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, a cutting-edge manufacturing procedure, brings forged-like qualities to cast aluminum wheels. This innovative process combines hydraulic rollers and tremendous pressure to 'Form' the inner rim area, compelling the cast material to conform to a massive steel tooling profile. Flow forming uses a small amount of cast aluminum to stretch along tooling, creating a rear barrel from much less material. Using flow-forming techniques in the manufacturing process results in a stronger, lighter, and more precise product than traditional cast wheel forming.

Flow Forming Process manufacturing UTV wheels

  • 1: The wheel face (center spoke design) and outer lip/barrel are cast using low-pressure die-casting. The rear lip/barrel is not cast into the mold but will be created during the heated rotary forging process.
  • 2: The 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 the final maximum width is desired. At the very end of the program, the rear lip of the barrel is added.

Rotary Forged UTV wheels Valor Offroad

The benefits of flow forming are substantial. It enhances the mechanical properties of aluminum and utilizes the aluminum material more efficiently. When compared with conventional casting, flow-formed wheels demonstrate superior precision accuracy, surface finish quality, material hardening, and optimized grain structure. Flow forming not only creates a superior UTV wheel but also proves to be 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, flow, or directional strength. During the casting process, slurry is poured into a mold, and as this slurry cools, dendrites form, eventually turning 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 V09 Beadlock UTV Wheel

The Source is your destination for applicable and useful posts, how-tos and recommendations to keep you and your passengers safe and prepared. Have a topic you'd like to know more about? Search the site using top navigation. Have a topic we haven't covered yet? Shoot us an email using our contact form.

backspacing vs offset what is the difference powersports utv atv

Wheel Offset vs. Backspacing

4+3? 6+1? 25mm? We put to bed the UTV industry debate on what measurement is better, why we use wheel offset and wheel backspacing in the powersports industry, and we do a deep dive into why each m...
What happens when a tire is over inflated?

What happens when a tire is over inflated?

When you are mounting a tire to a wheel there are several warnings and risks that need to be considered, primarily overinflation. We break down the science of professional wheel and tire mounting s...
Polaris Xpedition Accessories

Polaris Xpedition Accessories

So, you're looking for new accessories for your Polaris Xpedition eh? We put together a collection of some of the best upgrades, accessories and parts we recommend adding to your Xpedition build li...
kawasaki krx utv tires utv wheels


UTV Wheel and Tire kits for sale

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.