Its high thermal conductivity, coupled with comparatively low cost and ease of working, makes aluminium the metal of preference wherever heating or cooling is required. By the use of foil gauges the maximum surface area and minimum metal can be used to transfer heat. Aluminium foil allows a high level of energy efficiency within the smallest possible space. The metal’s low weight also saves the amount of structure needed to house or to carry aluminium-based heat exchange units.
Such considerations are important where, for example, the heat exchanger is used in aircraft, cars and trucks. Weight and space saved in all forms of transport mean ‘knock-on’ efficiencies in fuel and vehicle capacity.
In homes, offices and factory buildings compact heating and air conditioning units allow the architect or designer great flexibility in the location and format of equipment. Alufoil offers a high level of corrosion resistance, so that no protective coating or finish is usually necessary and maintenance is minimal.
Due to aluminium’s recyclability the used metal is available for re-use after the heat exchange equipment has completed its useful lifespan. Both static and mobile heating and cooling installations incorporate aluminium foil, making a significant contribution to efficiency and sustainability.
Typical Heat Exchange Applications for Alufoil
For heating, de-humidifying and air conditioning systems, alufoil heat exchange units perform effectively in every climate, helping the occupants of modern buildings all over the world to work and live in comfort.
Automotive fin stock and brazing strip are highly engineered products, requiring superior gauge control capabilities, precise thickness and width tolerances as well as exacting chemical and physical properties. Almost every road vehicle built today carries heat exchangers incorporating aluminium foil. Engines, oil coolers and climate control equipment all rely on the lightness and conductivity of finned aluminium heat exchangers. They save weight, reduce fuel demands and maximise the efficiency of each vehicle.
Oil coolers, air conditioning units – everywhere that heat needs to be dissipated or enhanced – will usually incorporate an aluminium foil finned heat exchanger.
Food processing plants require freezer and refrigeration equipment for food hygiene and safety. Wherever food is shipped, stored and sold there is a need for efficient cooling. Display cabinets for chilled or frozen products are standard equipment for supermarkets. Alufoil is present in all of them.
A range of aluminium alloys and dimensional specifications is available to meet the technical demands of the design and production method involved. In addition to plain alloys, compatible with many joining techniques, special ‘clad’ materials are available combining the formability and thermal properties of a base alloy with the surface durability and joining characteristics of another alloy.