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The following technical information allows the reader to know more about the fan blade and its functioning within the cooling system of an internal combustion engine. Besides, you will find the selection criteria to acquire the correct replacement for your fan blade and some tips about the common problems presented in this device.
A fan blade consists of a device that rotates to take air from the atmosphere and addresses it -at high speed- to a specific point. The fan blade is an essential component of a forklift cooling system; it allows the air passing through the radiator to lower the coolant temperature.
How a fan blade works Generally, a fan blade of a cooling system is designed to supply the airflow against pressure loss. It could work in two ways: mechanically or electrically. When the fan blade works with a mechanical system, it starts working when the engine is running. Afan belt connects the crankshaft with other equipment, including the fan blade. So, the belt transmits the rotational energy from the crankshaft to the pulley, making the fan blade spin. This type of fan uses a clutch which can be thermal or non-thermal.
In the case of a thermal fan, a clutch uses a bi-metal thermal sensor that expands or contracts, depending on the system's heat. This sensor permits the clutch to decouple when the engine is cold.
On the other hand, a non-thermal fan clutch is moving continuously at a 30 -60 percent rate compared to the water pump speed.
If the fan works electrically, the system will be composed of a motor, a fan shroud, and the fan blade. The motor and the fan blade will be mounted on the shroud positioned directly on the radiator. It uses a DC motor that runs or remains turned off depending on the temperature detected by a control unit or a temperature switch.
Fan blade types
It is the most common type of fan blade used in a forklift cooling system. Its name comes from its working principle. When this blade type functions, it exerts a suction force that draws the air to be expelled on the other side with a high flow rate.
Unlike axial fans, the direction of the air that draws this type of fan is expelled at 90 degrees; it is commonly used in applications with high pressure, such as vacuum cleaners or hair dryers.
How to choose the correct forklift fan blade
The fan blade's part number is the surest way to find the correct replacement. The design of this device depends on the requirements of the cooling system, but also the manufacturer, as is shown in the following video where a Toyota fan blade is compared with other makers:
For the selection of the suitable fan blade, the following aspects are taken into consideration:
Dimensions: The new fan blade must match the fan blade damaged in parameters such as large holes, the distance between large holes, and its profile. In this way, we can assure the new fan can work in the physical space available. Figure 3 shows how dimensions are to be taken.
The number of blades: this criterion is essential, given that if the quantity of blades is greater than the blade designed for that system, the motor or pulley will require more power to make the fan rotate, and therefore the airflow rate is less. Commonly the fan blades have 5 or 6 blades.
Construction material: Most of the forklift fan blades are made of metal std or PVC std. Considering that it will work in a hot environment, the construction materials must be resistant to high temperatures and comply with safety requirements. Figure 4 shows a metal std forklift fan blade.
Common problems related to a fan blade
Although a fan blade is just a piece that rotates, it is fundamental for cooling the coolant, which controls the engine body temperature. If the fan does not work correctly, and the air flowing through the radiator will not be enough to lower the temperature of the hot coolant. It causes that the cooling will not be optimal, and it will cause an overheating of your forklift.
Despite a good quality fan blade design is durable, an external agent such as stones, screws, nuts, or other objects might cause physical damage to the blade. If this occurs and the damage is significant, the replacement of the fan blade is required.
Other times the malfunction of the fan blade is associated with another component that prevents the fan from rotating. Here are the common problems that a defective cooling system fan could cause:
Loud coming from the cooling fan: It is common when the clutch gets stuck and the decoupling is not performed. It causes the fan to work at full speed when the engine is hot and cold, causing excessive drag. It makes the performance of the fan decrease every time more. In this case, the fan clutch must be checked and replaced if it is required.
The electric fan does not work: If the motor, a sensor, or circuit fuse is damaged, it does not permit the fan blade to rotate. The forklift will run until the engine presents an overheating condition.
A fan blade consists of a device that rotates to take air from the atmosphere and addresses it -at high speed- to a specific point. This device allows the air passing through the radiator to lower the coolant temperature in a forklift cooling system.
The fan blade could work with a mechanical or electrical system.
The most common type of fan blade used in forklifts is the axial fan.
The part number is the easy way to find the correct fan blade. Other essential parameters in a good quality fan blade are the dimensions, the number of blades, and the material used for its construction.
External damage is the most common cause for a fan blade replacement.
Our team knows how frustrating it can get when you're looking for a specific part and end up getting the wrong one. Let's help you to find a suitable forklift fan blade according to your requirements and specifications.