Coolers Protecting Components

Marty Drinkwine, Consultant,
Special Collaboration


Coolers have always been part of protecting critical components. By redistributing the heat of friction, they maintain the integrity of crucial lubricants and bearings.
With ever increasing demands to improve performance and emissions of equipment, coolers now form an ever more integral part of the powertrain package. Charge air, fuel, brake fluids all have cooling devices in addition to the traditional hydraulic ones common to most machinery.

However, with more sleek and compact designs how can coolers fit the package and perform their critical function without being a maintenance migraine?

The tube-and-shell (T&S) style is finding more use in machine design, particularly on auxiliary systems. The T&S cooler can be fitted close to heat loads and act like accumulators to collect heat and stream it into the primary cooling circuit. This permits thermal loads created by brake friction or other ancillaries to be contained at source adding to the efficiency of the system and extending the life of components.

T&S design in heat exchangers is not a new innovation, an early example could be that of a steam locomotive boiler. Essentially, they consist of a jacket of one fluid encompassing tubes full of a second fluid.

Just like your arteries, these fluid channels can become restricted or clogged from contamination or fluid deterioration. Such restrictions will eventually negate the ability of the cooler to do its job adequately and efficiently. A typical design, and a poor one, provides for no servicing of the cooler when such blockages become critical. One company has applied its serviceable cooler technology to this question and a bit more.

MESABI® by L&M Radiator has developed a rebuildable tube and shell cooler with the ability to forewarn fleet managers of potential failures. This permits planning for maintenance, avoiding unexpected downtime and sustaining production and profitability. The System Protector™ incorporates a series of replaceable tubes and seals inside a repairable shell structure. Tubes can be easily removed, cleaned or replaced as can the seals which also absorb shock and vibration further extending the cooler lifespan.

Unlike the standard MESABI® RTTS® which incorporates all of these features, System Protector adds an incredible extra. Incorporated into each System Protector structure is a series of additional galleries between the two fluids. Visual, audio or electronic sensors can be installed in gauge ports of these galleries to give warning of imminent failure before costly components are contaminated or irrevocably damaged.

When coolants and oils cross contaminate all sorts of damage, short and long-term will occur. Milky oil in an expensive pump can cascade both the problem and the costs. Would you prefer to spend thousands on rebuilds and replacement parts? Surely a simple warning, and a controlled maintenance operation is more affordable than a catastrophic failure.
Protect all the things that you want protected, particularly your production equipment.

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