As the name suggest, alloy wheels are made from an alloy comprising of aluminium and nickel. Alloy wheels are generally stronger and lighter than the regular steel wheels and result in better handling and acceleration.
Alloy wheels are also good heat conductors and this means that it dissipates heat from the brakes more effectively which mean better braking performance and lower chances of brake failure from overheating. In Singapore, we usually refer to alloy wheels as rims.
In the old days, magnesium was used instead of aluminium. Therefore, alloy wheels are also sometimes known as “mags” or “mag wheels”. Magnesium wheels were initially crafted for racing, due to its light weight. However, magnesium wheels have problems of being brittle (cracking easily) and very susceptible to corrosion. Aluminium then replaced magnesium as the core material for alloy wheels due to its high strength, light-weight and low cost properties.
Today, magnesium alloy wheels are seldom produced, and when they are, it is usually used for racing or high end cars. Most of the alloy wheels in the market today are made from aluminium and usually forged for better toughness and ductility.
You may also want to learn more about the specifications to take note off when choosing the right rims to fit your car.