The best aluminum heating radiators: characteristics, tips on choosing, the best manufacturers
In the process of repairing a city apartment or building a private country house, quite often there is a question about replacing (or installing) heating batteries. A wide variety of such devices can confuse the average consumer. In many respects, aluminum heating radiators are in many ways superior to their cast-iron, steel, and in some cases bimetallic counterparts. In this article we will help you to understand in what cases their installation is preferable, and when it is better to refuse to use these products. The correctness of the choice will largely depend on a careful acquaintance with the technical parameters, as well as the quality of workmanship.
The scope of such heating batteries limit the physico-chemical properties of the material from which they are made. By itself, aluminum - the material is quite strong and reliable. Moreover, it “protects itself” from the damaging effects of the environment, since, upon contact with air, a protective oxide film forms on its surface. The heat carrier (in most cases it is technical water) circulating through the heat supply system often contains some amount of various acids and alkalis. Both those and others destroy the protective layer and gradually corrode the walls of the heating device. Acid-base balance for pure water: pH = 7. A decrease in this indicator (<7) means an increase in the acid content, and its growth (> 7) indicates the predominance of alkali.
In modern apartment buildings (equipped with an autonomous boiler room) and for heating a private house, aluminum radiators are the best solution for arranging the most efficient and most economical heat supply. The greater the value of the range of pH indicated by the manufacturer in the accompanying documentation,however, it is less susceptible to the negative impact of poor-quality coolant, and as a result, the area of application of this radiator is greatly expanded.
On a note! In old buildings, where technical water is usually used as a coolant (with alkali additives to minimize the formation of deposits on the internal surfaces of boilers) from a nearby CHP plant, it is still better to use “archaic” cast iron or steel batteries.
Technological features of production
According to the technology of manufacturing aluminum radiators for heating, today they use two main methods:
- Casting. Molten aluminum (under high pressure) is filled in forms (with special technological devices equipped inside for forming flow-through collectors, which are removed before the process of complete hardening of the metal begins). Holes in the lower parts of the sections are brewed or molded (using special plugs).
- Extrusion. The middle part with vertical flow channels is made by pressing aluminum (heated to the state of soft clay) into the mold.The top and bottom components of the battery are cast. Then all three parts are interconnected by welding or special high-strength adhesives.
There is no definite answer to the question of which aluminum heating radiators are better - cast or extruded. The first ones are stronger because they do not have connecting seams. But the second is cheaper.
For information! The most high-tech and durable aluminum radiators of heating (according to the reviews of professionals) are products, in the process of manufacturing of which a special anti-corrosion protective coating (based on polymer resins) is applied on all internal surfaces. Such batteries have almost no restrictions in the field of application.
Main technical specifications
There are several main consumer characteristics of aluminum radiators that play a major role in choosing a product:
- First of all, this is the range of acid-base balance (pH) recommended by the manufacturer: for extrusion ones - 7-8, for cast ones - 6.5-9, for radiators with a protective coating on the inner walls - 5-10. For owners of private homes that can use coolant in a closed heating system on their own (for example, distilled water), this indicator is not so important.But before you install such batteries in apartment buildings, it is useful to ask the staff, where the water comes from the heating system and whether it is possible to take a sample of it for laboratory tests.
- The height of aluminum radiators, which directly depends on the distance between the axes of the horizontal collectors (from 150 to 800 mm), is chosen depending on the installation site and the location of the supply pipes.
- Thermal power (and, of course, the number of battery sections) required for heating a specific room (depending on the area and height of the ceiling) will be prompted by an experienced sales assistant. It is calculated as the product of heat transfer from one section (from 150 to 210 W) to their number. The most accurate calculations (taking into account the doorways, the number of windows, and so on) can be done using publicly available online calculators.
Also aluminum batteries are characterized by:
- working pressure - 16-20 atm;
- the maximum temperature of the coolant is 110-135 ° C;
- test pressure (created in the heating city system during inspections before the start of the heating season) - 24-30 atm;
- ultimate mechanical strength - 48-100 atm;
- section capacity - from 0.25 to 0.45 liters.
