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Difference between Aftercooler and Intercooler

Difference between Aftercooler and Intercooler

When it comes to automotive technology, understanding the components and their exact functions can be difficult. Aftercoolers and intercoolers have similar roles in managing engine temperatures, but they go about it in different ways – with aftercoolers using air to cool internal combustion engines while intercoolers use the cooled liquid. Learn more about these two crucial automotive parts and when each should be used by reading on!

What is an Aftercooler?

  • An Aftercooler is an essential piece of technology used to bring molecules down to a temperature that can be handled safely. Aftercoolers are machines that circulate a cooling solution through an outer shell, where the workpiece resides.
  • When this occurs, the workpiece is cooled faster than it would if it only relied on convection to cool down. Aftercoolers are widely used in various industrial applications due to their ability to provide fast and effective cooling on pieces of machinery that cannot be handled in other ways.
  • Aftercoolers are designed with safety in mind and demand regular maintenance checks in order to ensure they’re working properly at all times – making them invaluable when operating large-scale machinery with difficult-to-manage internal temperatures.

What is Intercooler?

  • Intercoolers are a key component of modern automotive engines, providing improved cooling efficiency and power output. Intercoolers help reduce the temperature of air coming from the turbocharger or supercharger by cycling it through an intercooler’s heat exchanger.
  • In doing so, Intercoolers manipulate air before it reaches the engine, enabling more complete combustion for increased performance and extended engine life.
  • Intercoolers also help with turbo lag, allowing drivers to experience smoother acceleration by increasing overall driving efficiency while preventing potential engine damage caused by excessive boost levels. Intercoolers are a great example of how technology and engineering can maximize vehicle performance while also protecting engines from harmful levels of stress.

Difference between Aftercooler and Intercooler

Aftercoolers and Intercoolers are both important components of many machines, but they serve quite different functions.

  • Aftercoolers act as a radiator, cooling the air that is pushed through the machine after combustion or other processes.
  • Intercoolers, however, cool compressed air during a specific process before it is used in more powerful tasks.
  • Aftercoolers can be found in standard engines and larger machinery while Intercoolers are common in industrial applications such as turbochargers or gas turbine engines.

Knowing the distinction between Aftercooler and Intercooler systems is an important part of understanding how powerful machines function.


Both aftercoolers and intercoolers are used to cool air that has been compressed by a compressor. An aftercooler is typically located between the last stage of compression and the point of use, while an intercooler is located between consecutive stages of compression. Aftercoolers are more efficient than intercoolers because they have less pressure drop and require less maintenance.

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