Steel vs Alloy Wheels
Steel wheels and alloy wheels have major differences in their weight, cost and section thickness. Steel wheels are heavier, which makes them less wobbly. Alloy wheels are lighter, and have a thicker section that does not bend that much. Another difference is in their manufacture, since steel wheels are stamped, and alloy wheels are cast. A thick steel sheet is rolled and welded into a circle shape, whereas an alloy wheel is machined into fine circles after they are cast.
Alloy wheels are great for the warmer or milder temperatures, and steels are best for cold weathers, because they can resist cold climates. Steel wheels’ setup is stronger and tougher than alloy wheels, and they can be painted repeatedly. Alloy wheels are lighter in weight compared to steel, and have a faster acceleration speed as the rotational mass will be reduced because of its lighter weight, and they can brake quickly. On the other hand, steel has a drawback of a heavy weight, which makes it too heavy to play any dynamic part in the accelerated movements of a vehicle, and is slow to brake.
The heavier the wheel, the more energy it will take to brake, whereas alloy wheels are lighter than steel and more preferred because they need less energy to stop the vehicle. Alloy wheels are made with a combination of different metals, so they are less ductile then steel, which can bend after some time. Steel wheels can be hammered to put back in shape, but alloy wheels are prone to break. The shape bends and produces wheels to wobble while driving, which has to be corrected by a process called wheel balancing. Steel wheels are not resistant to corrosion, but alloy wheels are sort of anti corrosive, and even if they corrode, it rarely harms the wheel performance.
Alloy wheels are a homogeneous hybrid cast available in many types, such as forged aluminum, carbon fiber, and one piece and two piece cast alloy wheels. They are less expensive, non flexible and weigh up to 1/3 times lighter than steel wheels. Steel wheels are cheaper compared to some of the alloys that are quite expensive. Two piece alloys called modular are very strong and light in weight. The disadvantage is that they bend easily, and repairing them is hard. They are inexpensive, and used for the majority of cars. Forged aluminum alloys are the best and most expensive wheels. They are stronger than steel and lighter than alloy wheels. Carbon fiber is extremely light, but is prone to break and extremely expensive.
1. Steel wheels are cheaper and stronger than alloys.
2. Alloy wheels are more expensive and lighter than steel.
3. Steel wheels corrode, can be painted, hammered and do not bend easily.
4. Alloy wheels do not corrode and do not bend, but their disadvantage is that they can break.
5. Alloy wheels are preferred over steel wheels because they use less rotational mass and less energy to start and brake.