Evolution of the New Ford Aerostar Impact Extruded Aluminum Wheel 841694
Ford's continued effort to improve fuel economy in automotive applications has emphasized the need for lightweight components that retain all the toughness associated with Ford truck vehicle characteristics. The application of an impact extrusion process to wheel design and manufacture, for Ford Aerostar, provides strength, performance and style more efficiently than other traditional processes. It results in a valuable 33% weight saving over comparable HSLA steel wheels, and provides the customer with uncompromised value.
The Ford Aerostar Impact Extruded Aluminum Wheel was designed to be of one-piece construction, manufactured from a less than 1″ thick aluminum wafer-shaped blank. The process permits manufacture in half the steps of a conventional stamped steel wheel, and eliminates extensive machining required with forged or cast aluminum wheels.
This paper describes objectives, evolution of design, development, testing and integration of the manufacturing processes necessary for new wheel technology unique to the industry.