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Liquid cooling with mercury

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I thought I'd post this to see how much we can find about the subject, as in if it would be feasible. As most of us know, water cooling is much better than air cooling by far, and is becoming commonplace, if not already. As I was reading an article on thermal pastes,

http://hardwarelogic.com/news/137/AR...008-03-03.html

there is a table that shows the thermal conductivity of certain mediums, such as air and water. Of course, water beats air 24x over! After looking at the other mediums, it would be nice to have a CPU cooler made of silver or diamond even, but that's wishful thinking. I did start thinking about water cooling and thought of mercury. Looking here

http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/dictunit/notes5.htm

we see that mercury beats water in thermal conductivity by 233x! D@MN! The only downside is specific heat, or in this article specific entropy. The specific heat of mercury has the same value as it's conductivity; 140. However, water wins this battle with an amazing specific heat of 4200 J / kg °K! So, after this reasearch and all that jazz my question is this, even with the extremely low specific heat of mercury, would it be a feasible liquid cooling solution for a computer? I don't have the time nor the ability to do the math, and I always enjoy the lively discussions we have here at OCN, so let 'er rip. And if anyone wants to procure the materials, and probably a permit to handle that much murcury, to test it, be our guest.
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post #2 of 33
Mercury pumps are expensive.

For PC cooling, I doubt there is much benefit. Someone on eBay was selling one last year.

If the heat load was like 3000w+, then mercury or liquid sodium would be used/needed.
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post #3 of 33
There've been numerous discussions around using mercury, but by and large it usually turns out to be less feasible than water. Im not sure of the mechanics of it, but I know that working with mercury is dangerous, as it is dense enough to seep through skin, and enough can kill you. I think if it were a feasible medium for heat removal it'd have been tried by someone by now who would have made results widely available.

edit: found this: specific heat= The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit weight of a substance by 1 degree

Water having a much higher specific heat means it takes much, much more heat to raise the temperature of the liquid. This may mean that it takes much less to heat up mercury, so you might be dealing with a very hot liquid (mercury) in your loop?
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post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Kewl. I was just day dreaming and wondered. The specific heat, in addition to the high toxicity, of mercury is probably the reason it's not feasible. Thanks for the info.
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post #5 of 33
Not to mention the fact that Mercury is not going to be fun to clean up if it gets spilled.
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post #6 of 33
I just thought of something, what if your loop had a leak? A killed part wouldn't just be a possibility, it'd be a certainty! I can only imagine what splashing liquid metal onto a running part would do!
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post #7 of 33
Not to mention that it'd add a lot of weight to your system.
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post #8 of 33
Besides it being poisonous; aren't you still talking ambient temps at best?
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post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
edit: found this: specific heat= The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit weight of a substance by 1 degree
fun fact: the specific heat of water is 1 calorie. 1 cc 1 degree 1 calorie
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post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
I just thought of something, what if your loop had a leak? A killed part wouldn't just be a possibility, it'd be a certainty! I can only imagine what splashing liquid metal onto a running part would do!
A killed part? I'd be more worried about a killed person.
    
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