A new coating technology for the functionalization of semi-finished aluminium products for heat exchanger (HEX) applications has been developed by Erbslöh Aluminium GmbH with assistance from Solvay Fluor. In contrast to binder-based flux coatings, it is now possible to apply various kinds of NOCOLOK® fluxes free of any adhesives for the Controlled Atmosphere Brazing (CAB) process to aluminium surfaces, gaining economic and technological advantages. Today’s application examples include coatings on extruded condenser and evaporator tubes, and internal brazing of B-type tubes by integration in tube mills. Other applications, e.g. for selective local coatings, are conceivable.
Several aluminium substrates were coated with different NOCOLOK® fluxes/flux materials and examined in pre and post-brazed condition. As the results show, the new technology has a considerable potential in substituting or even replacing common pre-fluxing processes for CAB in HEX manufacturing.
Controlled Gas Plasma Deposition (CGPD) represents an innovative method for pre-fluxing of semi-finished products. It allows the application of pure flux by means of a plasma source with comparable adhesion properties as achieved with binder-based coatings. Due to the absence of any binder or other redundant chemicals, CGPD is not limited to any drying or hardening time, opening the way for high speed flux application. This comes hand in hand with the higher environmental friendliness of a solvent and binder-free process.

Illustration of the CGPD process

Benefits of brazed aluminium HEXs in Micro Multiport (MMP) design are:
■ Cost reduction
■ Improved performance with downsizing potential
■ Weight reduction
■ Lower refrigerant charge
■ Better corrosion performance
■ Recycling advantages
Improvements in CAB:
■ Use of pre-coated components
■ Process, quality, cost
■ Binder-free CGPD coating for easy use and high speed applications

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