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Alcoa Unveils Lighter Wheels, Covers

Nathalie Tessier
Nathalie Tessier by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Alcoa Wheels introduced a new set of products designed to enhance performance and efficiency across the industry.

At the Technology & Maintenance Council 2022 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition on March 8, the company unveiled the new 22.5-inch x 8.25-inch wheel and 22.5-inch x 14-inch wide base wheels.

Nathalie Tessier, general manager at Alcoa Wheels, who made the announcement at the event, emphasized the products are designed to improve efficiency and performance.

Specifically, the ULT36x 22.5-inch x 8.25-inch wheel is 36 pounds, three pounds lighter than its predecessor. It features proprietary MagnaForce alloy for savings of up to 0.9 gallon of fuel per 1,000 miles when converting from steel to aluminum. It also features a 7,400-pound load rating, high polish or mirror polish, and Alcoa Dura-Bright and Dura-Black surface treatments.

“Thirty-six pounds: That’s the lightest and strongest wheel in the market today. And this was only feasible because of all of our know-how, knowledge of wheel design alloy technologies that make this come true,” Tessier said.

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The firm also introduced its 22.5-inch x 14-inch truck wheel. At 49 pounds, it is three pounds lighter than its predecessor. Made with proprietary MagnaForce alloy, it is capable of providing a 12,800-pound load rating. With the product, fleets can expect to save over 1,400 pounds on an 18-wheeler when converting from steel dual wheels and tires. Tessier emphasized the wheel is ideal “for a fleet that is weight-sensitive.”

Additionally, the company announced its steer wheel cover and the drive wheel cover plus wheel. The products are designed to add aerodynamic advantages to Alcoa wheels and provide fuel savings by reducing air drag. They also are meant to be easy to install and pave the way for seamless wheel inspections.

“The whole goal was to not have to remove the cover for any inspections or inflations, or anything like that,” Doug Mason, global technical manager at Howmet Wheel Systems, Alcoa Wheels Brand, told Transport Topics. “We also wanted to eliminate any opportunity for misalignment when it’s installed. It is always installed at the right position no matter what.”

Alcoa Wheels, for the commercial heavy-duty, medium-duty, trailer and bus market, is a brand of Howmet Aerospace Inc.