Most modern auto manufacturers are now choosing aluminum radiators & parts for their cooling systems including pumps, manifolds, and the radiator and shroud assembly itself. In the early years most automobile radiators were made of copper, brass and cast iron. The radiator, which is the main component of a cooling system is a heat exchanger. A heat exchanger takes the hot fluid in your car’s cooling system and passes it through a matrix of tubes and passageways. Cool air passes over these tubes cooling the fluid and the fluid is returned to the engine to maintain normal operating temperature.

Early Radiators

Early radiators were made of copper, brass and steel. These materials were prone to corrosion, were heavy, and the manufacturing process making a radiator was very costly and labor intensive. Today over 56% of vehicles use radiators made of are aluminum. The automated processes used to make today’s radiator assemblies is not only more cost effective, but produces a better product.

Other reasons the auto industry switched to Aluminum was due to the fuel shortages of the 70’s. Manufacturers and the government were seeking ways to make cars more efficient, and using aluminum instead of copper saves weight, about 40 pounds per unit.

Early radiators had other problems including the fact that they were made of different types of metal. Pure copper is soft, so zinc was alloyed to the tubes creating ” Brass”. Over time, the zinc would dissolve in the coolant and develop pinholes which would need repair,

The end tanks were also brass or steel and the interaction between these metals further promoted corrosion and failure

Modern Aluminum Radiators

Modern all aluminum radiators do not have this problem because they are 100 percent aluminum alloy. The tubes, tanks, fins and couplings are all aluminum so there is no electrolytic action to promote corrosion.

The seams are micro welded using pure aluminum, unlike older bras and copper radiators that were soldered using lead-based compounds to join the different metal types. The result is a stronger, lighter and more durable component.


Thermal Efficiency of Aluminum Radiators

Aluminum is naturally an excellent conductor of heat. When hot coolant is pumped from the engine through the radiator, the heat easily passes to the air flowing through the radiator cooling it. The cool fluid then returns to the engine and the cycle starts over. The key to the successful manufacturing of Aluminum Radiators is that they must be all aluminum. Joints between the internal tubes and tanks must all be welded and not sealed with silicone or other types of compounds that can deteriorate over time.

Be sure to choose 100% Aluminum Construction

All aluminum construction means that all seams are welded and that there is no epoxy used to seal joints. Over time and at high temperatures, epoxy joints can fail. The exclusive use of aluminum without epoxy sealers guarantees a long service life.

Quality Aluminum radiators offer the following advantages over conventional units:

100% Aluminum Tanks, cores, brackets and welds, absolutely no epoxy
Higher Density Core Cooling rows are spaced 3/8″ apart, giving you 25% more rows than any others in our price range and 35% more rows than OEM copper
Light Weight 10-20 lbs. lighter than copper or brass radiators
High Performance Design 14-16 cooling fins per inch giving you approximately 1,500 more cooling fins than other aluminum radiators and approximately 3,000 more than OEM copper radiators. Aluminum dissipates heat more efficiently than copper or brass

Upgrading to an aluminum Radiator.

Aluminum radiators can be used to replace conventional copper and brass units and an Aluminum Radiator guarantees a long service life. Aluminum radiators also have wider tubes, allowing more coolant to pass which increases efficiency, and the aluminum is a harder alloy which resists deformation under pressure. Most conventional radiators have an equivalent replacement in aluminum, and the cost is virtually the same.

Even if your vehicle has a perfectly functioning radiator, there may be reasons to consider changing to aluminum.

-Competition. If you drive your vehicle in competition events, the added cooling capacity will help your engine last longer.

-Weight. the lower weight of aluminum, roughly 15 to 29 percent less than copper is an instant advantage.

– Towing or driving in hot conditions is another reason to consider an upgrade.