Vehicular weight has increased in the last few years, and wheel material must be thicker to maintain adequate wheel performance. But as gage increases, processing problems arise in welding and forming. This means that higher strength materials must be used for fabricating wheels so that material thickness can be held to a minimum.
The approach Kersey-Hayes Co. took is the topic of this paper. Automotive wheel spiders were press formed and fatigue tested, using various grades of high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. Press performance of noninclusion shaped steels was poor, but that of inclusion shaped grades was good. Fatigue properties ranged from slightly higher to three times higher than SAE 1012 commercial quality mechanical capped steel.