The charge air cooler is designed to cool the compressed air coming from the turbocharger on a diesel or gas engine prior to entering the combustion chamber. If air is not cooled to a sufficient level, the engine will not operate efficiently, or operate at all.
With today’s tough emission standards and more stringent legislation underway, the trend is moving toward higher inlet pressures and temperatures with requirements to cool the compressed air to even lower temperatures – with limited cooling flow.
The charge air cooler is a critical component of the engine on most heavy trucks, ensuring efficient performance, while helping to meet these strict regulations.
Charge Coolers are typically made from aluminum and a vacuum brazed construction. The cooler includes tube, fins and internal fins (inside the tubes) and look much like a radiator.
Charge air coolers are tremendously strong due to the reinforcement provided by the external and internal fins. After the charge air cooler is assembled and brazed, the end tanks (or manifolds) are welded on to the core.
The welding process provides a means of attachment which is as strong as the aluminum itself. The fins are designed to trip the boundary layer of the air flow over them, thus reducing the thickness of the boundary layer and enhancing heat transfer.