Difference Between Aluminum and Copper Radiator

Radiators are used to regulate the heating or cooling of a medium. Vehicles are powered by combustion energy. Fuel is burned and heat is generated. This heat helps to run the vehicle.


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The hot air produced as a result of this combustion process may heat the engine and many other parts of the vehicle. To prevent damage caused by this, hot air radiators are used to cool the system.

In houses, radiators are used to warm up the interiors during winters.

Aluminum vs Copper Radiator

The difference between Aluminum and Copper radiators is that copper radiators have narrow tubes but Aluminum radiators have tubes that are wider to some extent. The aluminum radiator is made up of Aluminum but sometimes mixed with other metals like steel and the alloy is used and copper radiators are commonly made with copper.

Aluminum vs Copper Radiator

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Aluminum radiators are now widely used to heat buildings. Aluminum radiators are commonly used in modern houses since they are sustainable and easy to maintain. Aluminum is a metal that has been used to produce many products.

Its good conductivity character makes it one of the ideal metals to manufacture radiators.

Copper is a thermally efficient metal so, copper radiators are made. In most cases, the copper radiators are not fully made with copper. But, copper is mixed with other metals like lead and brass to form alloys and out of these alloys, the radiator is made.

The use of copper radiators began a long time ago. Copper radiators are used in automobiles, electronics, and houses.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAluminum RadiatorCopper Radiator
Conductivity Aluminum is a good conductor of heat but not more than copperCopper is very efficient in conducting heat than Aluminum
Tube sizeTubes are broad and 1 inch in size Narrow tubes of 0.5 inches size
Corrosion resistance Aluminum radiators are not easily damaged and are resistant to corrosion Copper radiators may be corroded easily and damaged
WeightAluminum radiators are lightweightCopper radiators are heavy compared to aluminum radiators
Price range Costlier compared to Copper radiators It comes at a reasonable price compared to Aluminum radiators

What is Aluminum Radiator?

Aluminum is a metal that has wide application in almost all fields. Aluminum radiators are used in homes and vehicles. Aluminum has to be mixed with other metals to increase malleability. Aluminum can conduct heat effectively.

So, it is used in the manufacturing of radiators. The Aluminum radiators take only a little time to increase or decrease in temperature.

Aluminum radiators are preferred by people to use in homes. People who have a hard winter need radiators to warm up their homes. Aluminum radiators can heat up so quickly and thus change the temperature of the room efficiently.

Aluminum radiators require only a small amount of water or coolant in them. A small amount of water can heat very soon and thus aluminum radiators can provide warmth soon.

Aluminum radiators are not easily prone to corrosion and are thus durable. It also utilizes less amount of electricity thus helping to save energy. It will go for a long time and is not easily repaired. Aluminum metal can be reused by recycling it.

It is thus an eco-friendly option to choose from. People who prefer sustainable living also prefer these Aluminum radiators.

The tubes of Aluminum automobile radiators are wide. This tube is where the coolant is present. Since it is wide there is only a small chance of clogging. Tubes are one inch in diameter. The tubes are connected to the tank by welding.

This welding allows an efficient and faster heat transfer. Aluminum is normally a light metal and the automobiles fitted with aluminum radiators are also less in weight.

What is Copper Radiator?

Radiators are also made with copper. Copper radiators have tubes and fins made up of copper. Copper radiators are very efficient in transferring heat. Copper is mixed with other metals to make alloys.

Alloys are sometimes used in the manufacturing of radiators. Copper radiators can gather a large amount of heat.

Then, as the coolants pass through the tubes to the fins, this heat collected is converted into cooler air and released. Copper radiators have narrow tubes that are more susceptible to clogging and require frequent attention.

Copper radiator tubes are soldered to the engine. Copper is heavier and so are the copper radiators.

The use of copper in manufacturing automobile radiators began in the 19th century. Copper has an amazing melting point. It melts at 1,085 °C. This is a very high value compared to many other metals.

This allows copper radiators to resist the high temperature produced by automobile engines.

Copper radiators are also resistant to high pressure and temperature condition. They can withstand these extreme conditions that are common in the engine of a vehicle. Copper radiators are also available at a relatively lower price.

Copper radiators are the type of radiators that have been used for a long time now.

Main Differences Between Aluminum and Copper Radiator

  1. The wider tubes in Aluminum radiators make them not prone to clogging but, Copper radiators may clog easily.
  2. The coolant tubes of the Aluminum radiator are 1 inch wide whereas the copper radiator tube is half-inch wide.
  3. The aluminum radiator is not easily damaged and not corrosive but, the copper radiator can be damaged easily
  4. The vehicles with Aluminum radiators are lightweight compared to the heavy copper radiators
  5. Aluminum radiator tubes are connected to the engines by the process of welding while Copper radiator tubes are joined by soldering.
  6. Copper radiators are very good heat conductors and their efficiency is high. Aluminum radiators are also good heat conductors but they are less efficient than Copper radiators.
Difference Between Aluminum and Copper Radiator
  1. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/850043/
  2. https://www.sae.org/gsdownload/?prodCd=931092
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