How 6UL wheels are made

Discussion in '949 Racing' started by 949Racing, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. 949Racing

    949Racing Well-Known Member
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    All 6UL wheels are Low Pressure (LP) cast and Flow Formed (FF). Low Pressure casting is differentiated from gravity casting. Gravity casting is just what it sounds like, molten aluminum is poured into a casting mold. This can create a high quality wheel but intrinsically requires thicker spokes to allow teh aluminum to flow quickly into all the nooks and crannies without cooling to much. This means the spokes end up being thicker (and heavier) than needed. LP casting pressurizes the aluminum which allows it to flow quicker and into smaller spoke profiles. The speed and pressure reduces the chances for air bubbles and porosity. The resultant part is a bit denser, thus stronger. This allows an LP cast wheel to be lighter than a gravity cast wheel. Some manufacturers use the euphemism of "Tilt Casting", which is just a vat of aluminum tilted and poured into the mold via gravity. Enkei's RPF1 and PF01 use tilt casting with flow formed barrels for example.

    Flow forming is easier shown than described. We us the example of a potter spinning a bowl, using their fingers to shape and extend the bowl. Flow Forming is the same, only under heat and pressure to align the grain structure.

    Flow Forming our 15x11 6UL 4 lug


    This image below shows how Flow Forming allows a thinner barrel while increasing strength. While stiffness is important, failure mode is also important. Sooner or later, every wheel will yield if the load greatly exceeds design limits. When that happens, you want the wheel structure to bend instead of cracking or breaking. You can see in the image below, the thicker non-flow formed wheel fractures when it is bent past yield point. The thinner and lighter flow formed example bends but does not fracture. Flow forming compact and aligns grain structure in the alloy, much like die forging.

    Additional processes and controls

    VDH Helium inspection
    -Leak detection

    DMM
    - Dimensional accuracy checks

    Mass spectrometer
    -Material analysis and verification

    FEA - Finite Element Analysis
    -computer simulations of load during design process

    In house JWL test equipment
    - We can test and optimize the wheels before they are give to 3rd party VIA certification labs. FF_bend_slice.jpg LP_Vs_FF_Grain.jpg DMM.jpg
     
  2. OP
    OP
    949Racing

    949Racing Well-Known Member
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    History of 949 Racing and the 6UL design

     
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  3. Competition Orange

    Competition Orange Well-Known Member

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    Someone just got a GT350 and might be in the market next year for a set of these. I'll reach out this winter.
     
  4. 1slow_shleby

    1slow_shleby Member

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    Cedric
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    Very interested in these wheels as well since I want to run square, looking forward to future updates
     
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