Car Radiators

Car radiators are types of heat exchangers. They are used for cooling or heating the car and are designed to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another. Besides car and other automobiles, radiators are used in buildings and electronics.

The automobile water radiator was invented by Karl Benz. The first honeycomb radiator for the Mercedes 35hp was designed by Wilhelm Maybach.

Car Radiator Functioning

Radiator is a device in which a liquid passes on through exposed pipes. This liquid is a mixture of 50% water and 50% ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, known as antifreeze. A car radiator transfers the fluid’s heat to the air outside. This cools the engine. For better functioning, radiators are mounted in a high position so that they can receive airflow from the forward movement of the vehicle. If the engines are at the rear side the radiator needs to be mounted behind the front grill.

Car Radiator Construction

Car radiators comprise a pair of header tanks. A honeycomb core, made of stacked layers of metal sheet, are joined to form channels and soldered together. Brass or copper cores are used to make car radiators. Some radiators are also made of plastic headers or aluminum cores, which are economical. Vintage cars had radiator cores made from coiled tube.

Car Radiator Coolant and Heater

Car radiators have coolant pumps and heaters. Coolant pumps are required in every car to circulate the fluid. Earlier centrifugal pumps were used to circulate the coolant in the car.
There is a small radiator associated with a blower fan in every car, which is called the heater core. It warms the cabin interior. Car radiators also control the temperature of the car. Besides this it also helps in controlling the water flow and air flow.

Radiator coolants are important for a car. Earlier water was used as a radiator coolant. Nowadays it has been replaced with antifreeze .

Supplementary Car Radiators

Some cars have supplementary radiators to cool the engine oil. They are generally oil-air radiators or oil-water coolers.

Last Updated on 1/3/2012