Antifreeze: Pure glycol (typically 95%) with an inhibitor package added. Antifreeze can not be used by itself, it must be mixed with water before being put into the engine’s cooling system.
Azole: These chemicals provide copper and brass protection. The two most common are MBT (Mercaptobenzothiazole) and TT (or TTZ) (Tolyltriazole).
Borate: a very soluble pH buffer used in premium antifreezes.
Coolant: Antifreeze mixed with water, or water mixed with an additive package for use in warm climates.
Conventional or Inorganic coolant: by far the most common type of coolant, usually flourescent green to green. May contain some or a combination of the following depenting on formulation. Phosphates, nitrites, nitrates, TTZ, borates, silicates, molybdates and MBT.
Conventional Coolant: Ethylene glycol that contains a corrosion inhibition package consisting of inorganic inhibitors such as silicate, phosphate, nitrate, and azoles.
Fully Formulated antifreeze or coolant. A modern product that contains all of the necessary inhibitors for both diesel and gasoline powered engines. (TMC RP-329 or TMC RP-330 specifications)
Ethylene Glycol: The most common base used in the manufacturing of antifreeze.
Nitrate: A corrosion inhibitor that provides solder and aluminum protection.
pH: A measure of the alkalinity of the coolant.
Phosphate: An inexpensive pH buffer. Phosphate is used in some antifreeze brands. It is not permitted in coolant used to protect Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen MTU or Detroit Diesel engines.
Propylene Glycol: A less toxic, but more costly, alternative to Ethylene Glycol.
Reserve Alkalinity: A measurement of the number of milliliters of acid that is required to reduce the pH of a coolant sample to 5.5. A quality control tool.
Silicate: The primary conventional inhibitor for aluminum. In heavy duty coolants, lower (less than 250 ppm) silicate concentrations are generally preferred.