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Nickel, Copper, and Silver...oh my.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I've bought and started installing an EK block on my GTX 680, in a loop with copper CPU blocks. There's a lot of conflicting information out there regarding mixing these all, with recommendations of coolants to use and to avoid copper sulfate, silver kills, and distilled water on the EK instructions.

 

I'm trying to make heads or tails here, because lots of info out there says basically that it's all good more or less until you start mixing in aluminum since that's way at the other end of the Galvanic Corrosion spectrum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

 

Is anyone able to give a clear answer on this subject? EK's instructions are to buy their innert cooling fluids because mixing copper or silver along with distilled water could corrode their blocks...but people use silver with copper all the time here, and copper is more reactive on the Galvanic scale than nickel.

 

Should I be concerned at all, or just proceed with my loop using distilled water, silver kill and some biocide as planned, and brush it off as a bit of an old wives' tale?

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post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kweechy View Post

So I've bought and started installing an EK block on my GTX 680, in a loop with copper CPU blocks. There's a lot of conflicting information out there regarding mixing these all, with recommendations of coolants to use and to avoid copper sulfate, silver kills, and distilled water on the EK instructions.

I'm trying to make heads or tails here, because lots of info out there says basically that it's all good more or less until you start mixing in aluminum since that's way at the other end of the Galvanic Corrosion spectrum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

Is anyone able to give a clear answer on this subject? EK's instructions are to buy their innert cooling fluids because mixing copper or silver along with distilled water could corrode their blocks...but people use silver with copper all the time here, and copper is more reactive on the Galvanic scale than nickel.

Should I be concerned at all, or just proceed with my loop using distilled water, silver kill and some biocide as planned, and brush it off as a bit of an old wives' tale?

Technically speaking because they aren't all exactly the same they will all suffer/cause corrosion. At any rate, Silver, Nickel and Copper are all right next to eachother on the table, and Brass is almost identical to copper on the table. You'll find brass in almost every radiator, nickel plating on fittings and silver for the killcoil; in my loop (now 3 years old, give or take, I have no signs of corrosion; though the brass (most anodic) is probably coroded a bit, but I can't see it, and it doesn't flake like copper and nickel plating do. I run nothing but distilled, and a silver killcoil. I have a nickel plated block and fittings, with a copper (and presumably brass) radiator. You are correct though, mixing something anodic with something cathodic will cause nothing but problems.

Also, RRTech and others will note that EK was looking for excuses for the shoddy plating on their blocks from not too long ago, RR bought numerous blocks brand new, inspected all of them under a microscope before running water through them and saw issues on most. In his (and my own) opinion, the correct course of action would have been to admit that the blocks had plating issues, point the finger at the company responsible for the plating, and offering a replacement plan for defective blocks, should the consumer choose to (since it only directly affects aesthetics, for the foreseable lifetime of the product)
Edited by Xaero252 - 12/10/12 at 1:32am
    
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post #3 of 12
I will try as best I can not to mix metals. So nickel plating is out for me. I'll polish my copper parts from time to time if need be, No silver for me either.
And I will make use of a sacrificial anode (brass maybe) to slow down galvanic corrosion of other metals inside my loop.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post


Technically speaking because they aren't all exactly the same they will all suffer/cause corrosion. At any rate, Silver, Nickel and Copper are all right next to eachother on the table, and Brass is almost identical to copper on the table. You'll find brass in almost every radiator, nickel plating on fittings and silver for the killcoil; in my loop (now 3 years old, give or take, I have no signs of corrosion; though the brass (most anodic) is probably coroded a bit, but I can't see it, and it doesn't flake like copper and nickel plating do. I run nothing but distilled, and a silver killcoil. I have a nickel plated block and fittings, with a copper (and presumably brass) radiator. You are correct though, mixing something anodic with something cathodic will cause nothing but problems.
Also, RRTech and others will note that EK was looking for excuses for the shoddy plating on their blocks from not too long ago, RR bought numerous blocks brand new, inspected all of them under a microscope before running water through them and saw issues on most. In his (and my own) opinion, the correct course of action would have been to admit that the blocks had plating issues, point the finger at the company responsible for the plating, and offering a replacement plan for defective blocks, should the consumer choose to (since it only directly affects aesthetics, for the foreseable lifetime of the product)

So basically, aluminum is bad news of course...but when it comes to nickel, copper, silver, and brass, they're more or less close enough together on the Galvanic scale that it's no real worry for years.

 

Very good to know, and basically exactly what I was thinking.

