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Car Radiator Basics

Radiators and their supporting role in the internal combustion engine show a component that has been with us for quite some time, and how a basic design that was rooted in genius can still be just as effective today. In fact, any internal combustion engine generally requires a radiator in order to operate efficiently, including the most modern vehicles on the road today.

A radiator is just what it implies; a way to help an internal combustion engine radiate heat away from it and out into the surrounding atmosphere. It does this by circulating some sort of coolant through the engine, where it is then heated up and routed back to the radiator. Most cars, train engines and motorcycles and also some piston driven airplanes have radiators.

Once that coolant is heated up and then sent back to the radiator, air rushing through the radiator, either from the forward motion of the vehicle forcing air through it or by means of a fan placed in front of the radiator or a combination of both, cools the liquid coolant back down to levels where it will not boil over. It circulates this coolant by means of some sort of pump.

Generally, most automotive historians give credit for the creation of the radiator to the German engineer and all around genius Karl Benz. He was the first to patent a design for the radiator, beating out two other German designers (Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler), both of whom — working separately — came up with similar designs.

Karl Benz, however, happen to make it to the patent office first. Benz was a literal design genius when it came to improving the internal combustion engine. He is so associated with it, many historians generally refer to him as the inventor of the engine. Additionally, he is also closely associated with the automobile itself. His design for an internal combustion engine and radiator was first patented in 1879.

From then until around the 1970s, the basic idea behind radiator remained the same, as were the metals and materials used to construct it, which were basically copper and brass. This is quite some time for a design that was patented in the late 1800s to last, and it is a testament to his genius. In the 1990s, aluminum, though, began to make some inroads in terms of radiator construction.

Prior to the 1990s, during the 1970s and 1980s, auto manufacturers and engineers were seriously looking at ways to lighten motor vehicles. This was because heavier vehicles burned more fuel. The lighter a vehicle, then, the less fuel was used. This became very important after the first oil shocks of the early 1970s. However, most aftermarket radiators are still made of brass and copper cores.

If you are having some issues with your car’s radiator in OKC, finding a good radiator repair OKC shop shouldn’t be hard, especially if you use the internet.

These metals are extremely efficient at dissipating heat, and new improvements in their design and manufacture has delivered radiators that are lighter in weight and far more durable than aluminum units of the same size and dimensions. The radiator as a way to cool an internal combustion engine seems destined to remain with us for quite some time to come.

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