Which wheel is stronger, an aluminum wheel or a steel wheel?

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The big idea behind the Finnish YouTube oddity, Hydraulic Press Channel, is, “I wonder what happens if we put [OBJECT] in a hugely powerful hydraulic press?” It’s a great question, and for a couple years the channel has been squeezing things to bits with often hilarious – sometimes outright dangerous – consequences. Now that winter tire season is creeping towards us, the rallydriver-English speaking channel has gotten some sets of old wheels with the means of making them less round than they used to be.

Which is , an wheel or a wheel? This video shows how a Chevrolet Venture five-spoke aluminum wheel, complete with tire, cracks into pieces under 20 tons of pressing force. In a way, the clip shows what a really, really big pot hole can do to both kinds of wheels: the alloy wheel cracks, and the steelie bends without cracking.

It’s only when the pressmaster decides to place an aluminum wheel on its bottom when things start exploding: the tire blows off the rim in such a bombastic fashion that bits of aluminum get thrown everywhere. Good thing there’s enough protection for the video crew. And as for the steelie: it just gives way, as a steelie does. The video serves as a good instructional clip about the wheel materials’ different characteristics, worth keeping in mind if you live in Potholeville, USA.

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