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Silver or black intercoolers????


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Interestingly, what is worth noting that black also absorbs heat more as well as radiating it. In an FMIC situation this is ideal.

So the question is, in a TMIC situation, is the temperature in the engine bay higher than the air temperature going through the IC from the inlet side of the turbo.

If it is, painting it black will have an opposite effect, and absorb more I would of thought. Painting the IC casing white should prevent this I would of thought.

If the engine bay temperature is lower, then paint is black.

Edited by -Stealth-
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Interesting watch. Good find Steve

But aren't these the guys that said a standard induction worked as well as an aftermarket ? Which was proved wrong :)

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Yep Steve they were, season 4 episode 7, they report a tiny increase in performance

Anyhow... Back on topic

Thought it would be worth posting up and sharing, as I've heard painting intercoolers reduce performance, and the paint acts as an insulator.

But their results, even though was basic, were surprising

Next question, what about the intercooler pipes?

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I would have thought that you do want to insulate the pipes, so you don't get heat transfer to the cold air coming in ?

And with an exhaust, you insulate to stop the heat coming out :)

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Black body radiation - black is better than white is better than silver and matt is better than gloss so matt black would be best but at the normal temps of an intercooler there is little difference between black and white but polished metal surfaces do reduce the heat loss. Adding a layer of paint can act as an insulator so a thin layer of thermally conductive matt black paint would in theory be best.

The big BUT is that most of the heat is transferred by conduction and convection i.e. air coming in contact with the hot surface and being replaced by cold air so in reality surface colour will have little effect on heat transfer. The thing to watch out for is painting will often reduce the air flow through the intercooler so reducing hear transfer and your average paint will almost certainly be an poorer conductor than aluminium.

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