Alloy wheel s and “mag wheels” are two common short forms for the term “magnesium alloy wheels” and even these terms can be shortened further to “mags”. Alloy wheels are commonly fitted to racing cars, as they are lighter than steel or aluminium wheels and are not prone to corrosion. However, alloy wheels made from aluminium (aluminium alloy) are also colloquially referred to as “mag wheels” even though they are not made from magnesium. Alloy wheels made from aluminium are much more common on street cars than the real-McCoy magnesium versions.
Alloy wheels have the advantage over steel because they are light, thus reducing the force needed to move, brake, turn and accelerate the vehicle. As they are made from aluminium, alloy wheels are also less prone to corrosion than steel ones when exposed to water, as wheels often are. Aluminium is also easy to machine and cast, while still retaining the combination of lightness and strength.
Aluminium also has very high reflective qualities, having the second-best ability to reflect visible frequencies of light, running second only to silver. This high-gloss factor means that alloy wheels are often a stand-out part of a car’s overall design. Great care is taken in the looks of alloy wheels. A well designed set of alloy wheels will contain both reflectional and rotational symmetry. Alloy wheels can come as standard factory original features in a vehicle or can be fitted as an after-market option. Getting a car fitted with “mag wheels” is a common way of improving its looks. For those who like the looks of mag wheels but can’t afford to fit the real thing (e.g. boy racers), clip-on plastic “mags” in a range of styles are available. These, however, do not have the high-gloss or lightweight properties of real alloy wheels.
We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is a Alloy Wheel?’!
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