 

Feels like a lot of info out there is a bit of a scare tactic to get you buying expensive fluids.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

I will try as best I can not to mix metals. So nickel plating is out for me. I'll polish my copper parts from time to time if need be, No silver for me either.
And I will make use of a sacrificial anode (brass maybe) to slow down galvanic corrosion of other metals inside my loop.

 

 

Is that superstition though or have you had bad experiences mixing nickel with copper/silver?

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post #5 of 12
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/01/24/corrosion-explored/
Martin is where it's at !

+1. Martin's the man for quality tests and info.

You bought EK, the source of the MEGA Nickel plating controversy. Yet, you don't want to follow their directions... Keep your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong, and if it does have fun explaining the periodic table to them wink.gif.

FYI: Koolance also recommends no silver coils with their Nickel products, see this thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1223665/koolances-policy-on-nickel-silver-and-flaking-corrosion-whatever-you-call-the-nickel-coming-off/0_50
Quote:
Koolance's product warranty does not cover the use of 3rd-party coolants, coolant additives, or corrosion. Koolance LIQ-702 or LIQ-705 coolants are strongly recommended to help avoid issues with mixed metals or biological growth. Additionally, do not use aluminum with bare (unplated) copper or bare (unplated) brass in the same system. Do not use silver with nickel in the same system.

I realize the majority of Water cooling builders use distilled + silver coil, I have too, but after spending a couple hundred on H2O parts, why not spend $5-$10 on a corrosion inhibitor, or $15-$20/liter on coolant to be on the safe side?

Just my 2 cents.

P.S. Yes, I have seen corrosion on MY previous nickel parts before.
post #7 of 12
Mayhems XT-1 has inhibitors and biocide. Add 5% to your DI water and you won't even need a kill koil. You can also mix any of their dyes to the solution if you so wish. thumb.gif
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rognin View Post

Mayhems XT-1 has inhibitors and biocide. Add 5% to your DI water and you won't even need a kill koil. You can also mix any of their dyes to the solution if you so wish. thumb.gif

Good find! I'll be sure to try this clear one on my next build.

Simply put, all metals, and I mean ALL METALS eventually corrode. yes ..... even stainless steel. And my next loop will cost in excess of 900$ (3xGPU block, CPU block, Mobo block, 4x4.120 rads). So I am going to do best I can to prevent galvanic corrosion.

For starters, no silver or nickel in my loop, all bare copper. If I can find plastic fittings, I'll use those. I would love to see copper fittings, I don't know why nobody makes those. Brass is what I will probably end up using.

Now bare copper might be too much of a PITA to keep looking sharp so if I get tired of polishing my blocks, I'll just paint the exposed copper parts of my blocks. I could even use copper paint for a near perfect match.

I also plan on using a sacrificial anode and that Mayhem XT-1 stuff looks like I should give it a try.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

Good find! I'll be sure to try this clear one on my next build.
Simply put, all metals, and I mean ALL METALS eventually corrode. yes ..... even stainless steel. And my next loop will cost in excess of 900$ (3xGPU block, CPU block, Mobo block, 4x4.120 rads). So I am going to do best I can to prevent galvanic corrosion.
For starters, no silver or nickel in my loop, all bare copper. If I can find plastic fittings, I'll use those. I would love to see copper fittings, I don't know why nobody makes those. Brass is what I will probably end up using.
Now bare copper might be too much of a PITA to keep looking sharp so if I get tired of polishing my blocks, I'll just paint the exposed copper parts of my blocks. I could even use copper paint for a near perfect match.
I also plan on using a sacrificial anode and that Mayhem XT-1 stuff looks like I should give it a try.

Mines been running at -21c all day today. The liquid doesn't gel up, and I've used it in my computer (15-85 mix) and haven't had a problem yet.

Ohh yeah one small problem, when some water evaporates in your loop (this is normal), it will leave a small greenish blue film in the reservoir. I've found nothing in the blocks, pumps, tubes or rads. It just seems to accumulate in the reservoir. Easy to clean and doesn't stain, but after about 8 to 10 months of constant use (I fold) you'll see it on the edges of where your water level is in the reservoir (so it takes a while to even appear). When you top up the water they clear out (visually), but stay there until you take the loop apart for maintenance. At which point your res is nice and clean again. Although it may be that I use a bigger dose that what you should use (15% instead of 5%) or it may also be a problem with the water I'm using (de-mineralised) instead of DI water. In anycase, all my blocks were clean and with no signs of corrosion.

thumb.gif
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post #10 of 12
Are you using the clear one?
Mine should be above 0 Celsius so a 5% solution should not show nearly as much.
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