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galvanized nails as sacrificial anode in mixed metal loop?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
i cannibalized a couple all in one coolers and right now am running distilled water and silver in my loop. i know i need to stop corrosion, so i was wondering if anyone had tried using zinc for that. galvanized nails have zinc and are readily available so i would probably use one of those. looking forward to your thoughts on this.
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post #2 of 10
Why not just use some Eth Glycol in it?
post #3 of 10
To my understanding corrosion will begin >1year after you seal the loop... I read awhile back a distilled water only loop can go 2 years without corrosion...

I am testing that theory. Lol, I've got a distilled water only loop and havent had 1 issue since I filled it, been going strong since November....
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakewalk_S View Post

To my understanding corrosion will begin >1year after you seal the loop... I read awhile back a distilled water only loop can go 2 years without corrosion...

I am testing that theory. Lol, I've got a distilled water only loop and havent had 1 issue since I filled it, been going strong since November....

well i think it depends on the electrolyte concentration, temperature and maybe some other factors. if you have all similar metals you shouldnt have to worry about it really
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatelolcats View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakewalk_S View Post

To my understanding corrosion will begin >1year after you seal the loop... I read awhile back a distilled water only loop can go 2 years without corrosion...

I am testing that theory. Lol, I've got a distilled water only loop and havent had 1 issue since I filled it, been going strong since November....

well i think it depends on the electrolyte concentration, temperature and maybe some other factors. if you have all similar metals you shouldnt have to worry about it really

Correct...

and the key is you cannibalized AIOs. Zinc is not the solution in this situation. Ethylene Glycol or some other inhibitor would be the route to go. If you want EG that doesn't have other inhibitor packages in it (vehicle antifreeze) then buy Swiftech Hydrx or Feser Base. Feser Base is clear and just mostly EG and a little water in a small bottle. You don't need much because you are not using it to change the freezing point.

AIOs are probably going to be operating at a higher temp than a normal loop so it is especially important to use a corrosion inhibitor.
Edited by givmedew - 9/17/13 at 10:23pm
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post #6 of 10
OK that makes sense, the rad is all aluminum and the cooler plate is copper. Sos advised that you just mix in a little bit of antifreeze to the distilled water in the loop and your set?
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakewalk_S View Post

OK that makes sense, the rad is all aluminum and the cooler plate is copper. Sos advised that you just mix in a little bit of antifreeze to the distilled water in the loop and your set?

Yes correct... anti-freeze is a catch all term it isn't a type of chemical or specific mixture of chemicals or whatnot. It could be a lot of different things but all automotive anti-freeze has corrosion inhibitors in it. The most important ingredient is ethylene glycol and some of the other ingredients really have no place in a low temperature cooling system like what we have in computers some of it has a lot of science behind it and it is all designed for the harsh conditions of a vehicle cooling system.

For our purposes ethylene glycol alone is all you need.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
ok i put about 1/3 of 50/50 antifreeze in. hopefully that is enough to prevent problems. its the green kind so it glows and looks cool under UV

but id' still like to know,
why isnt zinc a good solution?
Edited by ihatelolcats - 9/18/13 at 5:04pm
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post #9 of 10
I am not a chemist and I am not saying that it is not a good solution. Ethylene Glycol is a good solution and more than plenty for a water cooling loop with dissimilar metals. Car antifreeze has even more than just ethylene glycol in it to inhibit corrosion. If zinc does an amazing job with aluminum and other metals then it might be present in that mix. I don't know what is in the additive package though.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatelolcats View Post

ok i put about 1/3 of 50/50 antifreeze in. hopefully that is enough to prevent problems. its the green kind so it glows and looks cool under UV

but id' still like to know,
why isnt zinc a good solution?

Zinc won't work. What you're talking about is refereed to as a sacrificial anode. The problem with mixing metals is they have what's called their standard electrode potential, and cathodic metals will leach electrons from anodes. The leaching of electrons will drastically increase the corrosion rate of the anode.

Here are the following electrode potentials of the metals you've said your using in order from anodic to cathodic:

Aluminum -1.67v

Zinc -0.76

Copper +0.34v

Silver +0.80v



Notice how Aluminum is more anodic than Zinc? yeah.....

You'd need something along the lines of calcium, or magnesium in your loop to act as a sacrificial anode, but once you start throwing things like that in your loop you're playing with fire, and I'm sure you know what they say about playing with fire.



Use an ethylene glycol coolant. I don't recommend using car antifreeze, as vehicles are designed to run at ultrahigh deltatemps. The coolant in your cars system is around 195fahrenheit, about 95.5celsius, and the components your vehicle is cooling are even hotter than that. Beyond that, it not only is designed to decrease freezing temp, but also to increase it's boiling point. You're cooling a PC, in which the lowest possible temps is your goal. You don't want all the extra crap in the antifreeze that's going to reduce performance.



Ethylene Glycol does break down into toxic byproducts during digestion, so do keep that in mind.
Some of the Fesser Ethylene glycol coolants will work, or if you have pets/small children Mayhems XT-1 Ethylene glycol based concentrates are non toxic.

They will act as a corrosion inhibitor and keep all that extra crap out of your loop. (Ethylene glycol will also act as an antifreeze)
Edited by ZytheEKS - 9/18/13 at 9:55pm
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