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QUESTION: Painting an ALUMINUM RADIATOR?? Cooling efficiency???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KIRK!, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 557

    from stuart,fl.

    just had my model A's 29 radiator recored w/copper core, asked what they painted it with, said they use water base black, that was the best to paint radiators with??? havent run it yet.
  2. wackdaddy
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 200


    this has worked well for me
  3. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,706

    from washington

    If you're not cheating, you're not trying.
  4. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,851

    A Boner

    Did Kirk! get his radiator painted yet.....any pics?
  5. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 120


    anything between hot metal and cooler air will slow cooling. heatsinks for electronics are generally unfinished aluminum. anodized is common when it's visible so it won't be ugly, but it doesn't improve cooling.

    here's a thread on PhysicsForum about this, for electronics heatsinks.

    from that page:

    Both points are correct:
    1. Painting an object black will improve radiation (if the object is "black" in the wavelengths being radiated). The SR-71 was painted black partly for this reason.
    2. Painting an object will insulate it. ​


    black pigments in paint absorb infrared from the sun and get obviously hot, but i doubt that's a problem for car radiators.

    i have a 1/4" thick sheet of honeycomb nomex in front of my aluminum radiator, painted red. i painted the side tanks with just Rustoleum flat black and that seems to be holding up pretty well. the honeycomb stuff is there to keep bugs out of the fins. it's held in place with a couple little Z clamps, so it comes out for cleaning easily.

    i happen to have it all apart, changing front motor mounts, if anyone wants pics.

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