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Durability of aluminum alloy automotive radiators in service depends on the alloy selected and the expected engine coolant environment. The challenge is to find testing methods that correlate with service experiences that allow for comparative evaluation of competing materials without resort to long-term vehicle exposure at initial selection stages. Design, manufacture, and processing affect radiator performance and must be taken into account in corrosion testing. Aluminum alloys AA3003 and AA7072 are used to illustrate the test program.
Electrochemical corrosion test methods were used for screening purposes in alloy selection and corrosion test environment studies. A simulated service test method is used with selected corrosion media to provide accelerated corrosion data in full sized radiators. The importance of relating corrosion test media to ultimate engine coolant use and abuse is covered. Methods have been correlated with field tests to prove the approach used.
engine coolants, corrosion, aluminum alloys, automotive radiators
President, Amalgamated Technologies, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ
Engineering manager, Calsonic Technical Center America, Phoenix, AZ