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Transitioning from IAT to OAT coolant

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

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From wanting to upgrade to an Organic Acid Technology (OAT) ELC to acquiring a new equipment asset and not being sure what coolant it’s currently running, the reasons for switching from an Inorganic additive technology (IAT) to OAT can boil down to one point: “The primary benefit of an ELC is to simplify the life of the fleet equipment manager,” said Angelo Macchia, Recochem’s product manager for coolants. “The coolant provides a longer service interval compared to conventional non-OAT based product [IAT coolants]. These older IAT coolants required more monitoring to ensure the inorganic corrosion inhibitors are maintained at optimal levels, via frequent monitoring and addition of supplemental coolant additives [SCA] during the usage cycle.”

When transitioning from IAT to OAT ELC, you need to be aware of the conversion practices and ensure that you inspect and tighten the system as you go through the process. When it comes to the drain, flush and fill process, be aware that IAT coolants have the ability to mask leaks in the system due to silicates that build up over time.

“An OAT coolant will scrub these blockages away and expose existing leaks in the system,” Macchia said. “Additionally, make sure you understand your choice of OAT additive. Some types of additives such as 2-ethylhexanoic acid [2-EHA] may have compatibility concerns with certain silicon-based elastomers as found in some cooling systems. And though it may seem obvious, avoid adding nitrite-based coolant to nitrite-free coolant during subsequent fluid top-ups. That would defeat its purpose.”

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Once you’ve completed the drain, flush and fill with the new OAT coolant, Macchia stressed the importance of following the recommended preventative maintenance requirements. He also mentioned that products are available to help protect against corrosion and pointed to Recochem’s ELC coolant with ProShield technology.

“It’s important fleet managers recognize the coolant’s total cost of ownership,” he said. “Premium ELC coolants may have a higher sticker price compared to older IAT coolants, but they will prevent increased maintenance costs during their service life. The ROI is short with premium ELC products.”

For more coolant content, click here to read our full story on coolants.

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