The Evolving Heat Exchanger Market for 3xxx Series Extrusions
Martin Hartlieb, Alcan Inc., Alcan Primary Metal Group, Montreal, QC, Canada
Track: MANAGEMENT ISSUES - Market
ABSTRACT --- Heat exchangers are used in vehicles for engine cooling and air
conditioning. They are also used for residential and commercial heating, air conditioning
and refrigeration. Many heat exchangers are already all-aluminum (e.g., in automotive
applications), but some are still made in traditional copper tube - aluminum fin design.
They are generally “brazed” or “mechanically assembled” and the tubes can either be
extrusions or folded and welded sheet. The residential and commercial air conditioning
and refrigeration market (HVAC&R) is still dominated by the traditional copper tube -
aluminum fin heat exchangers, but it is of special interest for 3xxx series extruders at the
present time. It is currently going through the same transition we saw in the automotive
sector back in the 80s and 90s. The so-called “brazed aluminum micro-channel” or
“BAM” condensers are gaining market share and show a big growth potential in North
America for the coming years. This transition is partly driven by regulatory changes, but
also by technical advantages and economics. This paper shows the potential in the
residential and commercial HVAC&R industry for 3xxx series extruders and those
considering this market as an opportunity to expand or diversify their current business.
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