One radiator company is now touting a “revolutionary advancement in cooling technology”. A bold statement like this deserves to be investigated...
What is this major breakthrough? It is an extruded cooling tube (ECT), which is not revolutionary. In fact, it is not even new, because this technology has existed for many years. For more than a decade, ECT has been popular in high pressure oil systems and charge air cooler (CAC) coolers. ECT is a custom shape that is heated and pressed with a special mold to create a custom shape. It is very difficult to form these tubes with a thin wall thickness. Typical wall thicknesses for this type of cooling tube are between 0.020" and 0.040", which is the thickness of the cooling. Heavy pipe wall thickness and internal trusses provide strength to withstand higher pressures.
The coiled tubing (RFT) is the gold standard for automotive cooling. Today, every major automotive supplier uses RFT because thinner walls can transfer heat better and reduce unnecessary weight. The typical wall thickness range for RFTs is .010" - .015". The design can withstand pressures up to 45 psi without tube deformation and provides a 300% pressure safety factor when the cooling system is pressurized to 15 psi.
The same company claims (at 100 psi) that the ECT technology "has tripled the burst pressure of any other performance aluminum radiator in the world!" Well, let's take a look at this statement. DeWitts Radiator LLC has consistently refused to use thinner tubes and fins to save on material costs. While most companies are running, we have retained proven (.013"26mm) and (.015"32mm) wall tubes.003 "thinner. We also continue to use .005" fin material when others use it. 003-004" when the fins. This may not sound a big difference, but our design can maintain 60 psi without tube deformation and 100 psi without bursting. So I think you can say this is "going out The performance of this world!
Another misleading item is the “55mm Core with Twelve (12) 4mm Wide Tubes” feature. Well, that is creative however they really only have one (1) tube that is 55mm wide. This tube is called a multi-port design with twelve 4mm paths for the coolant to flow. Due to the heavier tube wall thickness, the inside diameter is 25% smaller than a standard double row 26mm core.
Extruded Tube Calculations: 12 paths @ 0.1570” x .0394 = 0.0742 Square Inch Area = 0.307” hole diameter.
Rolled Tube Calculations: 2 Paths @ 1.0 x 0.054” = 0.108 Square Inch Area = 0.370” hole diameter.
In summary, the ECT design is heavier than the standard double-row 26mm design heatsink, with hotter running and higher pressure drop. The only obvious difference in ECT is the higher the burst pressure. Since all automotive applications operate in the 10-20 psi range, there are really no advantages or disadvantages.