Industry Insider: A Look at the Technology Behind RAYS Wheels


sierra sierra evo volkSierra Sierra

Rays has involved excellence in engineering as well. Most of Rays engineers are also engaged enthusiasts who have a clue, not your typical corporate drones. State of the art modeling techniques such as Finite Element stress Analysis commonly known as FEA are used to optimize design, giving the best strength and stiffness for the lowest weight. FEA allows the engineers to pair weight to a minimum and make stronger more durable wheels by being able to predict stress concentrations within the structure of the wheel when load is applied. FEA is integrated into the CAD (Computer Aided Design) drafting system and the engineers can use this data to quickly change the design and verify what each change can do to the strength, weight and durability of a wheel before the first prototype part is made.

Rays FEA output
Volk FEA
Rays makes extensive use of FEA or Finite Element Analysis to optimize the design of their wheels.  Areas of high stress are warmer in color and cooler colored areas are sections with lower stress.  The engineers experiment with the design of the wheels to eliminate hot spots.  This way the lightest and strongest wheel can be designed.  Of course the engineer has to be experienced with wheel design so the forces can be inputted correctly and Rays engineers have plenty of experience.

Rays wheels for both OEM and aftermarket applications are built to exacting JWL standards. JWL is a standard of the Japanese government where a wheel must pass a brace of grueling durability tests to be legal for street use. The wheels must pass tests for rotary and radial fatigue, a strenuous test where a wheel with a tire is loaded with a heavy weight to simulate a car's weight then run at a heavy side and up and down cyclical load for a required number of cycles. Then the same wheel if it passes is subjected to a 13 and 90 degree impact test where it is hit with a calibrated hydraulically driven pendulum. The wheels must not deform excessively, crack, debead the tire or lose air pressure. As further proof, Rays has their own internal standard JWL+R where their wheels must exceed the JWL tests by 100% even for their lightest wheels. Ever wonder what sort of testing is done on Volk knockoffs? Probably none with a fake JWL stamp.

fatiuge tester
A fatigue tester machine puts a load on a wheel tire assembly and rotates it through cycles.

After this proof testing Rays does further validation with salt spray, compound accelerated corrosion, paint adhesion and UV degradation testing to ensure the wheel will last under the harshest road conditions.

sierra sierra evo volk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *