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A coolant is a fluid which flows through a device to prevent its overheating, transferring the heat produced by the device to other devices that use or dissipate it. An ideal coolant has high thermal capacity, low viscosity
Viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

, is low-cost, non-toxic, and chemically inert, neither causing nor promoting corrosion
Corrosion
Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen...

 of the cooling system. Some applications also require the coolant to be an electrical insulator
Electrical insulation
thumb|250px|[[Coaxial Cable]] with dielectric insulator supporting a central coreThis article refers to electrical insulation. For insulation of heat, see Thermal insulation...

.

While the term coolant is commonly used in automotive, residential and commercial temperature-control applications, in industrial processing, heat transfer fluid is one technical term more often used, in high temperature as well as low temperature manufacturing applications.

The coolant can either keep its phase and stay liquid or gaseous, or can undergo a phase change, with the latent heat
Latent heat
Latent heat is the heat released or absorbed by a chemical substance or a thermodynamic system during a process that occurs without a change in temperature. A typical example is a change of state of matter, meaning a phase transition such as the melting of ice or the boiling of water. The term was...

 adding to the cooling efficiency. The latter, when used to achieve low temperatures, is more commonly known as refrigerant
Refrigerant
A refrigerant is a substance used in a heat cycle usually including, for enhanced efficiency, a reversible phase change from a liquid to a gas. Traditionally, fluorocarbons, especially chlorofluorocarbons, were used as refrigerants, but they are being phased out because of their ozone depletion...

.

Gases


Air
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

 is a common form of a coolant. Air cooling uses either convective
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

 airflow (passive cooling), or a forced circulation using fans
Fan (mechanical)
A mechanical fan is a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air.A fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the air. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing...

.

Hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 is used as a high-performance gaseous coolant. Its thermal conductivity
Thermal conductivity
In physics, thermal conductivity, k, is the property of a material's ability to conduct heat. It appears primarily in Fourier's Law for heat conduction....

 is higher than all other gases, it has high specific heat capacity, low density
Density
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

 and therefore low viscosity
Viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

, which is an advantage for rotary machines susceptible to windage
Windage
Windage is a force created on an object by friction when there is relative movement between air and the object.There are two causes of windage:# the object is moving and being slowed by resistance from the air...

 losses. Hydrogen-cooled turbogenerator
Hydrogen-cooled turbogenerator
A hydrogen-cooled turbo generator is a turbo generator with gaseous hydrogen as a coolant. Hydrogen-cooled turbo generators are designed to provide a low-drag atmosphere and cooling for single-shaft and combined-cycle applications in combination with steam turbines...

s are currently the most common electrical generators in large power plants.

Inert gas
Inert gas
An inert gas is a non-reactive gas used during chemical synthesis, chemical analysis, or preservation of reactive materials. Inert gases are selected for specific settings for which they are functionally inert since the cost of the gas and the cost of purifying the gas are usually a consideration...

es are used as coolant
Nuclear reactor coolant
A nuclear reactor coolant is a coolant in a nuclear reactor used to remove heat from the nuclear reactor core and transfer it to electrical generators and the environment....

s in gas-cooled nuclear reactor
Gas-cooled reactor
A gas-cooled reactor is a nuclear reactor that uses graphite as a neutron moderator and carbon dioxide as coolant...

s. Helium
Helium
Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

 has a low tendency to absorb neutrons
Neutron capture
Neutron capture is a kind of nuclear reaction in which an atomic nucleus collides with one or more neutrons and they merge to form a heavier nucleus. Since neutrons have no electric charge they can enter a nucleus more easily than positively charged protons, which are repelled...

 and become radioactive
Neutron activation
Neutron activation is the process in which neutron radiation induces radioactivity in materials, and occurs when atomic nuclei capture free neutrons, becoming heavier and entering excited states. The excited nucleus often decays immediately by emitting particles such as neutrons, protons, or alpha...

. Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 is used in Magnox
Magnox
Magnox is a now obsolete type of nuclear power reactor which was designed and is still in use in the United Kingdom, and was exported to other countries, both as a power plant, and, when operated accordingly, as a producer of plutonium for nuclear weapons...

 and AGR
Advanced gas-cooled reactor
An advanced gas-cooled reactor is a type of nuclear reactor. These are the second generation of British gas-cooled reactors, using graphite as the neutron moderator and carbon dioxide as coolant...

 reactors.

