In the UK the most common type of heating is a ‘wet’ system where hot water from a boiler is pumped through radiators that then give off their heat to the room. But all radiators are not the same. Not only do they come in different sizes, but they can be made of different materials too and this affects how they work.
Cast Iron Radiators
These are the older traditional type of radiator that you’ll often see in public and commercial buildings. The material holds heat well because of its thickness, and this also helps them to resist corrosion so they have a long service life.
A drawback of this type is that they are very heavy and bulky and therefore difficult to install, and the internal surfaces are rough, which leads to a build-up of plaque over time that can reduce the efficiency of the system. Cast iron radiators also need painting regularly throughout their life in order to ensure their longevity.
Although they are relatively uncommon, aluminum radiators such as those from http://apolloradiators.co.uk/Category/3/header/3/radiator-ranges are very effective thanks to aluminum’s high thermal conductivity. They are also light and easy to install and can work at the high pressures often used by modern combi boiler systems.
The downside is that aluminum is sensitive to corrosion, so it’s essential to have a corrosion inhibitor in the system and have it checked regularly to give your radiators a long life.
Steel radiators are the most common type you’ll encounter in UK homes. They are made of two pressed steel panels that are welded together. They are relatively light and slim, so they are suitable for heating smaller rooms and properties. They come in a wide range of sizes, so you can usually find one to suit your needs. They are also efficient at transferring heat to the room with a convection heat flow of around 75 percent.
The panels are made of a low-carbon steel that is resistant to corrosion. They also receive a phosphate treatment, and the outer panels have a powder coating that helps prolong the life of the radiator. Nonetheless, it’s still important to have corrosion inhibitor in the system to ensure that the system has a long life.