A radiator is simply a type of heat exchanger that cools internal combustion in engines. It is an invaluable component if the engine cooling system. Engine process and friction produces a lot of heat. This heat needs to be effectively dissipated; otherwise, it would cause of tremendous exchange in the engine components such as the pistons. The engine would also break down completely.
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The fluid used to cool off the internal combustion engine is known as engine coolant. The coolant circulates through engine block where it gains heat and then to the radiator where it loses the heat.
Cooling systems include oil to reduce friction and exhaust system for heat escape. However, the engines can still get hot pretty much quickly. One the temperature hit a certain range the rest of the radiator comes into play.
How It Works
When temperature hits an unacceptable point, a thermostat triggers release of coolant and water which are stored in the radiator. This combination absorbs heat generated by the burned fuel and engine friction and sends it back to the radiator. The radiator has an ample surface area to enhance the cooling process. Air from the atmospheres is brought through the vents further boosting the cooling power. At this point, the coolant is cool enough to be sent back to pick more heat.
Radiators play an essential role in heat removal from the engine. It ensures that the cooling system operates effectively. Most modern vehicles use aluminum radiators. These radiators are made by attaching aluminum fins to aluminum tubes. The coolant flows from an inlet through the parallel tubes and out through an outlet. The fins absorb the heat from the tubes and transfer it to the air flowing through the radiator.
Some radiators have a fin known as tabulator which increases fluid turbulence as it flows through the tubes. If the fluid were moving smoothly, only fluid in contact with the tubes would be cooled. The temperature difference between the fluid and tubes determines the amount of heat transfer that will take place.
Radiators usually come with tanks at the top and bottom which contain transmission coolant. It is connected to the engine by fine tubes.
There are two types of radiators which include:
- Tubular Type
- Cellular Type
When thermostat malfunctions the radiator is prone to overheat. This could compromise your vehicle emission levels and performance. A leaking coolant could also cause an overheating. It is therefore imperative that you check the radiator, hoses and whole cooling system regularly. The radiator can be clogged or blocked with dirt particles which could hamper the cooling process.
Radiators are vital components and hence should be accorded much care.
Read more about your car’s radiator: