Competitive Advantages brazed copper-brass radiators

In addition to lower weight and smaller size, brazed copper-brass radiators have many other advantages.

Lower Manufacturing Cost

As base metals for radiators, copper and brass require fewer manufacturing steps. Thus, brazed copper-brass radiators can be produced more easily and at less cost than comparable aluminum radiators. And since the brazed copper-brass models can be brazed without flux (which is not the case with aluminum radiators), their cost can be reduced even further. In contrast to the huge multi-million dollar capital investment required when aluminum radiators were first introduced, brazed copper-brass radiators can be built with minor retooling of existing production lines.

brazed copper-brass radiators

brazed copper-brass radiators

Higher Operational Performance

Wind tunnel tests confirm the lower air side pressure drop in brazed copper-brass radiators compared to aluminum radiators. Overall performance can be strengthened by utilizing innovative fin and tube designs.

Longer Life Cycle

For consumers, brazed copper-brass radiators mean longer life, in addition to higher quality. In laboratory cycle testing, they have shown the capacity to last the equivalent of ten years.

Superior Recyclability

As one of the most recycled metals in the world, copper has had a well-established reclamation infrastructure in place for generations. The metal from recycled radiators can be used directly for producing free-cutting brass. With brazed radiators, copper’s recyclability will be even greater. Since they are made without lead/tin solder, the radiators will be significantly easier to remelt. In fact, the recycled copper will be pure enough to fabricate directly into new radiator tube strip. Owing to their silicon content, brazed aluminum radiators can only be recycled into less critical casting alloy.

Superior Energy Efficiency

Conventional and Advanced Tube Fin Designs Conventional and Advanced Tube Fin Designs
Brazed copper-brass radiators are almost three times more energy efficient than aluminum radiators. This can be seen most readily by looking at each metal’s energy consumption both as primary metal and as recycled scrap.

Energy values for aluminum are fairly consistent except in one or two instances where estimates are based on water power electricity where no losses are reported. A normal value for aluminum is 75 MWh/t for producing primary metal and 5 MWh/t for recycling clean scrap.

For copper, the figure depends on several factors – the quality of ore, type of energy used and losses involved – but a reasonable value for a typical 0.5% copper ore is 30 MWh/t for producing primary metal and 3 MWh/t for recycling clean scrap. Specifically applied to car and truck radiators, copper’s energy efficiency is even greater because of its high recycled metal content.

Brazed Copper-Brass vs. Brazed Aluminium
Radiator Core Brazed Aluminum Brazed Copper- Brass I Lower air pressure drop, same size, heavier Brazed Copper- Brass II Same air pressure drop, smaller, slightly heavier Brazed Copper- Brass III Same air pressure & coolant pressure drop, smaller & lighter
HeaderWidth, inches 17.01 17.01 17.01 15.55
Tube Length, inches 21.65 21.65 19.10 19.90
Fin Thickness, inches 0.0045 0.0015 0.0015 0.0015
Tube Wall Thickness 0.0150 0,005 0.005 0.004
Dry Core Weight, pounds 3.68 4.18 3.95 3.43
Wet Core Weight, pounds 4.50 5.13 4.79 4.16
Coolant Pressure Drop, pounds per square inch 0.69 0.48 0.42 0.69
Air Pressure Drop, inches of water 1.24 0.87 1.24 1.24

Brazed copper-brass radiators are fully competitive with brazed aluminum radiators as this table shows. Brazed Copper-Brass I, which is made with conventional technology, has the same frontal area and 30% lower air pressure drop, but is slightly heavier. Brazed Copper-Brass II, also made with conventional technology, has the same air pressure drop as the brazed aluminum model, but is smaller in size. But Brazed Copper-Brass III, which is made with advanced technology and has the same air pressure and coolant pressure drop as the brazed aluminum radiator, combines a smaller frontal area and thinner tube walls to achieve distinct advantages in both size and weight. All four radiator cores have same cooling capacity (168,000 BTU/hr) and fin depth. Their weights include fin and tube material only. Source: Penn State University Department of Mechanical Engineering.

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