Can CuproBraze turn copper into a bona fide contender?

Aug 21, 2008 | 12:16 PM |

When it comes to radiators, the battle lines have been drawn between copper and aluminum as metal suppliers in opposing camps tout the advantages of their product and further potential for improvements.

Aluminum has clearly taken the dominant role, controlling 95 percent of the global light-vehicle radiator market in 2008 in North America, Japan, South Korea, all of Europe (excluding Russia) and Ukraine, according to Richard Schultz, project consultant for Ducker Worldwide LLC, Troy, Mich.

The consensus was mixed, though, on which metal currently holds the majority of the world's heavy-vehicle radiator market.

The trend in China is even more pronounced, with aluminum forecast to hold a whopping 99 percent of the car radiator market this year and 100 percent by 2010, according to data from Fourin China Auto Weekly, a unit of Aichi, Japan-based Fourin Inc. The trend isn't limited to just cars aluminum radiators are expected to hold 90 percent of the market for buses and mini-, light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks by 2010, up from an estimated 50 percent this year.

But that doesn't mean copper should be eliminated as a contender. Copper suppliers remain adamant that the red metal stands as a valid alternative to aluminum.

Copper-based products haven't yet reached their full potential, according to product experts at Luvata Sweden AB, a Vasteras, Sweden-based supplier of fabricated copper to the auto radiator market.....

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