Video: How It’s Made – Radiators

When working on a vehicle, have you ever had to replace the radiator? Did you wonder how the radiators were actually made? This video goes over the entire process from start to finish. These radiators are made of pure brass and copper, while more modern radiators are generally made of aluminum with plastic tanks. 

To start, they take strips of brass and run them through rollers so they form tubes. The tubes continue on into a bath of lead, which completely seals them shut. The machine cuts the tubes to the correct length as well.

Another machine takes paper thin sheets of copper and folds them like an accordion. As the strips are being folded back and forth, a roller goes over them puncturing holes for wind to go through. These pieces of copper accordions are then sandwiched between the copper tubing that was made earlier. Once the required width has been achieved. A press gently pushes them all together, then straps the core together. 

From here yet another metal strip is stamped with holes that the tubes slide over. With this strip installed, a worker then dips the ends in molten lead, sealing and securing the ends of the tubing. Finally, a worker stamps out the tanks that are installed with lead onto the ends of the core. 

One of the last steps is to solder in the filler neck along with the hose connections. The very last step is to apply a coat of black protective paint, that helps keep the radiator from corroding. Now that’s cool! 

About the author

Tim King

Tim grew up in the garage with his Father. From those early years grew a passion for anything with a motor. Helping his Dad and brother restore a '67 Nova is what fueled Tim’s passion for cars. At the age of 15 he bought his first car, a 1966 Chevelle which he still owns to this day. That car started his journey into the automotive world where he’s done just about everything, from being an auto mechanic to an aftermarket Sales Manager. Not only is he a gear head, but he also holds two Bachelors degrees from Cal State San Bernardino.
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