There are many different ways to manufacture aluminum heat exchangers, but they’re not all equal. Our manufacturing process uses Controlled Atmosphere Brazing, or CAB, to ensure your heat exchanger is the highest quality possible. Just how big of a difference does this make? First we need to look at the different types of brazing.
Aluminum can be brazed using a number of different methods: Dip Brazing, Vacuum Furnace Brazing and CAB are the most popular. All brazing process have to ensure that the metal components are protected from corrosion that can occur both during and after the process. Corrosion primarily comes from contaminates and oxygen in the atmosphere but can also come from the flux required in the brazing process. The process that does the best job of controlling atmospheric conditions and minimizes the use of flux produces the highest quality parts.
Dip brazing is a process that involves dipping the parts to be brazed into a vat of molten flux. Any aluminum pieces brazed this way have to undergo a significant amount of post-braze cleaning using very harsh and dangerous chemicals. If the flux is not removed it will cause the aluminum components to corrode and the parts to fail.
Vacuum furnace brazing was the preferred brazing method at one time. This process involves removing most of the air from the furnace chamber while the parts are brazed. While this does help reduce the amount of flux required and removes many contaminates, this process usually requires the addition of epoxy after the brazing process is complete to help fill in gaps where the brazing material didn’t flow across the entire joint. Since epoxy is weaker and can separate from the metal over time, this can cause the components to fail sooner.
The CAB brazing process is a different type of furnace brazing and is now the preferred method for aluminum brazing of heat exchangers. While vacuum furnace brazing tries to remove the atmosphere during the brazing process, CAB replaces the atmosphere in the furnace chamber with industrial gases allowing better heat transfer to the material and flow of the brazing material into the joints. It also allows for the use of flux-free brazing materials which can eliminate the need for post-braze cleaning. Components brazed this way do not require any epoxy, making them much stronger and more durable.
If you want to make sure that your radiator, charge air cooler, or oil cooler is of the highest quality, ensure it is manufactured using Controlled Atmosphere Brazing and made with high quality materials. All of the heat exchangers manufactured by us are built exactly this way. This lets us ensure you get the best quality product on the market.