Cars are fun. Exotic cars are even more fun. A large focus within car performance is reducing weight but maintaining operational functionality. With the invention of carbon fiber technology a lot of weight reduction can occur for the overall composite body of a car. There are still parts and different sections of a car that cannot be made with carbon fiber though. It is difficult to create lightweight parts for things such as a wheel on a car. Today though, I’ll be highlighting a company that has an interesting solution for this exact problem.
HRE is a company that designs, engineers, as well as manufactures 3-piece and 1-piece forged aluminum alloy wheels for racing, performance & luxury cars, as well as SUVs in their San Diego, California-based TÜV-approved facility. TÜV is of German origin. It is technischer uberwchungsverein. This is translated as: Association for Technical Inspection. It is a leading and highly competent provider for product testing and certifications for the global marketplace. A certification from them ensures compliance with domestic and international guidelines, standards, and directives.
HRE as an organization is dedicated to customization. This is seen through their built-to-order wheel set which offers various customization within a user’s choice in offsets, widths, and finishes. This has resulted in a personalized style and customization thought processes are embedded within their product. HRE is a company that builds their parts from the ground up.
Currently I am in London, so when we think of foreign cars and exotic cars, the king of the land is McLaren. McLaren just recently announced their collaboration with HRE. The McLaren P1 has been fitted with 3D printed wheels from HRE. HRE has fitted the P1 with its HRE3D+ wheels. They had revealed these wheels already this year in May of 2019 at the Rapid + TCT conference in Detroit, Michigan.The aesthetic of the wheels is definitely something us future-oriented thinkers would be into.
Besides reduced waste and otherwise impossible looks, the HRE3D+ wheels weigh only 20 pounds each. Reduced wheel mass helps every measurable metric of a car’s performance. Lighter wheels also help your car feel more nimble which improves your overall driving experience. It also can improve high-performance racing drastically as small things like wright distribution give us milliseconds or seconds taken off of our overall lap times. Thanks to these improvements, HRE states there is an 80% amount of material use reduction. This is better than most typical old school manufacturing such as forging or standard CNC methods.
These wheels are a direct result of their recent partnership they have had with GE Additive. HRE Wheels and GE Additive announced a partnership agreement last year where they initially revealed the prototype of these wheels. These wheels were produced with EBM technology. EBM refers to electron beam melting additive manufacturing. An EBM process leverages high-powered electron beams to create energy required to melt metal. This leads to high melting capacity and higher productivity in production. The hot metal process allows one to manufacture various complex geometries without residual stress on the material. I can’t wait to see what more designs HRE will come up with.
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