Sulfur hexafluoride
Sulfur hexafluoride
Sulfur hexafluoride is an inorganic, colorless, odorless, and non-flammable greenhouse gas. has an octahedral geometry, consisting of six fluorine atoms attached to a central sulfur atom. It is a hypervalent molecule. Typical for a nonpolar gas, it is poorly soluble in water but soluble in...

 is used for cooling and insulating of some high-voltage power systems (circuit breaker
Circuit breaker
A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and, by interrupting continuity, to immediately discontinue electrical flow...

s, switch
Switch
In electronics, a switch is an electrical component that can break an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another....

es, some transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

s, etc.).

Steam
Steam
Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. In common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air...

 can be used where high specific heat capacity is required in gaseous form and the corrosive properties of hot water are accounted for.

Liquids


The most common coolant is water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

. Its high heat capacity
Heat capacity
Heat capacity , or thermal capacity, is the measurable physical quantity that characterizes the amount of heat required to change a substance's temperature by a given amount...

 and low cost makes it a suitable heat-transfer medium. It is usually used with additives, like corrosion inhibitor
Corrosion inhibitor
A corrosion inhibitor is a chemical compound that, when added to a liquid or gas, decreases the corrosion rate of a material, typically a metal or an alloy. The effectiveness of a corrosion inhibitor depends on fluid composition, quantity of water, and flow regime...

s and antifreeze
Antifreeze
Antifreeze is a freeze preventive used in internal combustion engines and other heat transfer applications, such as HVAC chillers and solar water heaters....

. Antifreeze, a solution of a suitable organic chemical (most often ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol is an organic compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze and a precursor to polymers. In its pure form, it is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet-tasting liquid...

, diethylene glycol
Diethylene glycol
Diethylene glycol is an organic compound with the formula 2O. It is a colorless, practically odorless, poisonous, and hygroscopic liquid with a sweetish taste. It is miscible in water, alcohol, ether, acetone, and ethylene glycol. DEG is a widely used solvent...

, or propylene glycol
Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol, also called 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound with formula C3H8O2 or HO-CH2-CHOH-CH3...

) in water, is used when the water-based coolant has to withstand temperatures below 0 °C, or when its boiling point has to be raised. Betaine is a similar coolant, with the exception that it is made from pure plant juice, and is therefore not toxic or difficult to dispose of ecologically.

Very pure deionized water, due to its relatively low electrical conductivity, is used to cool some electrical equipment, often high-power transmitters and high-power vacuum tube
Vacuum tube
In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

s.

Heavy water
Heavy water
Heavy water is water highly enriched in the hydrogen isotope deuterium; e.g., heavy water used in CANDU reactors is 99.75% enriched by hydrogen atom-fraction...

 is a neutron moderator
Neutron moderator
In nuclear engineering, a neutron moderator is a medium that reduces the speed of fast neutrons, thereby turning them into thermal neutrons capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction involving uranium-235....

 used in some nuclear reactors
Heavy water reactor
A pressurised heavy water reactor is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water as its coolant and moderator. The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure in order to raise its boiling point, allowing it to be heated to higher...

; it also has a secondary function as their coolant
Nuclear reactor coolant
A nuclear reactor coolant is a coolant in a nuclear reactor used to remove heat from the nuclear reactor core and transfer it to electrical generators and the environment....

. Light water reactor
Light water reactor
The light water reactor is a type of thermal reactor that uses normal water as its coolant and neutron moderator. Thermal reactors are the most common type of nuclear reactor, and light water reactors are the most common type of thermal reactor...

s, both boiling water
Boiling water reactor
The boiling water reactor is a type of light water nuclear reactor used for the generation of electrical power. It is the second most common type of electricity-generating nuclear reactor after the pressurized water reactor , also a type of light water nuclear reactor...

 and pressurised water reactors the most common type, use light water.

Polyalkylene Glycol or PAG's
Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol, also called 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound with formula C3H8O2 or HO-CH2-CHOH-CH3...

 are used as high temperature, thermally stable heat transfer fluids exhibiting strong resistance to oxidation. Modern PAG's can also be non-toxic and non-hazardous.

Cutting fluid
Cutting fluid
Cutting fluid is a type of coolant and lubricant designed specifically for metalworking and machining processes. There are various kinds of cutting fluids, which include oils, oil-water emulsions, pastes, gels, aerosols , and air or other gases. They may be made from petroleum distillates, animal...

 is a coolant that also serves as a lubricant
Lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

 for metal-shaping machine tool
Machine tool
A machine tool is a machine, typically powered other than by human muscle , used to make manufactured parts in various ways that include cutting or certain other kinds of deformation...

s.

Oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

s are used for applications where water is unsuitable. With higher boiling points than water, oils can be raised to considerably higher temperatures (above 100 degrees Celsius) without introducing high pressures within the container or loop system in question.
  • Mineral oil
    Mineral oil
    A mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable source, particularly a distillate of petroleum....

    s serve as both coolants and lubricants in many mechanical gears. Castor oil
    Castor oil
    Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean . Castor oil is a colorless to very pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor or taste. Its boiling point is and its density is 961 kg/m3...

     is also used. Due to their high boiling points, mineral oils are used in portable electric radiator-style space heaters in residential applications, and in closed-loop systems for industrial process heating and cooling.
  • Silicone oil
    Silicone oil
    A silicone oil is any polymerized siloxanes with organic side chains. They are formed of alternating silicon-oxygen atoms or siloxane, rather than carbon atoms . Other species attach to the tetravalent silicon atoms, not to the divalent oxygen atoms which are fully committed to forming the...

    s and fluorocarbon
    Fluorocarbon
    Fluorocarbons, sometimes referred to as perfluorocarbons or PFCs, are organofluorine compounds that contain only carbon and fluorine bonded together in strong carbon–fluorine bonds. Fluoroalkanes that contain only single bonds are more chemically and thermally stable than alkanes...

     oils (like fluorinert
    Fluorinert
    Fluorinert is the trademarked brand name for the line of electronics coolant liquids sold commercially by 3M. It is an electrically insulating, stable fluorocarbon-based fluid which is used in various cooling applications. It is mainly used for cooling electronics...

    ) are favored for their wide range of operating temperature
    Operating temperature
    An operating temperature is the temperature at which an electrical or mechanical device operates. The device will operate effectively within a specified temperature range which varies based on the device function and application context, and ranges from the minimum operating temperature to the...

    s. However their high cost limits their applications.
  • Transformer oil
    Transformer oil
    Transformer oil or insulating oil is usually a highly-refined mineral oil that is stable at high temperatures and has excellent electrical insulating properties. It is used in oil-filled transformers, some types of high voltage capacitors, fluorescent lamp ballasts, and some types of high voltage...

     is used for cooling and additional electric insulation of high-power electric transformer
    Transformer
    A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

    s.


Fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

s are frequently used as coolants for engines. A cold fuel flows over some parts of the engine, absorbing its waste heat and being preheated before combustion. Kerosene
Kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

 and other jet fuel
Jet fuel
Jet fuel is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft powered by gas-turbine engines. It is clear to straw-colored in appearance. The most commonly used fuels for commercial aviation are Jet A and Jet A-1 which are produced to a standardized international specification...

s frequently serve in this role in aviation engines.

Freons were frequently used for immersive cooling
Computer cooling
Computer cooling is required to remove the waste heat produced by computer components, to keep components within their safe operating temperature limits.Various cooling methods help to improve processor performance or reduce the noise of cooling fans....

 of e.g. electronics.

Refrigerant
Refrigerant
A refrigerant is a substance used in a heat cycle usually including, for enhanced efficiency, a reversible phase change from a liquid to a gas. Traditionally, fluorocarbons, especially chlorofluorocarbons, were used as refrigerants, but they are being phased out because of their ozone depletion...

s are coolants used for reaching low temperatures by undergoing phase change between liquid and gas. Halomethane
Halomethane
Halomethane compounds are derivatives of methane with one or more of the hydrogen atoms replaced with halogen atoms . Halomethanes are both naturally occurring, especially in marine environments, and man-made, most notably as refrigerants, solvents, propellants, and fumigants...

s were frequently used, most often R-12
Dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane , is a colorless gas, and usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane , used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other...

 and R-22
Chlorodifluoromethane
Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon . This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It was once commonly used as a propellant and in air conditioning applications...

, but due to environmental concerns are being phased out, often with liquified propane or other haloalkanes like R-134a. Anhydrous ammonia
Ammonia
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 is frequently used in large commercial systems, and sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is released by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide unless the sulfur compounds are removed before burning the fuel...

 was used in early mechanical refrigerators. Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 (R-744) is used as a working fluid in climate control systems for cars, residential air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and vending machines.

Heat pipe
Heat pipe
A heat pipe or heat pin is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces....

s are a special application of refrigerants.

Molten metals and salts



Liquid fusible alloy
Fusible alloy
A fusible alloy is a metal alloy capable of being easily fused, i.e. easily meltable, at relatively low temperatures. Fusible alloys are commonly, but not necessarily, eutectic alloys....

s can be used as coolants in applications where high temperature stability is required, e.g. some fast breeder nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s. Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 (in sodium cooled fast reactors) or sodium-potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

 alloy NaK
NaK
NaK, or sodium-potassium alloy, an alloy, of potassium , and sodium , is usually liquid at room temperature. Various commercial grades are available. NaK is highly reactive with water and may catch fire when exposed to air, so must be handled with special precautions...

 are frequently used; in special cases lithium
Lithium
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal that belongs to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. It is represented by the symbol Li, and it has the atomic number 3. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly...

 can be employed. Another liquid metal used as a coolant is lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, in e.g. lead cooled fast reactor
Lead cooled fast reactor
The lead-cooled fast reactor is a nuclear power Generation IV reactor that features a fast neutron spectrum, molten lead or lead-bismuth eutectic coolant. Options include a range of plant ratings, including a number of 50 to 150 MWe units featuring long-life, pre-manufactured cores...

s, or a lead-bismuth
Bismuth
Bismuth is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83. Bismuth, a trivalent poor metal, chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally uncombined, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead...

 alloy. Some early fast neutron reactor
Fast neutron reactor
A fast neutron reactor or simply a fast reactor is a category of nuclear reactor in which the fission chain reaction is sustained by fast neutrons...

s used mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

.

For certain applications the stems of automotive poppet valve
Poppet valve
A poppet valve is a valve consisting of a hole, usually round or oval, and a tapered plug, usually a disk shape on the end of a shaft also called a valve stem. The shaft guides the plug portion by sliding through a valve guide...

s may be hollow and filled with sodium to improve heat transport and transfer.

For very high temperature applications, e.g. molten salt reactor
Molten salt reactor
A molten salt reactor is a type of nuclear fission reactor in which the primary coolant, or even the fuel itself is a molten salt mixture...

s or very high temperature reactor
Very high temperature reactor
The Very High Temperature Reactor , or High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor , is a Generation IV reactor concept that uses a graphite-moderated nuclear reactor with a once-through uranium fuel cycle. The VHTR is a type of High Temperature Reactor that can conceptually have an outlet temperature of...

s, molten salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s can be used as coolants. One of the possible combinations is the mix of sodium fluoride
Sodium fluoride
Sodium fluoride is an inorganic chemical compound with the formula NaF. A colorless solid, it is a source of the fluoride ion in diverse applications. Sodium fluoride is less expensive and less hygroscopic than the related salt potassium fluoride....

 and sodium tetrafluoroborate
Sodium tetrafluoroborate
Sodium tetrafluoroborate, also called sodium borofluoride, is a compound with formula NaBF4. It forms colorless water-soluble rhombic crystals and is soluble in water and less soluble in organic solvents....

 (NaF-NaBF4). Other choices are FLiBe
FLiBe
FLiBe is a mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride . As a molten salt it is proposed as a nuclear reactor coolant, and two different mixtures were used in the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment....

 and FLiNaK
FLiNaK
FLiNaK is the name of the ternary eutectic alkaline metal fluoride salt mixture LiF-NaF-KF . It has a melting point of 454 °C and a boiling point of 1570 °C. It is used as electrolyte for the electroplating of refractory metals and compounds like titanium, tantalum, hafnium, zirconium and their...

.

Liquid gases


Liquified gases
Liquid gas
Due to the age of this content, you may be looking for:*Liquefaction of gases*liquid oxygen*liquid nitrogen*Liquid hydrogen*Liquid helium*paramagnetism *superconducting metals*ferromagnetism *liquified petroleum gas...

 are used as coolants for cryogenic applications, including cryo-electron microscopy
Cryo-electron microscopy
Cryo-electron microscopy , or electron cryomicroscopy, is a form of transmission electron microscopy where the sample is studied at cryogenic temperatures...

, overclocking
Overclocking
Overclocking is the process of operating a computer component at a higher clock rate than it was designed for or was specified by the manufacturer, but some manufacturers purposely underclock their components to improve battery life. Many people just overclock or 'rightclock' their hardware to...

 of computer processors, applications using superconductors, or extremely sensitive sensor
Sensor
A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. For example, a mercury-in-glass thermometer converts the measured temperature into expansion and contraction of a liquid which can be read on a calibrated...

s and very low-noise
Noise
In common use, the word noise means any unwanted sound. In both analog and digital electronics, noise is random unwanted perturbation to a wanted signal; it is called noise as a generalisation of the acoustic noise heard when listening to a weak radio transmission with significant electrical noise...

 amplifier
Amplifier
Generally, an amplifier or simply amp, is a device for increasing the power of a signal.In popular use, the term usually describes an electronic amplifier, in which the input "signal" is usually a voltage or a current. In audio applications, amplifiers drive the loudspeakers used in PA systems to...

s.

Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 (chemical formula is CO2) - is used as a coolant replacement for cutting fluids. CO2 can provide controlled cooling at the cutting interface such that the cutting tool and the workpiece are held at ambient temperatures. The use of CO2 greatly extends tool life, and on most materials allows the operation to run faster. This is considered a very environmentally friendly method, especially when compared to the use of petroleum oils as lubricants; parts remain clean and dry which often can eliminate secondary cleaning operations.

Liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at a very low temperature. It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air. Liquid nitrogen is a colourless clear liquid with density of 0.807 g/mL at its boiling point and a dielectric constant of 1.4...

, which boils at about -196 °C (77K), is the most common and least expensive coolant in use. Liquid air
Liquid air
Liquid air is air that has been cooled to very low temperatures so that it has condensed to a pale blue mobile liquid. To protect it from room temperature, it must be kept in a vacuum flask. Liquid air can absorb heat rapidly and revert to its gaseous state...

 is used to a lesser extent, due to its liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen — abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries — is one of the physical forms of elemental oxygen.-Physical properties:...

 content which makes it prone to cause fire or explosions when in contact with combustible materials (see oxyliquit
Oxyliquit
An oxyliquit, also called liquid air explosive or liquid oxygen explosive, is an explosive material made of a mixture of liquid air or liquid oxygen with a suitable fuel, usually carbon or some organic chemical An oxyliquit, also called liquid air explosive or liquid oxygen explosive, is an...

s).

Lower temperatures can be reached using liquified neon
Neon
Neon is the chemical element that has the symbol Ne and an atomic number of 10. Although a very common element in the universe, it is rare on Earth. A colorless, inert noble gas under standard conditions, neon gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when used in either low-voltage neon glow lamps or...

 which boils at about -246 °C. The lowest temperatures, used for the most powerful superconducting magnet
Superconducting magnet
A superconducting magnet is an electromagnet made from coils of superconducting wire. They must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures during operation. In its superconducting state the wire can conduct much larger electric currents than ordinary wire, creating intense magnetic fields...

s, are reached using liquid helium
Liquid helium
Helium exists in liquid form only at extremely low temperatures. The boiling point and critical point depend on the isotope of the helium; see the table below for values. The density of liquid helium-4 at its boiling point and 1 atmosphere is approximately 0.125 g/mL Helium-4 was first liquefied...

.

Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

 at -250 to -265 °C can also be used as a coolant. Liquid hydrogen is also used both as a fuel and as a coolant to cool nozzles and combustion chambers of rocket engine
Rocket engine
A rocket engine, or simply "rocket", is a jet engineRocket Propulsion Elements; 7th edition- chapter 1 that uses only propellant mass for forming its high speed propulsive jet. Rocket engines are reaction engines and obtain thrust in accordance with Newton's third law...

s.

Nanofluids


An emerging and new class of coolants are nanofluid
Nanofluid
Nanofluid is a fluid containing nanometer-sized particles, called nanoparticles. These fluids are engineered colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles in a base fluid. The nanoparticles used in nanofluids are typically made of metals, oxides, carbides, or carbon nanotubes...

s which consist of a carrier liquid, such as water, dispersed with tiny nano-scale particles known as nanoparticle
Nanoparticle
In nanotechnology, a particle is defined as a small object that behaves as a whole unit in terms of its transport and properties. Particles are further classified according to size : in terms of diameter, coarse particles cover a range between 10,000 and 2,500 nanometers. Fine particles are sized...

s. Purpose-designed nanoparticles of e.g. CuO
Copper(II) oxide
Copper oxide or cupric oxide is the higher oxide of copper. As a mineral, it is known as tenorite.-Chemistry:It is a black solid with an ionic structure which melts above 1200 °C with some loss of oxygen...

, alumina, titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula . When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6, or CI 77891. Generally it comes in two different forms, rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of...

, carbon nanotube
Carbon nanotube
Carbon nanotubes are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. Nanotubes have been constructed with length-to-diameter ratio of up to 132,000,000:1, significantly larger than for any other material...

s, silica, or metals (e.g. copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, or silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 nanorod
Nanorod
In nanotechnology, nanorods are one morphology of nanoscale objects. Each of their dimensions range from 1–100 nm. They may be synthesized from metals or semiconducting materials. Standard aspect ratios are 3-5. Nanorods are produced by direct chemical synthesis...

s) dispersed into the carrier liquid the enhances the heat transfer capabilities of the resulting coolant compared to the carrier liquid alone. The enhancement can be theoretically as high as 350%. The experiments however did not prove so high thermal conductivity improvements, but found significant increase of the critical heat flux
Critical heat flux
Critical heat flux describes the thermal limit of a phenomenon where a phase change occurs during heating , which suddenly decreases the efficiency of heat transfer, thus causing localised overheating of the heating surface.The Critical heat flux for ignition is the lowest thermal load per unit...

 of the coolants.

Some significant improvements are achievable; e.g. silver nanorods of 55±12 nm diameter and 12.8 µm average length at 0.5 vol.% increased the thermal conductivity of water by 68%, and 0.5 vol.% of silver nanorods increased thermal conductivity of ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol is an organic compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze and a precursor to polymers. In its pure form, it is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet-tasting liquid...

 based coolant by 98%. Alumina nanoparticles at 0.1% can increase the critical heat flux of water by as much as 70%; the particles form rough porous surface on the cooled object, which encourages formation of new bubbles, and their hydrophilic nature then helps pushing them away, hindering the formation of the steam layer.

Solids


In some applications, solid materials are used as coolants. The materials require high energy to vaporize; this energy is then carried away by the vaporized gases. This approach is common in spaceflight
Spaceflight
Spaceflight is the act of travelling into or through outer space. Spaceflight can occur with spacecraft which may, or may not, have humans on board. Examples of human spaceflight include the Russian Soyuz program, the U.S. Space shuttle program, as well as the ongoing International Space Station...

, for ablative atmospheric reentry shields and for cooling of rocket engine nozzles. The same approach is also used for fire protection of structures, where ablative coating is applied.

Dry ice
Dry ice
Dry ice, sometimes referred to as "Cardice" or as "card ice" , is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is used primarily as a cooling agent. Its advantages include lower temperature than that of water ice and not leaving any residue...

 and water ice
Ice
Ice is water frozen into the solid state. Usually ice is the phase known as ice Ih, which is the most abundant of the varying solid phases on the Earth's surface. It can appear transparent or opaque bluish-white color, depending on the presence of impurities or air inclusions...

 can be also used as coolants, when in direct contact with the structure being cooled.

Sublimation of water ice was used for cooling the space suit
Space suit
A space suit is a garment worn to keep an astronaut alive in the harsh environment of outer space. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extra-vehicular activity , work done outside spacecraft...

s of astronauts in the Project Apollo
Project Apollo
The Apollo program was the spaceflight effort carried out by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration , that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Apollo began in earnest after President John F...

.

See also

  • Loss of coolant
    Loss of coolant
    A loss-of-coolant accident is a mode of failure for a nuclear reactor; if not managed effectively, the results of a LOCA could result in reactor core damage...

     — a type of a nuclear reactor
    Nuclear reactor
    A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

     failure
  • Pumpable ice technology
    Pumpable ice technology
    Pumpable ice technology is a technology to produce fluids or secondary refrigerants also called coolants with a viscosity of water or jelly and the cooling capacity of ice...


External links