Radiators are used to transfer thermal energy from one place to another by enabling the movement of fluids around them. They are used in cars, electronic devices and buildings. Through the process of convection, they are able to heat the environment surrounding them. On the other hand, they are also used to keep the temperature of engines at the normal level.
Internal combustion engines are common in automobiles. They are also used in aircrafts that use piston engines. Railways, motorcycles, power plants and other situations where engines are being used continuously always have radiators installed on them. Keeping the temperature of the engines at the normal level will prevent them from breaking down. This is the function of radiators.
How coolant works
Coolants are commonly composed of water and glycols. Glycols prevent freezing of the liquid. Other additives are also used to prevent erosion and corrosion inside the engine. On the other hand, some coolants are made of oil.
The process of cooling down the engine starts when bottles of coolant are poured over the engine. Coolant serves as the liquid which absorbs heat produced by the engine. The heated coolant will then pass through the tank of the radiator and be distributed to the core. The long journey of the coolant through the tubes of the radiator going to the opposite tank allows the process of cooling to happen. At the end of its travel along the tubes, the temperature of the coolant goes down. It will then return to the engine. The same cycle repeats while the engine is operating.
Air’s capacity for heat is lower than coolants. Air is also less dense. This is the reason why a large volume of air must be propelled to the core of the radiator for the absorption of heat to happen. For this reason, it is common to see two fans or more blowing air to the radiator. To save power consumption, the radiators are often placed at the front of the automobile. This will allow more air to pass through without the use of too much power.
Heat transfer also happens while the coolant travels through the circling tubes. While the coolant circles around the tubes, it will transfer heat to the tubes, which will then transfer heat to the fins located in the middle of each row of tubes. The fins will discharge absorbed heat to the air. Fins are widely used to add efficiency to the heat exchange. By enlarging the surface of the tubes that make contact with the air, heat exchange becomes more efficient.
Aluminum is better
The older types of cores are mostly made out of copper and brass. Eventually, aluminum is used to replace copper fins, brass tubes, side plates and tanks. Aluminum radiator weighs lighter and costs less. This has been the reason for its wide acceptance in the market.
It is a challenge to cool down cars that has very high horsepower. Examples are race cars. It is very important to assemble the appropriate cooling system on these cars. Building cooling systems starts with the right radiator. Among the popular manufacturers of radiators are JEGS, Be Cool, Ford Racing Radiators, Granatelli, Flex-a-lite and Howe. Aluminum radiator is more effective in cooling engines and is lighter than the obsolete brass units.
Radiators could be custom made or could be direct fits. Radiator manufacturers also offer several types of radiators that suit several uses and budget. Moreover, individual parts like radiator necks, caps, tanks, radiator fin comb, over flow fittings are also available for purchase to replace defective parts. Likewise, universal silicone engine coolant plumbing kit could also be purchased from the stores.