What is a Coolant?

A coolant is a substance, typically liquid, that is used to reduce or regulate the temperature of a system.

An ideal coolant has high thermal capacity, low viscosity, is low-cost, non-toxic, chemically inert and neither causes nor promotes corrosion of the cooling system.

What makes a good coolant?

Water is the most common coolant. Its high heat capacity and low cost make it a suitable heat-transfer medium.

What is the most common coolant?

Refrigerant as coolant

Refrigerants are coolants used for reaching low temperatures by undergoing phase change between liquid and gas.

Liquid air is used to a lesser extent, due to its liquid oxygen content which makes it prone to cause fire or explosions when in contact with combustible materials

Liquid air as coolant

Liquid hydrogen is also used both as a fuel and as a coolant to cool nozzles and combustion chambers of rocket engines.

Liquid hydrogen for rocket engines 

Dry ice and water ice can be also used as coolants, when in direct contact with the structure being cooled.

Dry ice and water ice

Sulfur hexafluoride is used for cooling and insulating of some high-voltage power systems (circuit breakers, switches, some transformers, etc.).

Sulfur hexafluoride

Mineral oils serve as both coolants and lubricants in many mechanical gears. Some vegetable oils, e.g. castor oil are also used.

Mineral oil as coolant

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