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DENSO cuts size and weight of radiator by 40%

DENSO Corporation has developed a new and more efficient radiator that is 40% smaller and lighter, compared to DENSO’s previous radiators. Also, the radiator’s tank is made with a plant-derived resin making it more environmentally friendly than conventional radiators.

With higher heat radiation efficiency, the new radiator is only 16 mm wide, but equal in performance to the conventional 27 mm wide radiators, resulting in a substantial size and weight reduction.

The radiator, located at the front of the engine compartment of a vehicle, is a heat exchanger which cools the engine cooling water. The radiator consists of three units: tubes through which engine cooling water flows, a tank that stores the water, and corrugated fins for heat exchange. When outside air drawn through the front side of the engine compartment is forced through the radiator fins, it removes heat from the fins and thus cools the engine cooling water flowing through the tubes.

Radiator structure and DENSO width reduction. Source: DENSO. Click to enlarge.

A radiator’s performance depends on its two major components: fins and tubes. The radiator’s more efficient heat radiation is achieved through improvements in the design of the fins. DENSO increased the amount of louvers—that are located on the surface of the fin—to 30% per unit area. This design change allowed the radiator to have 10% more efficient heat radiation than DENSO’s conventional radiators.

DENSO, along with a materials manufacturer, has jointly developed thinner and higher-strength materials that are used to make the fins and tubes. This new material allows for a global procurement of materials, which helps DENSO be cost-effective in all regions around the world. The fin, using DENSO’s manufacturing expertise, is the world’s thinnest of its kind, the company says. The radiator offers the same strength as DENSO’s previous radiators while using thinner materials. All these advantages enabled the radiator to be 40% smaller and lighter than the previous models.

The newly developed 16 mm wide radiator is installed in the Lexus GS. In addition to the 16 mm wide radiator, DENSO will also commercialize a 27 mm wide type, which is thinner than the conventional model of 36 mm type, and 11.5 mm wide type which are thinner than the conventional model of 16 mm, to offer a wider range of the new radiator series for a greater range of vehicle models.



Interesting (no cost) way to make lighter ICEVs. Cabin heaters could also benefit from the same lighter technology radiators. Another 100+ similar steps and we could drive under one ton mid-size cars.

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