CuproBraze – From An Idea to Global Production

lokakuu 10, 2011 | Markku Ainali

From Henry Ford’s time onward, all radiators were made from copper-based materials. Until the late 1970’s, copper maintained a radiator market share of close to 100%. But, particularly in the last three decades, copper-based automotive heat exchangers have seen heavy competition from aluminium.

In the early 1990’s, the International Copper Association (ICA) decided to start a development program to demonstrate copper’s superior capabilities for the manufacturing and use of all kinds of automotive heat exchangers.

The new technology, called CuproBraze®, was specifically developed for the manufacturing of heavy-duty mobile and industrial heat exchangers. CuproBraze® is a registered trademark owned by ICA.

The new fin alloy SM0502, tube alloy SM2385, and brazing alloy OKC600 were developed and patented by Outokumpu Copper, which currently belongs to Aurubis BL Flat Rolled Products. The materials offer high strength as well as excellent retention of strength at elevated operating temperatures. They can withstand high-temperature brazing processes without substantial loss in strength.

A Brazing Centre was established to support the technology in a practical way - to build prototype heat exchangers based on these new alloys and to demonstrate the CuproBraze® process. The centre is currently located at the Aurubis copper strip plant in Finspång, Sweden.

Specialized brazing pastes, brazing foil, and application machinery for them, and also brazing furnaces, are available for all capacities of production lines. Companies and other organisations with different types of commercial interests in this technology formed the CuproBraze Alliance in 2003 to jointly strengthen their marketing efforts. This alliance also runs the website which has about 11,000 unique visitors per month.

By using high-strength and high-conductivity copper alloys, it is possible to manufacture strong, efficient, and compact heat exchangers at a competitive cost with an environmentally friendly process. CuproBraze technology is now being applied globally in manufacturingadvanced heat exchangers. It also enables the manufacturing of charge air coolers that can withstand higher temperatures than existing aluminium-based equipment, allowing the transportation industry to continue reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency by providing an option to the temperature-challenged aluminium charge air coolers.

Finnradiator is one of the pioneers in developing CuproBraze technology and especially one-shot brazing for charge air cooler application.


Markku Ainali

Managing Director of CuproBraze Alliance

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