Rad: Aluminium vs copper ??

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by aussie-revhead, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    Hi guys , I am in a bit of a spot deciding what radiator to use for my new quad/gtx powered rig and I think it may be easier to get an aluminium radiator instead of copper but how much efficiency do I loose with an alloy core ? How much larger will it have to be to match a copper radiator ?

    Any help would be great.

    :thumbup:
     
  2. RandomWally

    RandomWally Member

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    What other metals are you using in your loop?
     
  3. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Well in theory aluminium has better thermal properties than copper, However I imagine it would be hard to find pure aluminium.

    Also if you have copper waterblocks, Which I believe is all that is being made now a days, adding an aluminum radiator will casue corrosion and need additives.


    Further more most radiators you will find are made of a third metal, which I think was bronze.

    Just some things to consider.
     
  4. OP
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    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    I think you mean brass dude not bronze .

    Yes I have a Fuzion and a mcw60 so there will be copper present , and I was planning to use corrosion inhibitor . What about a sacrificial zinc anode to protect the radiator ?

    I got quoted $380 for a custom rad like I want so stuff that eh .

    :thumbup:
     
  5. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Yeah thats it, I always get those two confused, I did say I think

    I imagine it would be easier to buy on of the shelf RAD as they are far cheaper and very good now days.

    Ive not heard of sacraficial zinc being used in PC cooling. Although at best it would make your tubes murky and at worst... Im not realy sure but seems overkill to me.


    Im sure some of the WC gurus will pipe in (pun
     
  6. OP
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    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    The anode was just an idea if corrosion is the main/only issue with using an aluminium radiator . Dont some kits like Koolance use an alloy rad too ?

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  7. phextwin

    phextwin Member

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    No it doesn't.
    Some cars have aluminium heatercores
    You'll find that the fins are made of copper with the end tanks made from yellow brass and im pretty sure the tubes are made from red brass. (red brass having a higher % of Cu than yellow brass)

    Seriously, you can get away with an Al rad, no dramas at all (you do need anti corrosion stuff though, and it should be change roughly every 6 months or 150,000Km). Just a though though, if it's some kind of mega rad you're after, go down to the wreckers and pull one out of a little hatchback. Or a falcodore if you want a really big one :p
    The ones from engines are usually great for WC, huge copper/brass hybrids with a low FPI. Which is great for running with pissweak fans.
     
  8. OP
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    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    You got it , but I want to mount it to the side of my Lanboy , which neatly fits into my restricted desk space . I have a height limitation of 425mm , so this rules out nearly every car radiator - I have been measuring them at work . I am leaning towards a motorbike radiator now , if its big enough .

    :D
     
  9. Billzilla

    Billzilla Member

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    Correct.

    <nearly useless trivia>

    In motor racing, if you have an alloy radiator and its cooling is marginal, if you replace it with an otherwise identical copper one, it will run slightly cooler. It's one of the last options you have to try to keep the engine cool.
     
  10. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    You won't when you see the price. A VTR1000 has one each side and they are about $600 each (new). Bike radiators are a high mortality item in crashes so wreckers prices reflect significant demand.
    A couple I've thought about is an aircon condenser or an auto-trans cooler.

    2.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    Yeah I know they can be expensive , I rebuilt a 99 GSXR750 once and had a bugger of a time getting a radiator for it. I might see what the bike wreckers have .

    Yeah maybe a/c condensor or trans cooler , just not sure how efficient they are ie will they suit the application ? and if so why dont we see more being used ?

    :thumbup:
     
  12. bobbobsonaabbcc

    bobbobsonaabbcc Member

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    Heater cores ? Just use a few and you'll be set
     
  13. OP
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    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    Yeah possibly , they use older camry cores dont they ? Would you run in series to drop temps further ? Or parallel to reduce restriction ? Small rad would be ideal and neater/simpler but cant find anything small enough , even a small car rad is too big .

    :thumbup:
     
  14. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    buy 2 triple rads then make a cover for it so it look slike 1 big one :)
     
  15. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Aluminium
    Heat Capacity 897 J/kg-K
    Thermal Conductivity 237 W/m-K

    Copper
    Heat Capacity 385 J/kg-K
    Thermal Conductivity 401 W/m-K

    Aluminium has better cooling properties, And granted some cars do have aluminium heatercores they would not be entirely pure aluminium, both to cut costs and manafacture of pure aluminium would be extremely difficult, What I was getting at is the impure aluminum would make the heat trasfer properties between aluminium and copper not worth the differance.

    as i said just get a pc radiator as they are quite good unless you want a custom passive job or something.
     
  16. phextwin

    phextwin Member

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    What, so you're saying that lower themal conductivity makes Al superior in heat transfer to copper? The heat capacity does help the Al initially as it takes it longer to change temperiture (this means that the delta between mediums is higher, which is directly related to heat transfer) but as it levels out this advantage will be defunct.

    Edit: Forgot that Cu is ~3x as dense as Al so if you're considering rads of roughly equal proportions, the SHC would be about equal.

    Also, Al is not that hard to make (run a shitload of current through some ore and out it comes IIRC). It also is more malleable, casts better and it an all round easier metal to work with than copper.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  17. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Ill grant that Copper absorbs heat better where as aluminum dissipates it better, Think of the copper core aluminium fined heatsinks of the socket A era.
    We can debate whihc is better at dumping heat but a search would no doubt bring up countless threads like that. Further more my brain already hurts from physics revision and I dont want to debate it on a friday arvo.

    And even if we did real world results would be very much similar.

    IMHO you should maybe be looking in the trade forums for one of those large passive zalman radiators, I cant remember specifics but there is a particular model that should be a nice size to the Lanboy,
    Personaly I wouldnt pay that much for a custom radiator, but each to his own.
    Maybe even consider something pulled from a car?

    But to as for your initial question I would go copper mainly for the corrosion aspects. Sacraficial metals are overkill and water additives just ad extra trouble trying to get quantaties when you could easily have an all copper set up.
     
  18. OP
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    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    I have been looking at car radiators but I have not found one small enough ( due to my height restriction) - I did find one off a landrover but its huge and weighs a tonne . I dont want to pay a fortune for a custom , and there lays the rub . I found a rad off a 1995 fireblade but its a bit small and is alloy ...

    Keep looking I guess.

    :thumbup:
     
  19. phextwin

    phextwin Member

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    Not true. Copper is superior at both.
    Fair enough, but for anyone else read this. More specifically, this part.
    Probably :lol:
     
  20. OP
    OP
    aussie-revhead

    aussie-revhead Member

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    Hahaha I think I just found the answer - I can remove a paice from my desk , and then the single drawer above my case and I can fit up to 600mm tall case - woohoo .

    Next question , with a really large radiator would you mount it off the case (to the side) or seperately/free standing (reserator2 style iirc) ??

    :thumbup:
     

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