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A method for testing engine coolants using static vehicles is described. Tests were conducted with engines idling at the speed equivalent to 97 kph (60 mph) with an operating cycle of 16 h on and 8 h off for 161 000 simulated service kilometres (100 000 miles). The initial antifreeze coolant concentration was 45 percent with ASTM corrosive water for approximately 8000 simulated kilometres (5000 miles) in order to duplicate the original coolant fill condition at the vehicle assembly plant and allow sufficient period for film forming inhibitors to react with the internal multimetal surfaces. The initial coolant concentration was then cut in half to simulate a depleted coolant condition and accelerate the corrosion activity in the engine cooling system.
Commercially available antifreeze coolants have been evaluated using this test method in the recent production vehicles, equipped with prototype aluminum radiators. Data showing variations in coolant characteristics and the decay of certain inhibitor components as a function of the simulated vehicle mileage are presented. The reproducibility of data was also analyzed.
A conclusion is developed which suggests that the static vehicle corrosion test could provide an additional screening test method for the automotive engineers to evaluate corrosion protection and inhibitor stability of antifreeze coolants in conjunction with fleet and customer service testing.
static vehicle, engine coolant, inhibitor, multimetal, aluminum radiator, simulated vehicle mileage, engine idling, precontaminated vehicle cooling system, mileage-related corrosion phenomena, pitting, crevice corrosion, erosion
Senior engineer, Ford Motor Co., Climate Control Div., Product Engineering Office, Dearborn, Mich.