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Difference Between Aluminum and Copper Radiator

radiator-pdAluminum vs Copper Radiator

Radiators are made from aluminum and copper. Both these radiator materials have their own advantages and disadvantages. The aluminum and copper radiators differ in the strength, heat conductivity, appearance and weight.

Copper was the only material that was used to manufacture radiators in the earlier years. It was used because copper has superior heat conductivity.

One of the main differences between aluminum and copper radiators is seen in the tubes, which carry the coolant. In copper radiators, the tubes are narrow. The tubes are made narrow for preventing internal pressure from swelling. Moreover, these thin tubes are likely to be clogged. On the other hand, aluminum radiators have wider tubes. These wide tubes help in more direct contact between the tube and the fins, which augments the radiator’s capacity to dissipate heat. Moreover, the tubes in the aluminum radiator does not clog that fast. Whereas the aluminum radiator uses a one-inch wide tube, the copper radiator uses only a half-inch tube.

The tubes in aluminum radiators are welded to the tank, the tubes in copper radiators are soldered. One advantage of welded tubes is that heat transfer takes place at a great pace. On the other hand, the soldering slows down the heat transfer in copper radiators.

When talking of repairs, Copper is easier to repair than the other radiator. In respect of weight, Aluminum is lighter than copper. This means that the automobiles fitted with aluminum radiators will have less weight than the copper fitted ones.

Another difference that can be seen is that aluminum is a better resistant to damage than the other. It can also be seen that copper is easily recyclable than aluminum.

When comparing the cost, aluminum is cheaper than copper.

Summary
1. Copper is superior to aluminum in heat conductivity.
2. In copper radiators, the tubes are narrow. On the other hand, the tubes in aluminum radiators are wider.
3. The tubes of copper get clogged more than that of Aluminum tubes.
4. When the aluminum radiator uses a one-inch wide tube, the copper radiator uses only a half-inch tube.
5. Aluminum is a better resistant to damage than copper.
6. When tubes in aluminum radiators are welded to the tank, the tubes in copper radiators are soldered.
7. In respect of weight, Aluminum is lighter to copper.
8. Copper is easier to repair than Aluminum radiator.


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