If you are curious about car history, you should definitely learn more about mag wheels. They revolutionised the modern automobiles and are now accessible to every vehicle owner. Find out how they came around, where they got their name from and whether you can still find genuine models in the market.
A Bit of History
Mag wheels are alloy wheels. The first rims of this kind were made from alloys of magnesium. They were lighter than their steel counterparts. They had improved heat conduction and this improved their performance. However, the technology which was used for their making was not quite advanced. There were issues with the casting and as a result the rims had poor ductility and were brittle.
During the second half of the 1960’s, the casting technology was significantly improved and the alloy wheels become extremely reliable and durable. At the same time, they performed even better as before. By this time, aluminium alloy had replaced magnesium alloy as the main material used for the making of the rims. As a result many people believed that the “new” aluminium models were superior to the “original” mag wheels. Despite this, the alloy rims continued to be called mags and this is the case to this day.
It is an interesting fact that all types of alloy wheels today are referred to as mags. These include not only the rims made from aluminium alloy used in cars, but also the wheels made from composite and plastic used in bikes and skateboards. It pays off to know the terms when you go shopping.
Genuine Mag Wheels
Are there still rims made from magnesium alloy? They are not produced at present and can be found only on vintage and retro cars. Manufacturers seized production due to the many pitfalls of magnesium. The magnesium alloy turned out to be prone to pits and cracks. It was highly susceptible to corrosion as well. The rims remained in optimal condition for just a few months before they started corroding due to exposure to rainwater and to moisture in the garage.
Properties and Benefits
The modern mags made from aluminium alloy do not rust and corrode. They are very light and this helps to improve the control over the vehicle and steering as a whole because the suspension follows the surface of the road perfectly. The lighter rims make the whole car lighter and in this way help for lower fuel consumption. Since the rims have better heat conduction, they the brakes work more effectively.