The diameter of the inlets (regardless of model and manufacturer) is standard and is 1 inch.
Aluminum products can be purchased both in the form of separate sections (assembly is carried out directly before installation), and in the form of finished (assembled batteries of 4-16 sections in the factory). The advantage of the first is the possibility of the most accurate calculation of thermal power for heating a specific room. However, their installation is more labor-intensive and requires the purchase of additional connecting accessories (couplings and gaskets). Installation and connection of the second takes much less time. In addition, the junction sections of finished batteries are qualitatively painted in the process of factory manufacturing, which undoubtedly has a very positive effect on the appearance. They are the most in demand in the market of heating devices.
There are two types of aluminum radiators, depending on the point of connection of the coolant pipes:
- With bottom connection.Such devices are usually used in the construction of modern shopping and entertainment centers, office buildings, medical facilities and individual houses (or cottages).
- With lateral connection. These batteries are most in demand for the replacement of batteries in the repair of standard city apartments. Four holes (two on each side) allow both one-way and two-way connection of heat carrier pipes. Unused openings are closed with special plugs.
The internal cross section of the vertical channels of radiators can be:
- round (according to the strength characteristics of such products are the best aluminum radiators);
- ellipsoid (currently used quite widely);
- diamond-shaped (in view of the low strength, many leading manufacturers refused such geometry).
Possessing the highest heat output, low inertia and affordable price (which is 30-35% less than that of bimetallic counterparts), aluminum heating radiators (according to user feedback) firmly hold the top positions of popularity ratings.
The undoubted advantages of these heating devices include:
- A small amount of internal volume of the sections, which allows to reduce the total amount of coolant and use low-power circular pumps in autonomous heating systems, thereby significantly saving on fuel.
- Reducing the load on the supporting structures of buildings due to low weight makes aluminum radiators for private homes the highest priority.
- The universal block design allows you to purchase a ready-made (factory assembled) battery of 4-16 sections (depending on the size of the room). If desired, it is possible to assemble the heating device on site using special couplings.
- Easy installation of thermostats (to maintain a constant room temperature in automatic mode).
- Attractive appearance that goes well with almost any style of room. For users experienced in the design of their own homes, manufacturers offer designer models of radiators.
As well as any technical products, aluminum radiators of heating have not only advantages, but also disadvantages. First of all, these include:
- The impossibility (or rather, the risk of rapid failure) of installation in heating systems, where for objective reasons it is impossible to control the purity of the coolant (or more precisely the pH index).
- Smaller (in comparison with bimetallic analogues) guaranteed uninterrupted work period, which, depending on the manufacturer, is from 5 to 15 years.
- The need to install special devices for the regular etching of hydrogen, which is formed as a result of chemical reactions when aluminum comes into contact with the active substances.
For information! Practically all leading manufacturers got rid of such a drawback as low working pressure. Today, for most models, this figure is 20 atm, which is quite enough to install such batteries, even in central heating networks.
Leaders in the production of aluminum radiators for heating homes, apartments, shopping centers, office and industrial premises are Italian companies Global, Radena and Fondital. Recently, Russian manufacturers Rifar, Royal Thermo and Konner have been successfully competing with them.which use high-tech imported equipment for production (as a rule, purchased from the same Italian competitors). However, domestic products, almost the same as in quality, are cheaper (which is important for the end user).
German (Tenrad), Hungarian (Nami) and Polish (Armatura) products are found (although much less often) in the Russian market. Reviews of the above manufacturers are mostly only positive. But to the many Chinese copies need to be approached with very high caution. Cheaper products (to which manufacturers from the Middle Kingdom are so eager) at the expense of metal savings leads to a significant decrease in reliability and uninterrupted service life. Although some professionals speak positively about the Chinese batteries from Epico, Maxterm and Rommer.
