When looking to purchase OEM Wheels, there are many different factors to consider. In addition to things like size and style, it is also important to understand the difference between forged wheels and cast wheels. This refers to the two main ways that OEM wheels are manufactured during the production phase.
A forged wheel is manufactured from a billet, or a large square piece of solid metal. The billet is heated to extreme temperatures and pressurized to take its shape. This thermal cycle process causes forged wheels to be stronger than cast wheels due to grain refinement. Consistent forging makes for stronger structural integrity with less material compared to a cast wheel, however the process costs more, rendering forged wheels the more expensive option.
Forged wheels offer several advantages. The manufacturing process results in a stronger wheel by eliminating cavities, porosity, and shrinkage. Due to its tighter grain structure, forged wheels are also mechanically stronger, ensuring better wear resistance over time. You also get better performance and handling because of this process.
The cast wheel manufacturing process involves heating up aluminum until it reaches a molten state. The molten aluminum is then poured into a mold where it is cast into its final shape with the help of a vacuum. After the cast cools down, it is trimmed and drilled to perfection. The casting process is quick and inexpensive but has the disadvantage of rendering a weaker material than a forged wheel.
In addition to the advantage of being the less expensive option, cast wheels offer other upsides. Casting wheels offers a wide range of alloys to choose from. There are also no limits to casting weight and the process makes it much easier to produce complicated parts. Contrary to popular belief, a properly cast wheel can weigh more than a forged wheel and the build quality is more than enough for street and light track use.