Amid a lot of fanfare and anticipation, Alcoa rolled out a new, lighter aluminum wheel at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., Thursday.
The new Ultra ONE can shed upward of 1,400 pounds from an 18-wheeler fully equipped with what Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products, calls the lightest heavy duty wheel in the world.
Alcoa’s new 40-pound wheel is 47 percent lighter than steel wheels of the same size, and five pounds lighter than previous generation lightweight Alcoa wheels.
“Alcoa continues to reinvent the wheel. Our new innovation is heavy-duty without the ‘heavy,’ and it looks great, too,” Myers says. “Alcoa’s unique mix of manufacturing, technology and lightweight metals expertise enabled this breakthrough.”
To take five pounds out of its lightest heavy-duty truck wheel, Alcoa’s experts invented a new alloy, the patent-pending MagnaForce alloy. Not only lightweight, MagnaForce is on average 17 percent stronger than the industry standard, Alcoa’s 6061 alloy, in similar applications, Myers says.
Myers says the belief is the new wheel will become Alcoa’s standard wheel, eventually replacing the slightly heavier 45 pound wheel.
The Ultra ONE Wheel with MagnaForce alloy is available in the industry standard 22.5” x 8.25” size for heavy-duty, commercial transportation, and is being readied in all OEM customer data books, Myers says.
Truck manufacturers can specify Ultra ONE using the product code ULTRAx. Wheels will be identified by product code ULTRA and the finish option.
Ultra ONE wheels are available in all of Alcoa’s finish options.