While many people probably think they know what a radiator does, one would think that based upon its name, a radiator emits heat through a method of thermal radiation. Although the term wouldn’t necessarily imply it, a radiator can be any device in which a liquid circulates through exposed pipes.
A radiators purpose is to cool internal combustion engines, mainly in automobiles, but also in piston engine aircraft, railway locomotives, motorcycles, and other applications of the device. Your radiator is essential to all that you do in your vehicle, and without it, your cooling system wouldn’t feel nearly as qualified to cool your engine on a day to day basis. Let’s explore the things that make a radiator what is.
History of the Radiator:
The heating radiator was invented by Franz San Galli, a Russian businessman, Polish born, and living in St Petersburg, between 1855 and 1857. He was an inventor, who lived his entire life devoted to the fruition of his dreams.
Since then, radiators in cars have always been based off of his design. Up to the 1980’s radiator cores were often made of copper, brass, or plastic. This method was abandoned as better and more reliable methods of crafting a radiator began to surface.
Engine Cooling and Coolant
As far as radiators are concerned, the lifeblood of their existence is quite literally the coolant that is being passed through them. However, by the time this coolant gets to the radiator, it couldn’t realistically be described as coolant. Here’s how the process works. The coolant liquid is fed to the engine block, which then heats up the coolant quite considerably. The hot coolant is then fed into the inlet tank of the radiator and distributed across the radiator core. As the coolant circulates through the radiator tubes on its way to the opposite tank, it cools again. The cold coolant is fed back to the engine, and the cycle repeats itself.
Air Flow Rate
Because air has a heat capacity and density level that is lower than liquid coolants, a large volume flow rate has to be blown through the radiator core to capture the heat from the coolant. Because of this, radiators often have one or more fans that blow air through the radiator. To save the fan power consumption in vehicles, radiators are often found behind the grille at the front end of the vehicle.
As a complicated piece of implemented genius, it’s important to realize that radiator repair isn’t something that anyone can do. Get in touch with reputable radiator repair mechanics before you tackle a job that big.
*Photo courtesy of The Retronaut-Flickr.com