MicroGroove Copper Preferred over MicroChannel Aluminum in ACR Applications, Says International Copper Association

Advantages Include Familiar Manufacturing Methods, Superior Performance and Durability

New York, NY (April 18, 2012) — The International Copper Association today announced the advantages of MicroGroove technology compared to microchannel aluminum in air conditioning and refrigeration applications.

According to the ICA, MicroGroove technology consists of smaller diameter copper tubes with enhanced surfaces. Both features contribute to improved rates of heat transfer between the refrigerant and the tube walls, making it possible to use less material in smaller, lighter evaporators and condenser coils. Smaller diameter refrigerant paths also could be realized with extruded aluminum tubes, whereby several channels are produced in one flat, ribbon-like tube.

Round copper tubes offer several important advantages over aluminum microchannel tubes:

  • Many OEMs have already realized increases in heat transfer using round copper tubes without the added costs and risks associated with aluminum brazing.
  • In evaporator applications, moisture is more readily removed from the evaporator coils because there are no flat tubes between the fins but rather the fins surround round copper tubes, allowing for easy drainage.
  • Durability is an issue. For most environments, copper tubes are preferred over aluminum tubes on the basis of durability and corrosion resistance. Copper is proven as a tube material in ACR applications. Costly coating processes, as often required for all aluminum heat exchangers, are not necessary.
  • MicroGroove coils can offer smaller refrigerant volumes than microchannel coils because the tube ends are connected by small U-joints rather than bulky headers.

"In summary, MicroGroove tubes provide all of the advantages of smaller diameter tubes without the drawbacks of aluminum and the overhead of aluminum brazing," says Nigel Cotton, MicroGroove Team Leader for the International Copper Association.

For more information, visit www.microgroove.net.

About ICA

The International Copper Association, Ltd. (ICA) is the leading organization for promoting the use of copper worldwide. ICA’s mission is to promote the use of copper by communicating the unique attributes that make this sustainable element an essential contributor to the formation of life, to advances in science and technology, and to a higher standard of living worldwide. Visit www.copperinfo.com for more information about ICA.