Modern heating radiators: aluminum or bimetal?

We all care about our comfort. “Cold” and “hot” in an apartment are not abstract concepts for us, but an everyday life question. And the solution to this issue depends not least on what kind of heating radiators, or simply “batteries” are installed in our apartment. Today’s radiator market is distinguished by a wide variety of models. This article is intended to help the consumer figure out which heating radiator to choose.

When choosing a radiator, first of all, we must be sure of its reliability and durability. The battery is put on for more than one year, and it is important for us to know that one day it will not leak and lead to flooding of the neighbors from below. But it is equally important to understand how this device will serve you. The main characteristic of a radiator is its heat dissipation. The higher this parameter, the better the device will warm up your room. The following parameters do not affect the operation of the device, but are nevertheless important for purchase and installation. It’s design, weight, and price. The design determines how harmoniously the radiator will fit into your interior. The weight of the device is important during transport and installation. And, of course, price plays an important role – among other equal qualities, you will have to focus on it..

Cast iron and steel batteries are “cheap and cheerful”. That is why we usually get them together with the apartment, which is explained by their low price, which is attractive for the housing developer. However, their shortcomings, including low heat transfer, short service life and imperfect design, have led to the fact that today these batteries are massively replaced by new generation devices.

Steel panel radiators are installed mainly in cottages with autonomous heating systems. These partings have little strength, and interaction with the central heating system of multi-storey buildings is contraindicated for them..
When choosing between aluminum and bimetallic radiators, you need to know that each of them has its own advantages. The main advantage of aluminum radiators is their high heat transfer. The aluminum radiator is made of a special aluminum alloy, which has excellent thermal conductivity and allows you to cast any complex parts.

Bimetallic radiators are made of two metals. At the heart of these devices is a frame made of steel pipes, hidden by a shell of aluminum, and it is through these pipes that the water of the heating system “runs”.

The advantage of bimetallic radiators over aluminum ones is their strength. The working pressure of bimetallic radiators reaches 40 atm, while most aluminum models operate at a pressure of 16 atm. However, it should be noted that the pressure in urban heating networks does not exceed 8-10 atm. Making allowances for their instability, most experts agree that a certain margin of safety is necessary for heating devices. The guarantee of reliable operation in multi-storey buildings is the working pressure of 14-16 atm..
However, radiator manufacturers have recently launched a “war for atmospheres” on the Russian market. Since the main characteristics of aluminum radiators are similar, the manufacturer tries to declare that its radiator is “the most durable” and can withstand higher working pressure. On this wave, manufacturers remembered about the “well-forgotten old” – about the production technology of bimetallic radiators. Strictly speaking, bimetallic radiators began to be produced in Europe 60 years ago. But when the technology of reliable and simple welding of aluminum alloy was mastered, which gave rise to the mass and technological production of aluminum radiators, the production of bimetallic radiators ceased. Today, bimetallic radiators are not sold on the European market, they cannot be found at any Western European exhibition. But for the “air-hungry” Russian market, manufacturers resumed deliveries of these radiators.

The negative properties of bimetallic radiators stem from their design – after all, they are based on a heterogeneous “sandwich” of different metals. Steel and aluminum alloy have different coefficients of thermal expansion, therefore, when temperatures change, they change their dimensions in different ways. And this over time can lead to the destruction of the “aluminum-steel” bond, which, in addition to reducing the strength in this area, leads to squeaks during temperature fluctuations. In addition, in such areas of poor contact between the steel tube and the aluminum layer, local overheating may occur, which also negatively affects the durability and reliability of the device. Another aspect is that the contact of steel and aluminum promotes the occurrence of electrochemical corrosion, which accelerates the slow “rusting” of steel pipes.

Another disadvantage of bimetallic radiators is due to the use of a steel core, which reduces the excellent thermal conductivity properties of aluminum. As a result, the heat transfer of bimetallic radiators is up to 20% lower than that of aluminum counterparts of the same size. In addition, compared to aluminum models, these pipes are much smaller in diameter, which means that they are more susceptible to “overgrowth” and quickly become clogged in domestic “dirty” heating systems. The need for a steel “frame” limits manufacturers in the design of radiators, and a relatively complex production technology leads to a significant increase in their cost compared to aluminum models.

And all this is a payment for the “additionally declared” atmospheres to the operating pressure, that is, in fact, for reinsurance, taking into account the real operating conditions. And yet, only operating experience in Russian conditions can help answer the question of how reliable a radiator is. In this regard, the undisputed leader is the Calidor Super radiator manufactured by the Italian concern Fondital. The exclusive importer of these radiators, the Teploimport group of companies, began supplying Calidor radiators to the market of the CIS and Baltic countries 10 years ago, becoming the very first company on the market for aluminum radiators. A few years later, the modernized and strengthened Calidor Super model began to be supplied to Russia and other countries of the former USSR. Over 10 years, several million of these radiators have been installed in Russia, and their daily flawless operation is the best confirmation of their reliability..

An important aspect is the reputation and experience of the manufacturer. Concern Fondital has the world’s largest production of aluminum radiators, which produces a third of the world’s volume of these devices. Thirty years of experience in the production of aluminum radiators, combined with the most advanced technologies, have created a production of unique efficiency and quality. The casting process of radiator sections at Fondital has been brought to perfection for decades.

The composition of the aluminum alloy is the know-how of Fondital specialists. Thanks to the use of a variety of additives, unique corrosion resistance has been achieved. Tests in domestic laboratories have shown that Calidor Super radiators can be used with a hardness range of pH from 6.5 to 8.5, which is especially important for our networks. Other manufacturers generally recommend sticking to a pH value of 7-8. Finishing and assembly of sections into ready-made batteries is carried out on fully automatic lines, which eliminates the notorious “human factor”. In addition, all Calidor Super radiators are 100% quality controlled. Completes the production process by painting in 2 stages, which guarantees a long-lasting coating that lasts for decades.

Calidor Super radiators have excellent performance for domestic heating networks. Heat transfer section – 194 W – one of the highest on the market. The working pressure is 16 atm, and the test pressure (at which the system can be oppressed) is 24 atm. guarantee reliable operation in any domestic heating networks. Tests have shown that the pressure at which the device is destroyed is 50 atm! Calidor Super radiators come with a 10-year warranty, and any damage in the event of a warranty claim is covered by insurance. Providing buyers with such conditions confirms the confidence of Fondital and Teploimport in the quality of Calidor Super radiators. All other advantages of aluminum radiators, of course, are characteristic of Calidor Super, because this brand has been a role model and a reference point for many other manufacturers for many years. Superior design, excellent performance, reliability and favorable reviews from ordinary consumers have formed a positive image of Calidor Super radiators, allowing them to remain the most popular aluminum radiator on the market for many years.

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