Alcoa develops new, lighter wheel alloy

News Jason Cannon October 21, 2013

Alcoa has developed a new aluminum alloy that it says will soon allow for the introduction of lighter-weight truck wheels and other heavy-duty vehicle components.

Alcoa Wheels Vice President, Merrick Murphy, speaking Sunday at the ATA Show in Orlando, Fla,, noted that 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Alcoa, and the 65th anniversary of the company’s first aluminum truck wheel, launched in 1948.

Murphy noted that the development of new and innovative alloys has been key for the company’s success – most notably the introduction of the 6061 aluminum alloy in 1968 which allowed for the development of the first one-piece aluminum truck wheel.

Murphy says Sunday’s introduction of the new MagnaForce alloy will mark the beginning of a series of new products from the company, which could appear as early as next year.

He says the MagnaForce alloy is up to 16.5 percent stronger than the 6061 alloy, which will, “open the door to production of the strongest, lightest wheels to increase fleet payload, improve fuel economy and enhance sustainability.”

“Alcoa is making truck wheel history with our innovative aluminum material,” says Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “No manufacturer has produced a wheel with an alloy superior to Alcoa’s 6061 material.”

Alcoa says its scientists and engineers at the Alcoa Technical Center, the world’s largest light metals R&D center located outside Pittsburgh, invented the MagnaForce alloy following two years of development.