Aluminum Radiators VS. Copper: Which One is Better?

If you are a dedicated car hobbyist and your passion revolves around car restoration, the cooling system probably isn’t a very thrilling part of the build. You have also likely noticed that there is a plethora of radiator models suitable for your car, and a number of sellers to choose from. Then the big question surfaces: should you get an aluminum radiator, or a copper one? Will a two-row aluminum radiator perform on the same level as a four-core copper-brass radiator? At the end of the day, aluminum radiators offer the best investment, and when you contact a company that sells aluminum radiators for cars, you can ask them to explain why copper is not the best choice for your build. But in the meantime, this article will explore the question.

An Aluminum Radiator Needs Air to Function, so does a Copper-Brass Model

Much like an engine, an aluminum radiator needs air to function. Air flow is required to pass a proper network of tubes full of engine coolant because it is a water-to-air heat exchanger. Contact is made between the tubes and small metal fins to increase the cooling forum. The greater the surface area, the more the heat can be displaced when coolant is introduced. When looking for an ideal radiator, one could suggest a high conductive metal one with expansive tube diameter and a tube-to-fin contact with maximum contact, as it would be able to pass air in an efficient manner with limited restriction. Some people opt for a copper-brass type over an aluminum radiator because it better conducts heat. In some cases, companies can make an aluminum radiator with massive tubes and multiple cooling fins to compensate for the added value that copper-brass offers. Really. Limitations go hand-in-hand with weight, material, strength and airflow.

Why Auto Builders Choose Aluminum Radiators for Cars Over Copper-Brass

Simply put, auto hobbyists and builders choose aluminum radiators for cars because they are stronger than the copper-brass alloy. Thai means tubes are more prone to blowing out, even under mild pressure generated by the cooling system, if the aluminum radiator isn’t used. When doing a car build with a copper-brass radiator with a large tube diameter of an inch, you will need a tube wall that’s 0.015 inches twice as thick as the standard 51/48 inch diameter version. Ultimately, this leaves car builders with a problem: larger tubes weigh three times more than the aluminum ones and therefore jeopardize the system’s integrity. An aluminum radiator of the same size is roughly 60% lighter in weight than the copper-brass version.

Tests conducted by multiple car restoration professionals reveal that an aluminum radiator of two rows with one inch tubes will cool just as efficiently as a copper-brass radiator with five rows using 11/42-inch tubes. This means ample room is liberated under the hood, and the two-row option enables better airflow through the core, and the more air you have, the better the cooling results are.

Make Sure to Buy Aluminum Radiators from a Reputable Dealer or Seller

When you buy aluminum radiators make sure they are manufactured by a facility with an ISO certification. This testifies to the fact that the aluminum radiators for cars were made to the highest standards of workmanship, overall quality, and using the highest quality grades of aluminum engineered with 100 percent welded seams, no epoxy and Brazed Core technology. Champion Radiators is one such company trusted by veteran car restoration and builders that guarantees the highest quality on every aluminum radiator, for any model of vehicle.