Copper v Aluminium in Heat Exchange Systems

Copper v Aluminium in Heat Exchange Systems

Copper v Aluminium in Heat Exchange Systems

Below you will find a link to an article in the July/August issue of NARSA Cooling Journal. Written by Mayur Gupta of Agrawal Metal Works it is a detailed and informative piece about the pros and cons of both these metals.

Of particular interest is the part about copper/brass heat exchangers being much more resistant to corrosion and blocking. Which is one of the reasons why we sell good numbers of copper/brass cored versions of small Perkins Gen-set rads(see links below). Originally supplied with an aluminium core, when out on hire the strict requirements for coolant maintenance can often be overlooked resulting in a blocked up radiator.

11545 Aluminium / 11726 Copper
11547 Aluminium / 11727 Copper

"The effects of internal corrosion within the cooling system are also of importance when selecting materials for radiator fabrication.
In locomotive radiators, the use of CuZn15 (C2300,SM1085) the lower zinc content in brass means higher nobility and smaller tendency to dezincification and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) which are zinc content related forms of corrosion.
Also, copper alloys are less sensitive to a bad coolant than aluminium, which is an important material selection factor when the quality of the coolants cannot be ensured. Brass tubes are not as sensitive to bad coolant and pitting corrosion as aluminium tubes."

Another fascinating fact is that an estimated 80% of all copper ever used is still in use, such is the ease by which it can be re-cycled.

"Aluminium production requires substantially more energy than copper and copper generally has higher energy saving potential than aluminium. Copper is 100% recyclable and about 80 % of all copper ever used is estimated to still be in use and the reuse of copper is the highest known."

It’s a long read but worth taking the time. Every day is a school day as they say.

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very informative @ 03/Jan/2024 08:05