How are Forged Aluminum Wheels Made?

Forged wheels are better

Aluminum Wheels

There are different ways to create aluminum wheels.  Many times people interchange these terms and this simply is wrong.  The terms casting and forging are very much different and they have different qualities and price points.  Casting is that of heating up the metal to liquid form and pouring it into some sort of die or tool. Casting can be done in a number of ways, however, every one of them is heating up the metal to become molten.  Forging is warming the metal and mechanically forcing it into being the desired shape. Forging does not allow as much design creativity as casting, however, it does provide higher strength properties.

Casting is less expensive

Casting is far less expensive and offers some great design opportunities.  However, you trade strength when using a casted metal wheel and not a forged one.  Forged wheels have much higher strength but a lower ability for beautiful designs.

The aluminum forging process

When you are working with a forged wheel, it starts with a small round piece of metal called a “billet”.  This billet is subjected to heat and pressed into shape by intense pressure. This will then create a raw forging.  These raw forging can all be a bit different to have a different end look, however, there are no undercuts allowed in the aluminum forging process.

Forged wheels are better

Once the raw casting is complete then the final touches are to begin.  These final touches can be CNC machining and polishing. A CNC is used to machine the wheel into its final look and shape.  This is labor-intensive but the end product is far superior to that of casting. The aluminum forging process allows the wheel is harder, has better corrosion resistance, and higher durability than that of a cast wheel.  This is due to the molecular structure that is left intact because it was never heated to a liquid state. This molecular structure can only be seen at a microscopic level, however, the benefits can be seen in the end product.

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Forging is a process

Due to the process of forging it takes less overall material to complete the shape of the wheel.  According to Queen City Forging the less material means that the wheel is lighter and offers better vehicle performance. Forged wheels are made into a monoblock which is a traditional one piece.  This provides the manufacturers with some great flexibility in creating unique wheel looks.

Cast wheels, although they are less costly, are much lower quality.  They do not take the time and effort to produce, which is why they are less costly.  They will not add to the overall performance of the vehicle as the cast wheels will.


If you are looking to improve your vehicle’s performance by lowering the weight it is hauling around in the wheels, forged wheels is a perfect choice.  These wheels offer excellent performance and good weight destruction which is important in a wheel. They are a vast improvement from anything that comes standard on any vehicle.  Forged wheels are the elite in vehicle wheels.

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Randy Williams
Randy Williams: Student of Life. Professional Engineer. Skeptic. Explorer. Reader. Listener. From Greater Denver Area, USA.

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How are Forged Aluminum Wheels Made?

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