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What is Radiator? It’s Working Principle and Types of Radiator

Radiator and Types of Radiator

Today we’ll discuss the cooling system of your vehicle and how it works, the cooling system in your vehicle consists of the Water pump, Radiator, Cooling fans as well as Thermostat. In this article, we’ll discuss Radiators, Radiator types and Radiator working.

What is The Radiator?

The radiators are heat exchangers used to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another for the purpose of cooling and heating.

A radiator is a device consisting of a large amount of cooling surface which contains large amounts of air so that it spreads through the water to cool efficiently.

The radiator has a wide range of application in automobile industries there are mainly used to cool the internal combustion engine in the automobile. They also used in piston-engined aircraft, Railway, locomotives, motorcycles, stationary generating plants and other places where such engines are used.

Radiators are classified according to the direction of the water flow through them. In some, the water flows from top to bottom-down flow type radiator. In other, the water flows horizontally from an input tank on one side to another tank on the other side-cross flow type radiator.

Radiators are usually made of copper and brass because of their high heat conductivity. The various sections of the radiators are almost completely joined by soldering.

Types of Radiator

There are two basic types of radiator

  1. Tubular type
  2. Cellular type

Tubular Type Core

In tubular type core, the upper and lower tanks are connected by a series of tubes through which water passes. Fins are placed around the tubes to improve heat transfer. Air passes around the outside of the tubes, between the fins, absorbing heat from the water in passing.

In a tubular radiator, because the water passes through all the tubes, if one tube becomes clogged, the cooling effect of the entire tube is lost. In a cellular. radiator, the clogging of any passage results in a loss but of a small part of the total cooling surface.

Cellular Type Core

In cellular type core, air passes through the tubes and the water flows in the spaces between them.

The core is composed of a large number of individual air cells which are surrounded by water. Because of its appearance, the cellular type usually is known as a honeycomb radiator, especially when the cells in front are hexagonal in form.

In a cellular. radiator, the clogging of any passage results in a loss but of a small part of the total cooling surface.

Read also: Types of Cooling System In Engine.

Construction of Radiator

It consists of an upper tank and a lower tank and between them a core.

Radiator diagram and radiator working
  • The upper tank is connected to the water outlet or outlets from the engine jacket by a hose pipe, and
  • The lower tank is connected to the jacket inlet through the water pump.
  • The core is a radiating element, which cools the water.

Radiator Working Principle

Radiator working principle:

The radiator is a pretty simple device. Nowadays most modern cars use aluminium radiator. Radiators usually have a tank on each side, and inside the tank is a transmission cooler.

Radiator diagram

In this type of radiator, you’re going to have an aluminium mesh. In this aluminium device, It consists of two ports inlet an outlet. Inside the radiator, there are tubes that mounted in a parallel arrangement. And the aluminium fins are attached to all of the tubes.

The Radiator working is very simple. In radiator, the coolant flows from the inlet to the outlet through many tubes mounted in a parallel arrangement.

The hot water enters the radiator through the inlet port. And a fan is attached on behind the radiator to cool down the hot water in the tubes. The fan blows the air and cools down the water. So the water is going to come out cooler than it entered before and then go back to the engine.

Now how it does that air is going to be feeding through this.

The aluminium fins are attached to the tubes this called tubulator. Now the tubes are filled with hot coolant coming from the engine. So they’re going to give off heat to this aluminium coat by passing air through the fan, it cools the aluminium coat. If the fluid flowed very smoothly through the tubes, only the fluid actually touching the tubes would be cooled directly. Now it is going to send out to the cooler and then go back to the engine.

Cooling System In Engine

Here’s how it’s set up in your car first you have a radiator in the front side of the car. Next, there is an engine, a water pump and a thermostat.

So what happens is when you start your car the coolant starts running through the engine. As the engine warms up the coolant start getting heat and the coolant hot coolant send it to the radiator to cool down. After cool down, the coolant goes back into the engine.

The Fan

The fan is mounted behind the radiator on the water pump shaft. When the engine is running at the low speed it certainly insufficient to produce the desired cooling from nature. Here the fan serves the purpose.

Thermostat

Now what the thermostat does is as you’ve got coolant running through engine it looks at the temperature of it. Once the temperature gets too high and your engine is warmed up then thermostat detects and will pass the coolant back through the radiator and then the coolant will come cool through the radiator.

Water Pump

The water pump is used to increase the velocity of the circulating water. When a low-temperature coolant passes through the water pump it pumps the coolant back into the engine.

Can You Drive a Car Without a Radiator?

Yes, you can start your car without a radiator but it is risky. You will not cause any damage as long as the engine does not overheat. If you don’t run it long enough for the engine to get too hot, it’s not an issue. If your car gets overheated you have to shut down the car and let it cool off via convection.

Theoretically, radiators are completely optional on the engine. Air cooled engines have existed for a very long time. These radiators have cooling fins to extract the heat and release it into the air.

But,

However if your car was designed to require a radiator, you really need one. There is no benefit of removing it.

Causes an Engine To Overheat?

Overheating is caused by the insufficient quantity of water in the cooling system. It is also caused by the clogged radiator and water passages, slipping from the belt, imperative thermostat, late ignition timing, incorrect valve timing, pre-ignition, too tight bearing, too low engine oil level, clogged exhaust system etc.

What Is The Sign of A Bad Radiator?

  1. Warmness will occur when the coolant cannot get where it needs to go to cool the engine.
  2. The hoses could be clogged, or the level of coolant is too low.
  3. There may be a warning light on the dashboard, or the temperature gauge will show too hot.
  4. If there is a broken hose, or the radiator is corroded with rust, you may notice the smell of antifreeze or a tell-tale puddle on the garage floor
  5. If you smoke is coming from under the hood, the coolant may have leaked onto the motor and it is being burnt off.
  6. However, if you see smoke coming from the muffler, it could mean that the head gasket has been damaged from the engine warmness.

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Saif M
Saif M. is a Mechanical Engineer by profession. He completed his engineering studies in 2014 and is currently working in a large firm as Mechanical Engineer. He is also an author and editor at theengineerspost.com