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Cooling system additives

Old 06-04-2010, 08:10 PM
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Cooling system additives

Does anyone use cooling system additives (Water Wetter, etc etc) which are technically known as surfactants. The theory behind this is that surfactants break down the surface tension of the water allowing better contact with the radiator surface and better heat transfer. I wouldn't think that in a pressurized system that it would make any difference. At least not as much as having a clean radiator not clogged with rust and corrosion.

Any one have luck with this stuff? It's not that I am having overheating issues, just curious.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:14 PM
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I think the biggest reason most people switch to WW and the like is for track day rules - some require no antifreeze in the bike incase of spills - very slippery and hard to clean up.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:19 PM
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yes it works. is that the answer that you need? Water cools better than coolant, believe it or not. WW does better than water. Problem with running just water-pump seals need lube, system needs anti-corrosion.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:28 PM
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Most of the old school racers used to use a mixture of dish soap and water.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RWhisen View Post
Most of the old school racers used to use a mixture of dish soap and water.
interesting - why did they do that?
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:48 AM
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They did it for the same reason people use Water Wetter and similar products, it breaks down the surface tension of the water allowing better contact with the radiator surface and enhancing heat transfer.

Guys who do window tinting use the same process, by breaking down the surface tension of the water, they can get a more even soaking of the window without the beading of the water and makes it easier to squeegee out.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:54 AM
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What might be a good alternative would be the new "HE" laundry detergents since they do not produce suds, and are very concentrated.

or, dishwasher (not dish soap) detergent for the same reasons.

Last edited by residentg; 06-06-2010 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:38 PM
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I really don't see how it would help an engine run cooler. The thermostat is going to open at the same temp regardless.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:22 PM
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A little lesson in heat transfer:

Overall heat transfer (Q) is a function of area (A), difference in temperature (ΔT), and the heat transfer coefficient (U). Q=UAΔT This is a simplified equation, as there are many more which apply more specifically to different types of heat transfer. We'll keep it simple here. So anyway, the heat transfer coefficient changes based on material, fluid, corrosion layer, etc. In a moving fluid system, there is a boundary layer on the walls of the pipes, radiator, coolant passages in the engine, etc. This boundary layer is a thin layer of coolant that does not flow and has a low heat transfer coefficient. It's essentially "stuck" to the piping wall, and loosely based on fluid viscosity. The thickness of this boundary layer can be controlled by adding chemicals, in this case a surfactant. What it does is makes the boundary layer thinner so heat can transfer more easily, or effectively raises the heat transfer coefficient. So if U goes up, then Q goes up with no changes to A or ΔT. Questions? Good. Class dismissed.....
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:26 PM
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Will ww help significantly enough to see difference at gauge? and does anyone know where to find a cheap infrared lazer temp gun? thanks
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 996Riders View Post
Will ww help significantly enough to see difference at gauge? and does anyone know where to find a cheap infrared lazer temp gun? thanks
There are differrent types of guns, I am not sure what the differences are, but you should look into it a bit. Both Lowes and HomeDepot sell inexpensive units in the electrical section.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:34 PM
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So is Water Wetter better and safer for our bikes?
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:44 PM
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Yes and yes.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:54 PM
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just remember to use distilled water
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