Garrett performance intercoolers and intercooler cores work together with the turbocharger as part of the total induction system. When air is compressed in the turbocharger it gains a lot of heat. Hot air is less dense and therefore is not able to produce as much energy because less can be fed into the engines cylinders. The job of the intercooler is to remove heat from the charge air making it more dense. The denser charge equals more air and fuel reaching the engine and that translates to more horsepower.
Induction System Flow
In this diagram you can see the flow of the total induction system. As fresh air enters the compressor inlet, it flows through the compressor housing. Once discharged, the next stop is the intercooler. The air flows horizontally through the intercooler where heat is extracted. The cooler, higher density charge air then flows into the engine’s intake manifold and into the engine cylinders where it is mixed with fuel. The spark from the spark plug causes the mixture to combust. The air exits the engine through the exhaust manifold and into the turbine inlet where it is used to drive the shaft of the turbo.
Garrett intercooler cores are bar and plate horizontal flow design. Charge air from the turbo flows within enclosed passages in one direction, with separate cooling passages flowing cooler ambient air in a perpendicular cross-flow pattern to the charge air. In bar and plate designs the passages consist of plates on top and bottom with fins in between. The passages are enclosed by bars on either side depending on if it is a charge air passage or an ambient air/cooling passage. Passages are stacked alternately until the desired stack height is reached. On the sides of the stacked cores, added to the final passage is a side plate of thicker material to provide structural integrity, protect the more delicate fins, and provide a surface for welding on end tanks if desired.
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SOURCE: Garrett Advancing Motion