Superior Cooling, Longer Lasting Radiators, For Less Downtime in Australia's Harsh Climatic Conditions.

Brisbane
Melbourne

1300 448 324

(1300 HITECH)

Repair /Supply /Remanufacture Radiators

Hi-Tech Radiators are experts at Radiator Repairs, Flushing, Top tank replacements, clean outs, new tanks, recores, custom design, modifications, heavy duty design, alloy + alloy/plastic radiators converted to copper/brass assemblies, full refabrication, complete new assemblies, aluminium repairs, aluminium core replacement.

Radiators for vehicles and heavy equipment: Motorbikes, heaters, automotive, trucks, earthmoving, mining, generators, compressors, farming, forestry, gas, forklifts, all items industrial, marine.

Aluminium VS Brass/Copper

The History of Materials Used for Earthmoving Radiators

There is one thing about radiator design is that if you choose a radiator to suit the environment you expect to use it in you will probably choose correctly. If earthmoving equipment on a mining site is not fitted with the highest quality radiator downtime can be very expensive when trying to fix it. The quality of radiators has improved over time since they were 1st developed in the 1900's for use in all types of motor vehicles. Up to the 1970's brass and copper were typically the materials used for both truck and car radiators. There were no other materials that even came close when it came to replacing copper and brass

Aluminium arrives on the scene

The next generation of radiators were made from other materials other than brass and copper and that meant chiefly aluminium. From the 1970's there were conversions from the traditional air cooled engines to water cooled pioneered by the motor vehicle company Volkswagen. This led to a re think of materials for radiators. 

Added to these developments was the onset of the oil crisis. Vehicle makers were seeking out ways to keep vehicles as light as possible, so aluminium became more widespread for radiator construction. Aluminium has number of advantages over copper/brass as a radiator material. The main one is the weight issue. Because aluminium is a less dense metal, as well as inherently stronger, it is easier to build a much lighter radiator without compromising on the strength.

Aluminium’s disadvantages are balanced by its advantages

It doesn’t handle heat as well as copper and brass but it was cheaper at the time and there was an imminent likelihood that copper supplies were diminishing which would lead to a reduction in supply for the vehicle manufacturing industries. In the years to follow aluminium became the preferred radiator material for both earthmoving trucks and cars with 56 percent of these vehicles having this type of radiator installed. 

However, this didn’t see an end to copper/brass radiators as aluminium was not the magic solution for long lasting radiators, particularly in environments where corrosion was more likely. They are more subject to corrosion which appears as a series of pinholes. When this happens it is difficult, but not impossible to repair an aluminium radiator. 

One of the main problems with aluminium radiators is that it tends to produce a tightly packed coat of aluminium oxide on the surface of the radiator. This makes it difficult to perform simple repairs as are ore easy to do with copper brass radiators as the oxide coating has to be physically scraped away first. The oxide coating also makes it difficult to use a welding technique, which compares to copper brass radiators which can be repaired and renewed quite quickly with the help of a suitable solder.

Copper brass radiators remain a favourite

The copper/brass industry has taken advantage of the corrosion issues with aluminium so developed in the 1990's a stronger but lighter alternative by using laser welding, electrophoretic coating and no-flux brazing. 

Radiator manufacturers and auto companies in the end have designed, manufactured and marketed a more compact, lighter radiator that was also strong enough to withstand the rigours of a mining site and other construction sites. Even though heavy equipment machinery generally has installed aluminium radiators, the expectation in the future is that the copper/brass radiators will start to dominate the radiator market again as their ability to resist corrosion and their durability are greater than that of aluminium. 

 

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