A coolant is a substance, typically liquid or gas, 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. Some applications also require the coolant to be an electrical insulator.
While the term coolant is commonly used in automotive and HVAC applications, in industrial processing heat transfer fluid is one technical term more often used in high temperature as well as low temperature manufacturing applications. The term also covers cutting fluids.
The coolant can either keep its phase and stay liquid or gaseous, or can undergo a phase transition, with the latent heat adding to the cooling efficiency. The latter, when used to achieve below-ambient temperature, is more commonly known as refrigerant.
Jan. 12nd, 2018