At the heart of every intercooler resides the air-to-air intercooler core. The air-to-air intercooler core is the component of thesystem that exchanges hot charged air from the turbocharger for cooler air which enters your engine,the coolertheairentering your engine the more horsepower that can be extracted.With three different intercooler cores to choose from; Perforated intercooler cores, MDC (medium-density core) and HDC (High-Density Core),Treadstone has the intercooler core to suit your intercooling and turbocharging needs.
Each of the three intercooler cores has a verity of advantages when it comes to cooling efficiency, pressure drop and Airflow. To achieve this each core incorporates different technologies to maximize performance. To aid in the selection of the core, Treadstone Performance Engineering has made a comparison to the three intercooler cores we offer.
This article shows the difference between each of the cores and a brief summary of the different technologies incorporated within. Also included is the TRE Performance Scale which is for comparison purposes only. It measures the performance of the core when compared to the other cores Treadstone Performance Engineering offers and NOT the actual performance of the cores themselves--this helps distinguish each core.
When choosing a core it is imperative to choose depending on your goal. When all components are working with each other imperfect automotive harmony producing a mechanical symphony in the form of unparalleled performance from your turbo system.
TRE Performance Scale (this scale is for comparison purposes only it measures performance of the core when compared to the other cores Treadstone Performance Engineering offers, not the actual performance of the cores themselves)
The Perforated Fin CoreThe Perforated Fin is the entry level core that offers very little pressure drop and an unobstructed straight through design.These perforation offer increased surface area without airflow obstructions, which help maintain high air velocity and decreased pressure drops. The straight through design offers increased airflow, but have less fpa (fins per area), fins which aid in the cooling process.
- Low pressure drops,small airflow obstruction
- Low surface area, low cooling efficiency
- High airflow (straight through design)
Without these perforations, air would have a straight passage way through the core, and will do little to scrub the heat out of the high temp boosted air. The TR8L utilizes a perforated design and is used in our 350Z turbo kit where were only running 8-10psi, and do not need the extra cooling efficiency of the MDC structure. With this core design we have optimized the turbo system creating a very low pressure drop through the intercooler
The Medium Density Cores or MDCs are the intermediate cores that Treadstone offers, they given the name due to their staggered set of 10mm long fins compared to the high density’s 3.5” long fins. This core offers very moderate pressure drop with an increased cooling capacity(compared to perforated cores)MDC is the name given to medium density fin intercoolers. They are known as medium density fin intercoolers because of the 10mm long alternating fins and a 10 fins per inch which offer a larger increase in surface area, which add to the cooling capacity with a minor pressure
Medium Density Core
- Little pressure drops (less airflow obstruction)
- Lager Increased surface area (compared to perforated fins)
- Increased cooling capacity (increased contact area)
TRE Performance Scale (1: low to 3 : high)
- Efficiency : 2
- Pressure Drop : 2
- Airflow : 1
MDCs offer a well balanced FPA and are optimized between pressure drop and flow when using a horizontal flow intercooler. This style core is most common among our intercooler line, and is used in all of our universal horizontal flow intercoolers with a few exceptions when we opt for a perforated design like in the TR8L. Due to the increase in FPA, this core has a reduced average air velocity and lower flow rate (compared to perforated cores) which translates into a minor pressure drop. With proper turbo and component matching this slight pressure drop can be compensated for when running boost pressures in excess of 20-30psi. A22” long core length is standard among our line up, and boost pressure are easily cooled to 95% of ambient air temp when using a MDC Intercooler when running 20-30psi.
High Density Core
The HDCs or High Density Cores are cores that provide maximum cooling efficiency. The HDCs are given the name High density due to the increased FPA which is accomplished through the use of staggered fins 3.5mm long. This core offers superior cooling capacity with moderate pressure to drops.HDC is the name given to the high density fin cores. The fins much like the MDC mentioned above which offer alternating fins every 3.5mm and 10 fins per inch for increased surface/contact area at this allows the core to be the most efficient core Treadstone offers.
Our R-Rated intercoolers and cores are a great display of this. With 22 internal passage ways compared to 18, this core allows higher internal flow and less pressure drop. These cores are mainly used on side mount twin turbo applications where we can sacrifice ambient external airflow because there is not a radiator behind each core that needs air flow. Eliminating the radiators need for airflow, we can shrink the ambient fin height, and add this to internal flow. These Rated-R cores will also be found on full race intercooler set ups on large front mount intercoolers.
- Increased cooling capacity (compared to the MDC's)
- Most efficient at reducing heat
- High FPA (fins per area)
TRE Performance Scale (1:low to 3:high):
- Efficiency : 3
- Pressure Drop : 3
- Airflow : 1
HDCs are an ideal solution for those customers who need a maximum cooling rate in a small given area. These are mainly used on short runner intercoolers 6-12” runner length, which are considered our vertical flow intercoolers. Vertical flow intercoolers have very low pressure drop because of the short runner length, and are commonly used on Supercharger applications, or turbo systems with low to moderate boost 8-18psi, widely used on many V8 engines.The HDC’s FPA is the largest of all the three cores available, the larger the FPA the larger the cooling the core is able to achieve. Due to the increase in FPA and contact area the HDC does exhibit an increased pressure drop and lower flow rate when compared to perforated or MDC (medium density core) style intercoolers.