. We sell the highest quality at the best price. Here are a few of our top selling brands of fully forged aluminum wheels: Alcoa, Northstar, American Force, and Accuride.
For a great 4 minute summary on fully forged aluminum vs liquid cast aluminum, check out Kimo365’s YouTube video below. He talks about forging guns out of steel, but the same science applies to aluminum and wheels.
For more on aluminum truck wheels, check out this article: What’s the Difference Between Standard Polish, High Polish & Mirror Polish?