Browse popular models
Consumers consider Global Klass (Italy), Rifar Alum (Russia) and Royal Thermo Revolution (Russia) to be the best aluminum radiators of heating in terms of price / quality / reliability / efficiency. The most popular are 8-cell batteries with 500 mm center distance. And this is natural, because the total heat output, which is 1450-1500 W, is quite enough to heat a room with an area of 16-18 m².Overall dimensions of aluminum radiators of heating are: depth - 80-90 mm, width - 640 mm, height - 565-582 mm. This allows you to mount the battery in the most convenient place, for example in a niche under the sill.
The aluminum radiator Global Klass, having the highest (compared to competitors) total heat output (about 1500 W), currently costs about 5,200 rubles. It is intended for use in heating systems with a maximum working pressure of 16 atm and a coolant temperature up to 110 ° C. The classic design of the product is in harmony with the most diverse styles of the overall design of the room. Due to the high-quality two-stage processing of external surfaces (pre-immersion of the assembled product in a container with paint and the subsequent application of a protective polymer coating), the product retains an attractive appearance during the entire period of operation. With the help of appropriate fittings (which are not included in the delivery package), the battery can be easily connected to pipes made of steel, copper, metal-plastic and polymers.
The Russian radiator Revolution Royal Thermo (with a total power of 1,450 W) costs about 4,700 rubles.Of the technological features, it is necessary to note the patented design of high-strength Mecc-Lan bottom plugs (using a nano-polymer membrane), which, in combination with a circular cross section of vertical channels, provides increased strength. According to the manufacturer, such batteries can be installed with confidence even in systems subject to frequent operating pressure overshoot (which is 20 atm for this model). Due to the special wavy shape of the side ribs, heat transfer is increased by 3-4%. 7-stage deposition on the external surfaces of highly environmentally friendly nanokrasok from Dutch and German manufacturers reliably protects them from any mechanical damage. Warranty period is 10 years.
The 8-section aluminum radiator of heating 500 Rifar Alum with an oval geometry of vertical channels costs about 4,500 rubles. To seal the bottom of the technological holes in the manufacture using special plugs with a sealing gasket. A bright yellow sticker on the case informs about the types of coolants with which the product will work smoothly.The total heat output is 1460 W, the working pressure is 20 atm, the maximum temperature is 135 ° C.
From the above, it becomes clear that the Russian models, firstly, are cheaper, and secondly, they are designed for greater working pressure than the “Italian”.
For comparison! The Chinese radiator Rommer Al 500 (from 8 sections) costs only 3300 rubles. The weight of the battery is 8 kg (for Russian and Italian models, the same indicator ranges from 9.5 to 11.5 kg). That is the saving of aluminum is obvious. Hence, the minimum warranty period - only 5 years.
What to look for when choosing
The main stages of choosing an aluminum radiator:
- Find out the indicator of the acid-base balance of the coolant (pH) used in the heating system. If it allows the use of aluminum batteries (that is, its value is within the limits specified by the manufacturer), then continue to choose further.
- Depending on the location of the supply pipes, we determine the model (side or bottom connection, the distance between the centers of the horizontal collectors).
- We calculate the thermal power, that is, the number of sections required for effective heating of a particular room.
- We choose a reliable and trusted manufacturer (for this you can use the ratings of aluminum radiators at the time of purchase, prepared according to user feedback or professional advice), paying particular attention to the warranty period specified in the appropriate certificate.
For information! Before paying for the goods, carefully read the appearance. In order to avoid fakes, many manufacturers apply special markings on their products (by mechanical or laser engraving).
If you strictly follow all the operating conditions specified in the accompanying documentation, the aluminum radiator will serve you much longer than the warranty period stated by the manufacturer. Although the scope of such batteries is limited, they are now often used, especially in individual construction and modern apartment buildings with an autonomous boiler room. Indeed, in terms of efficiency, they remain the best heating devices.