What is a Flow Formed Wheel?

What is a Flow Formed Wheel?

There is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to UTV wheel manufacturing. Valor Offroad utilizes multiple manufacturing techniques depending on the product to ensure the highest quality UTV wheels, accessories and powersports products possible.
How is a tire made? Reading What is a Flow Formed Wheel? 3 minutes Next Rims or Wheels? What's the difference?

Flow Forming is a manufacturing procedure that brings forged-like qualities to cast aluminum wheels. During the Flow forming process, hydraulic rollers and tremendous pressure combine to ”Form” the inner rim area, forcing the cast material to conform to the profile of a massive steel tooling. Flow forming utilizes a small amount of cast aluminum to stretch along tooling, creating rear barrel from much less material. 🤔 Sooooo, why does that matter? Simply put, utilizing flow forming techniques during the manufacturing process, the end product will be stronger, lighter and more precise than traditional cast wheel forming.

Flow Forming Process manufacturing UTV wheels

  • 1: Wheel face (center spoke design) and outer lip/barrel is cast using low-pressure die-casting. Rear lip/barrel is not casted into mold, instead will be created during heated rotary forging process.
  • 2: Wheel rear barrel is heated and pressure is applied with hydraulic rollers to spread cast aluminum material. Applying equal pressure, the wheel barrel is formed using a precision program and rotating drum die.
  • 3: Hydraulic roller pressure is continued until final maximum width is desired. Rear lip of barrel is added at very end of program.

Rotary Forged UTV wheels Valor Offroad

Benefits of flow forming include better mechanical properties of the aluminum and utilization of aluminum material(s) more efficiently. When compared with conventional casting, flow formed wheels have greater precision accuracy, better surface finish quality, material hardening, and optimized grain structure. Flow forming not only creates a superior UTV wheel, but also is more efficient in the manufacturing process.

Flow Formed UTV wheels by Valor Offroad

Grain Structure Matters

CNC machining is typically performed on a pre-worked (hardened) billet that already has grain flow. We use this process in our billet beadlock rings. 

Cast UTV wheels do not have uniform grain structure, grain flow, or directional strength. During the casting process, slurry is poured into a mold, and as this slurry cools, dendrites form, which eventually turn into grains. These grains are not uniform, as some may be small, large, coarse, and/or fine, which results in grain boundary voids. When there are voids in a manufactured component, this means that that component will have very little impact or fatigue resistance.

Flow Forming produces wheels in which the grains are deliberately aligned in the direction of maximum strength, resulting in exceptional fatigue and impact resistance. Stretching the aluminum's grain structure longitudinally, flow forming greatly increases aluminum's strength and fatigue resistance. Grain flow directly affects the material’s mechanical properties since it determines the direction that the underlying grains push or pull when under stress or fatigue.

Wheels currently utilizing Flow Forming:

Valor Offroad Flow Formed V09 beadlock UTV Wheel

Valor Offroad V09 Beadlock UTV Wheel

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Valor Offroad

Valor Offroad is a leading manufacturer of products developed exclusively for the powersports industry. Our wide collection of utv wheels, utv tires, and accessories are designed to enhance the performance and appearance of your offroad vehicle. Whether you're a seasoned offroader or just starting out, Valor Offroad has everything you need to take your powersports experience to the next level. Our utv wheels are crafted with precision and durability in mind, ensuring that they can handle even the toughest terrains. With a variety of styles and finishes to choose from, you can customize your offroad vehicle to reflect your personal style.

But it's not just about looks - our Valor utv tires are engineered to provide optimal traction and stability, giving you the confidence to conquer any trail. From trails to rock crawling, our tires are designed to withstand the harshest conditions, so you can push the limits of your offroad adventures.

At Valor Offroad, we understand that offroading is more than just a hobby - it's a lifestyle. That's why we are committed to providing top-quality products that not only perform well but also enhance the overall appearance of your offroad vehicle. With our extensive selection and dedication to customer satisfaction, you can trust us to be your go-to source for all your Polaris, Can-AM, Honda, and Kawasaki utv accessories.

So whether you're tackling the trails or hitting the dunes, choose Valor Offroad to equip your offroad vehicle with the best wheels, tires, and accessories on the market. Experience the difference that our products can make and elevate your offroading adventures to new heights.