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  Ask the Expert - Coolant Filters

The Need For Coolant Additives
According to the information supplied by the leading heavy-duty engine manufacturers, 40% of all premature engine failures can be traced to some deficiency in the cooling system. Neglecting maintenance can be costly. Engine Coolant performs a number of important functions:
  • Removes heat
  • Lubricates components (such as water pumps)
  • Provides freeze protection
  • Prevents scale-sludge formation
  • Protects against corrosion
The first three functions can be accomplished by using a low-silicate antifreeze and water mixture, which is commonly referred to as coolant. Additional chemicals must be introduced to the system to prevent scale and sludge formation and to provide corrosion protection. To achieve these functions, Supplemental Coolant Additives must be added to the system either as a liquid or as a dissolving solid contained in the coolant filter. SCAs typically contain inhibitors designed to prevent generalized corrosion, as well as cavitation erosion; polymers that keep hard water scale from depositing on engine surfaces; and buffers to reduce the acidity of the coolant. When used according to manufacturers' recommendations, most SCAs are beneficial.

Baldwin's Balanced Treatment for Ethylene Glycol (BTE) is a borate/nitrite-based inhibitor system. This formulation has proven to be successful in preventing coolant system corrosion for more than twenty years. When used at recommended pre-charge and maintenance dosages, Baldwin BTE will maintain balanced inhibitor levels throughout the coolant's working life.

Why BTE?
Baldwin Filters' Balanced Treatment for Ethylene Glycol (BTE) is a borate/nitrite-based inhibitor system. This formulation can only be used with 40 to 60 percent antifreeze solutions. BTE is a superior Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA) for use in all applications except plain water. Used in proper concentration, BTE will provide superior protection against cavitation erosion, corrosion, scale and foaming.

Independent lab tests show BTE to have the lowest total dissolved solids, the best corrosion resistance, and cavitation erosion protection equal to or better than any product on the market today. Lower total dissolved solids means fewer water pump leaks when BTE is used as recommended. Cavitation erosion protection that is better than nitrate/molybdate SCA systems means superior defense against liner pitting. Combustion gases and atmospheric conditions can lead to corroded aluminum, copper, solder, brass and cast iron components. BTE has an advanced chemical system to provide corrosion resistance to protect these vital engine components.

In summary, the benefits of BTE are:
  • Uses nitrite for cavitation erosion (liner pitting) protection
  • Eliminates pump seepage caused by granular precipitation on seals due to the lowest total dissolved solids.
  • Controls solder bloom
  • Reduces foaming caused by piston slap and the circulation of the coolant
  • Neutralizes acids from the by-products of combustion, various metals and normal corrosion
  • Protects all metal components, including aluminum
Baldwin BTE is an excellent match for the SCAs currently used and recommended by Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Mack and Navistar. It is a direct replacement for DCA2 on earlier Cummins engines. Although compatible with DCA4, Baldwin recommends draining and cleaning the coolant system prior to converting a newer Cummins engine. BTE is also compatible with Nalcool 2000 and 3000. Baldwin recommends the use of BTE with 30 to 60 percent ethylene and/or propylene glycol low silicate antifreeze. A well-maintained system will provide two years or 200,000 to 250,000 miles of service.

BW5200 Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is "Controlled Release"?
The BW5200 and BW5201 are coolant filters that contain "Controlled Release" Supplemental Coolant Additive (SCA). The filter is designed to release our BTE Coolant Additive, which protects diesel engine coolant systems, over a long period of time.

BTE is a proprietary Baldwin Filters Supplemental Coolant Additive that contains chemicals to prevent cavitation erosion of wet sleeve liners, inhibit corrosion of the heat exchange elements in the system and prevent scale formation on engine parts.

2. How do "Controlled Release" filters work?
Specifically designed metering orifices direct the flow of coolant past a chamber containing SCA pellets coated with a chemically-engineered surface treatment. The combination of heat and flow of the coolant causes the diffusion of the SCA into the coolant through the coating. The coating does not dissolve, it remains behind as the coolant passes from the chamber through a filter designed of synthetic fibers. The filter media was developed to capture any contaminants that could be in the coolant system and to survive in high heat and fluid flow over extended periods of time.

3. Will the coating on the pellets enter my system?
The polymer coating on the pellets is non-soluble, this means it will not dissolve in the coolant. As an extra measure of insurance that not even the smallest particle will enter the coolant system, we have designed the filter to route all the coolant through the filter element before it goes back into the coolant system.

