The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby 427 race held recently at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was led by a pack of Shelby pace cars fitted with forged aluminum wheels featuring Alcoa’s patented Dura-Bright® technology. The leading wheel surface innovation is also a part of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Limited Edition Shelby 427 package now available for the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA) first launched Dura-Bright® technology into the commercial vehicle segment in 2003, and recently in the automotive OEM market. Shelby Autos was the first automotive customer of Dura-Bright® technology with fitment on the Shelby Super Snake package in 2007. The innovation is now available on several leading Global automotive platforms.
“By staying cleaner longer, Alcoa wheels with Dura-Bright® technology enhance the vehicle’s appearance, allowing owners to enjoy their vehicle while lowering maintenance efforts,” said Kevin Kramer, President – Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “Shelby Autos first selected Dura-Bright® technology in 2007 and we are proud to be a part of this special program today.”
Traditional alloy wheels rely on lacquer as a finish and protection against the elements. During heat cycling, brake dust and grime can penetrate the lacquer to create a yellow discoloration or black specks that cannot be removed. Dura-Bright® technology penetrates the surface of the wheel to become an integral part of the aluminum itself. It resists peeling, cracking and corrosion while offering a premium and unique appearance that is easy to clean with mild soap and water. Automotive News recognized Alcoa’s Dura-Bright® technology with a PACE Award for innovation in 2007.
In addition, all Dura-Bright® technology wheels are produced by Alcoa’s forged engineering expertise. Alcoa forged aluminum wheels are typically 30% more impact resistant than a comparable cast aluminum wheel. A forged wheel reduces un-sprung weight on a car, maximizing vehicle performance, including more responsive steering and braking performance, while reducing weight by over 20 percent compared to a similar cast aluminum wheel design. Additionally, CO2 emissions are lowered and fuel economy is enhanced due to the weight reduction of the wheel.