Integrity Assessment of Repaired Cast-Aluminum Automotive Wheels 940535
A collaborative program between the Wheel Collision Center of Bath, PA and Lehigh University was undertaken to: (1) develop the process of repairing cast-aluminum automotive wheels, and (2) assess the structural integrity of the repairs. Structural integrity testing involved the application of bending moments to open the rim-to-flange juncture of the wheel cross section, simulating deformation in an accident.
Of the various repair procedures employed, hot straightening, and hot straightening and welding were found to be essentially non-damaging to the wheel's structural integrity. The best properties in the welded material resulted from closely matching or slightly undermatching the wheel composition with that of the consumable welding electrode. Cosmetic welding has little effect on repair integrity, but cold straightening was found to decrease the maximum load to failure.