The invention of the wheel should be rated as one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of modern times. Right from the first cars of old, to the modern cars of today, we have seen a steady improvement in automobile technology, which includes development of wheels. Good ones provide stability and greater control over driving, while being able to take a high amount of load. There are many options to choose from when it comes to choosing them for your new car. Two of the prime choices are steel and alloy wheels.
Difference Between the Two Choices
What provides structure and decides the strength factor of wheels is the material from which they are manufactured. When we talk about comparing steel and alloy wheels, we are essentially differentiating between rim materials. The rim provides the tire with the required strength and stability. Its choice does matter when it comes to choosing one.
Alloy wheels are primarily manufactured from manganese and aluminum. Alloys made of aluminum are most preferred. One of the major factors which improves acceleration and wheel grip, besides improving fuel efficiency, is the lightening of wheel weight. Alloy wheels are mostly lighter than traditional ones, providing a major advantage to sports cars. Compared to them, their steel equivalents weigh more. They have been in use for many years now. The heat conduction through them is slow, compared to alloy wheels, which makes their braking performance weaker.
Overall, alloy wheels have an edge over steel ones, due to their lesser weight and their high heat conduction rate, when it comes to performance. In terms of aesthetics too, they score more. However, one thing about them, that should not be ignored, is that steel wheels are easier to maintain and repair, when compared to alloy wheels. They offer greater structural solidity, at the expense of greater weight. Due to the inherent malleability of steel, these rims are easier to repair and bring back into shape, while repairing the other type is costlier.
If you make a cost comparison, between alloy and steel wheels, the latter are substantially cheaper. Alloy wheels are preferred for their high performance strength in sports cars, as they offer greater maneuverability and improved fuel efficiency, besides providing better braking performance.
Alloy wheels are the ones to go for, if you are after sports cars. Otherwise, steel wheels are the best option for the average city commuter's car. Study the cost equation and according to your budget, as well as requirements, go for one which is the most comfortable choice.