Originally Posted by Fliptrocity
Has anyone got any advice or any tips on how to avoid such a disaster?
Accuracy is probably the best tip.
Acrylic is brittle so you can't put too much stress on it, either on tube or on the collars. - there is no real flex in the material so you can't "pull" on it if the length is just slightly out. Where a PET tube might have just enough flex in a bend to "give" as you pull it into place acrylic will just crack. acrylic just really doesn't like rotational or bending forces.
The same therefore applies to the acrylic variant of the locking collar. It really needs to be flat on to the screw in part it presses up against. I think many that experience early collar issues were basically pulling components together through the collars and pipe because their measurement or angles were imperfect.
(Imagine a collar meeting the screw in/gasket part with a fraction of a mm difference left and right, as you screw tight to seal the right side you are simultaneously crushing the left.
If you have acrylic tube and collars that you still want to use I would probably recommend using them in the easier/low stress connections. - if you can use them for simple, straight connections, especially between components that you may be able to shift slightly to compensate for imperfect measuring/cutting etc then you ought to be ok. (For double security if these are in the bottom of the case even better.)
I basically "suspended" a dual d5 ek pump top (+the two pumps) between a photon 270 Res and my first rad with monsoon acrylic. My longer term plan had been to secure the pumps/top but as it all worked I never bothered. One of those tubes eventually failed because I was lifting the case to a 45degree angle when emptying for a refill and the complex (4 bend) tube between pumps and rad developed a hairline fracture because the weight of the pumps etc when they shifted during this process. The locking collars were all fine though! (To be honest I'm gutted about that bend. It was my best one and the most complex in the entire build. - and as is often the way with these things I had been thinking just a moment before lifting the case that I should just get a towel, undo that connection and accept that the last few drops of coolant probably would have to spill out onto the desk.
I still have acrylic pipe and will indeed use it in my next build (it's a nicer finish, especially the black) but I will keep the geometry simple and have planned to use the more flexible polycarb for any parts which aren't visible and may need to flex a bit. Oh...and this time I will secure the heavy components before the build is properly finished.