Have you ever seen the paper plate commercials where all the food spills into the person’s lap? They’re dramatized of course, but many of us have had at least a close call we can relate to with a similar circumstance. Most people will either opt to buy the heavier paper plates or know that if you’re loading it with heavy food to use a minimum of two plates together. Or, there’s always the option of putting a wicker or plastic plate made for this purpose under a single paper plate for support. Ultimately, isn’t what matters is the use of the plate and the gauge of paper plate that you choose?

Where heavy duty radiator cores are concerned, there’s really only one choice. The best cooling and quality is always determined by the gauge of the materials used. Let’s begin with why a radiator core is being defined as heavy duty. Is the company selling the product referring to a 379 Peterbilt radiator core as heavy duty because the application of the truck is heavy duty? Or, because the product they are providing is built with heavy gauged materials? This is a play on words used for marketing purposes meant to mislead the consumer. For the record, American Radiator refers to the heavy duty cores in this way to define the materials used in their product offerings.

So, let’s talk specifically about the materials. The body of the radiator core is made up of a series of fins and tubes which are being subjected to different punishments. First is the constant air flow. Ever see a flag in the wind with frayed ends? Similarly, air flow is a constant wear on the fins and tubes. The lower gauged (or thinner) materials will wear faster than heavier gauged. Secondly, the body of the radiator core is exposed to debris. Heavier gauged materials are going to combat this issue better because it greatly reduces the possibility of puncture to a tube (thereby causing a leak) or tearing the fins and decreasing the amount of fin surface and heat transfer capabilities.

In heavy duty heat transfer, quantity makes all the difference. Generally speaking, the size of a T600 Kenworth core can only be one size. It needs to be made a specific height and width in order to fit into the framework. However, the amount of materials within the required space determines its’ cooling capabilities. For instance, if a manufacture puts more space between the fins and tubes they are still building the core the same height and width, but using much less material within the same dimensions. The result is less cooling for the heavy duty truck and greater risk to overheating.

The practice of charging the same or more for less to consumers is not something that is unheard of. There was a story about a man that worked for a company that jarred olives and suggested that one less olive was put in each jar which resulted in saving the company a great deal of money. But, the consumer ended up paying the same for less. What are the chances that the olive company used this as a marketing ploy? Pretty slim chance as no company would actively promote “pay more for less”. Yet that is exactly what manufactures can do with the number of fins and tubes in your radiator core.