Call Us Today! 517.680.7950
Live Chat

Forged Steel Wheels vs Cast Iron Wheels and Their Application

Forged Steel WheelWhen speaking of Forged Steel Wheels and Cast Iron Wheels it is important for you to first understand the process that these wheels are manufactured. Let’s review each process prior to discussing how the manufacturing process dictates the advantages and disadvantages of each wheel in and industrial caster and wheel application so you can choose in the question of steel wheels vs cast iron.

Forged Steel Wheels, as the name implies, are manufactured in a forging operation. Forging is the term for shaping metal by using localized compressive forces. Forging can be done in a cold operation or a hot operation. Due to the size of industrial wheels, a hot forging operation is used. First the weight of the part is determined and a slug of steel round of appropriate diameter is cut and pre-heated. The steel is brought to a point within 200 degrees of its melting point or red hot. The steel is then removed from the preheat unit and placed into the drop forged, which then shapes the slug through repetitive impacts. The flashed is sheared before the steel can cool. The part is then placed on a conveyor for a slow cooling process.Cast Iron Wheel

Grey iron wheels are manufactured in a melting process of pig iron while adding substantial quantities of scrap iron and steel scrap while at various steps removing undesirable contaminates (e.g. phosphorus and sulfur) that effect the overall strength of the material. The melting process is done either in a blast furnace known as a cupola or electric induction furnace. During the process the material is completely liquefied and then carefully poured into a sand mold to be brought to it final shape during the cooling process. The casting is then removed from the sand mold and final cooling takes place. The final grade of the grey iron is determined by the final tensile strength (Grade 30 is 30,000 lbs tensile strength).

The microscopic structure of the two materials is significant different and impacts overall strength of the material/product. During the forging process the molecular structure is in alignment and never disrupted during the forging process. Hence, the strength in the virgin material is never lost. However, in casting, none of the original structure is maintained and a new structure is created that has very little continuity, resulting insignificant reduction in strength.

Grey iron Wheels

1. Grey Iron Wheels support a significant amount of weight
2. Grey Iron Wheels machine very easily
3. Grey Iron wheels make excellent bonding surface for a urethane tire
4. Grey iron wheels cannot withstand shocking loading without risk of cracking or failing
5. Grey Iron wheels cannot be heat treated to change hardness
6. Grey Iron wheels do not make good welding surfaces
7. Grey Iron wheels are generally considered a very cheap alternative in an industrial application.

Forged Steel Wheels

1. Forged Steel Wheels support 30% great load than Grey Iron.
2. Forged Steel Wheels are more costly to machine to final dimensions
3. Forged Steel Wheels do not make good bonding surface due to the density of the molecular structure.
4. Forged Steel Wheels are excellent for applications with significant risk of shock loading.
5. Forged Steel Wheels can be heat treated to increase hardness.
6. Forged Steel Wheels can be easily welded to.
7. Forged Steel Wheels are generally 30-50% more expensive than a grey iron wheel.

Utilizing the correct wheel for the needed application will take consideration of many factors. Getting the correct wheel the first time will minimized long term cost by minimizing downtime and maintenance costs. Ask for the expertise that the engineering group at Caster Concepts, Inc. can provide to assure complete satisfaction with your choice of industrial caster and wheel applications.

At Caster Concepts, Inc we will work with you to help you find the product that best fits your needs. Caster Concepts, Inc. is an ISO 9001-2000 certified designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive line of industrial casters, ranging from a medium-duty series to a heavy-duty series to meet any application. CCI also manufactures caster wheels to withstand impact, corrosion, temperature extremes and chemicals found in harsh industrial environments. These multi-functional casters and wheels serve a variety of applications in the industrial, automotive, food service, aerospace, material handling and other demanding markets. Learn more about the entire family of Caster Concepts companies – Reaction Industries (, The Machine Center (, Fabricating Concepts (, and Triple E Manufacturing (, by visiting the most comprehensive web site in the caster industry at:

Quick Contact

We'd Love to hear From You!

Our Family

  • themachinecenter
  • reactionindustries
  • fabricatingconcepts
  • tripleellc
  • albionmachine
  • conceptual-innovations
  • conveyorconcepts
  • larcaster
  • modernsuspensionsystems
  • mhia
  • pjr
  • ISO Certificate
  • michigan