4. Why is "Controlled Release" better than the competition?
Extensive Field Testing
After 5 years in development, and over 3 million miles of field testing, Baldwin Filters' "Controlled Release" coolant filters transcend the offerings of our competitors. The Baldwin Filters "Controlled Release" filters utilize a patented process that allows Supplemental Coolant Additives to be released into your coolant system only when heat and coolant flow are present. Our field tests show that the supplemental additives are released at an even rate. This is important because competitors' filters can "dump" all the additives at once, potentially over-charging the system, leading to additive drop out. The other extreme is not releasing enough additives, towards the end of a maintenance period and leaving the system vulnerable to cavitation erosion and corrosion.

Better By Design
With the "Controlled Release" coolant filters all coolant is conditioned with coolant additives prior to being filtered. This ensures that no undissolved particles from the chemical mass can enter the system. It also ensures that the flow control orifice cannot be plugged. The competitive products have a flow pattern that routes the coolant through the filter element first, leaving the possibility that solids could plug the flow control orifice. This would disable the filter, stopping the SCAs from entering the system and leaving engine components unprotected.

High Capacity, High Strength Media
The media is a high capacity synthetic media designed to trap contaminants and maintain its structure through a long service interval. The high efficiency synthetic media used in some competitive products has very low capacity to hold contaminants before plugging, leaving the system vulnerable. Once the filter plugs, the flow stops and no SCAs are released to protect the system. The media used in other primary competitor products is cellulose. On our simulated service laboratory test stand, the media in the filter became soft and restrictive significantly reducing the flow through the filter. Without the flow, the SCAs contained within the filter cannot be released.

Competitive Product Can Leave You Exposed
One competitive long life design relies on corrosive coolant to begin the process that releases the SCAs into the coolant system. In this process, a magnesium plate is in contact with a copper centertube that holds the SCA. When the coolant becomes corrosive enough, a reaction between the magnesium plate and the copper centertube occurs. As the magnesium corrodes, the SCAs are exposed to coolant and begin to dissolve into the system. It takes considerable time before the magnesium plate corrodes enough to allow the SCAs to enter the system. The coolant system is left corrosive and unconditioned for this long time interval.

There is no correlation between the corrosion of the magnesium plate and cavitation corrosion of wet sleeve liners. A system can have low enough SCA levels to promote cavitation corrosion in wet liners, and still not be corrosive enough to release the SCA chemical in the filter. This is why the competitor insists that you test your coolant additive level at every oil change interval and add liquid SCAs to the system.

5. How do I get started?
Test your system with Baldwin Filters FleetStripTM. If below a reading of 1.2, precharge your system with one unit of SCA to one gallon of coolant. In a ten-gallon system, you would need to add 2.5 pints of BTE Liquid Coolant Additive, there are 4 units SCA per pint. If between 1.2 and 2.5 units, add one unit per 2 gallons of coolant. In a ten-gallon system, you would need to add 1 pint of BTE Liquid Coolant Additive. If above 2.5 units, no additional SCA needs to be added.

6. How often should the filter be changed?
Our "Controlled Release" Coolant Filters were designed to release coolant additive that protects vital engine components for 1 year, 150,000 miles or 4,000 hours of service. Extensive fleet testing showed that this filter maintained the proper additive concentrations for up to 150,000 miles of service, without the need to add additional SCA during the service interval.

7. Do I need to change the type of coolant I�m currently using?
Baldwin BTE Supplemental Coolant Additive is compatible with all ethylene and propylene glycol antifreezes. We recommend a 50/50 mix of low silicate antifreeze developed for diesel engines mixed with deionized water.

8. How often should I test for SCAs?
We recommend that you test at every oil change interval. If this is not possible, we suggest the system be tested at least twice a year.

9. I am currently using a nitrite and molybdate inhibitor system such as BTA PLUS or DCA4 do I need to drain and flush my system before I start with the BW5200 Controlled Release system?
If your coolant system is nearing your regularly scheduled drain interval, then the system should be drained and refilled with a 50/50 mixture of low silicate antifreeze and deionized water. Then add one unit of BTE to one gallon of water to precharge the system before installing the BW5200. If your system is not nearing the scheduled drain you can test to see that your system is in balance and install the BW5200. The chemicals are compatible with nitrite and molybdate systems.

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