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Sickle Flow and Sickleflow X -- Anatomy Lessons

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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First, let us disassemble the original Cooler Master Sickle Flow:

 

Intake side of CM Sickleflow

 

Exhaust side of CM Sickleflow

 

Exhaust side of CM Sickleflow with label pealed off.

 

Where a sleeve bearing fan would have a rubber plug, the Sickleflow has either a circular ridge in the plastic or a sealed plastic plug.

 

Whatever it is, it is hard to get through.

 

Tap the tip of the blade assembly with a flat punch or line-up tool and it pops out.

 

Turning the frame over we can see the motor and the shaft tube.

 

A closeup of the motor and shaft tube, which seems to be made of copper.
 
The semi-spiral grooves, given the rotation of the blade assembly, should allow the lubricant to move toward the center, to the shaft.
 

Side view of the blade assembly.

 

Blade assembly reinserted into the frame.

 

With the disk held in place, the shaft pushes through it. The disk then holds it in place.

 

Back in action.

 

Odd as it may appear, this seemingly broken fan spins as fast now as it did when it was pristine -- 1950 rpm initially, slowing to 1850 rpm after an hour.

 

Next: the Sickleflow X

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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The Sickleflow X has a "fourth Generation" bearing, which is made of POM (Polyoxymethylene). POM is also known as Delfin(tm). According to Wikipedia, POM "is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring high stiffness, low friction and excellent dimensional stability."

 

Cooler Master seems to be taking a low-risk approach to their POM bearings. The first fans to get them are the Sickle Flow. This is a great choice because the only flaw in this otherwise excellent fan has been that their sealed sleeve bearings wear out early in some cases. So why not replace that bearing with a bearing that will take a long time to wear out? They can compare the fan with the new 4th gen bearing and compare its performance and durability to the fan with the old bearing, with only the bearing being different.

 

Additionally, by focusing on the bearing, CM can perfect that before putting it in a new fan.

 

I received some prototypes of the Sickle Flow X. I thought you would like to see how they are made:

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X box from both sides.
 
The box contains the fan, screws and a 4-pin Molex adapter.
 
Cooler Master Sickle Flow X prototype.
 
Note the hand-written numbers on the label.
 
Cooler Master Sickle Flow X, under the label.
 
Note the rim of the bearing well may be detachable from the frame. We'll see. A tap to the tip of the shaft pops the blade assembly from the frame.
 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X Washer without shaft.

 

Note the nylon washer.

 

Under the washer, an O-ring to seal the bearing chamber.
 
If you look back to the first post of this thread you will see that the original Sickle Flow does not have such an O-ring. Instead, you have that plastic wall sealing in the lubricant.
 
Shaft side of the blade assembly
 

A view from the motor side of the frame.

 

Original Sickleflow: frame, motor and copper shaft tube

 

I brought in some pics of the original Sickle Flow so you can compare that bearing to the 4th gen POM bearing.

 

Original Sickleflow, looking straight down the shaft tube.

 

Inside the Sickle Flow, the shaft tube is smooth copper.

 

Inside the Sickle Flow X shaft tube is smooth POM.

 

Back to Sickle Flow X now.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X Motor with POM bearing.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X Motor with POM bearing removed.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X Closeup of the lubricant inside the fan.

It is sticky.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X POM bearing, with the sticky lubricant wiped off. Note the roughened collar that will hold it in place.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X blade assembly, with POM bearing.

This is how it looks without the frame.

 

Cooler Master Sickle Flow X POM bearing on blade assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 09:39 AM
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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That looked pretty easy. It was, once I had figured out what I could do to the Sickle Flow X without destroying it. So now we will look at the NON-destructive disassembly and reassembly of a Sickle Flow X fan.

 

This looks like the intake side of every Sickle Flow fan you ever saw. But it is not one of those. It is a prototype Sickle Flow X -- a fan with a POM bearing.
 

Sickle Flow X prototype, exhaust side. Note the writing on the label.

 

Pull off the label and we have a stick-on seal.

Note the gummy stuff from the label.

 

A lubricant well lurks underneath the seal.

 

A hammer, an alignment tool used as a flat punch, and a hollowed-out 140mm fan frame. The latter is used to support the corners of the 120mm Sickle Flow X when the flat of the hammer comes down on the punch. This leaves room for the blade assembly to fall free.

 

Sickle Flow X frame with blade assembly underneath.

 

Nylon washer and O-ring.

 

The O-ring keeps the sticky lubricant in, and the washer keeps the blade assembly from falling out.

 

Getting ready to pop the POM bearing out of the motor.

 

Note that the bearing and the blade assembly come from opposite sides of the fan frame. They hold each other in.

 

POM bearing on motor, complete with sticky lubricant.

 

Closeup of POM bearing.

 

POM bearing on top of Sickle Flow X frame.

 

POM bearing fitted into Sickle Flow X frame.

 

POM bearing seated in Sickle Flow X frame.

 

Sickle Flow X with O-ring and washer back in place.

 

The final step was to put the label back on. Now this fan runs just as fast as it did before I took it apart.

 

I see that Cooler Master is selling more "4th Generation" fans with a different design of POM bearing. Clearly we are watching an evolution.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 01:24 PM
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Great stuff Ehume thumb.gif , thanks for sharing!

I'd love to watch the innards of some Noctua SSO2 popcorn.gif .

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 01:36 PM
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does the x have a more aggressive fan pitch? maybe just the angle of the pic?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyz72 View Post

does the x have a more aggressive fan pitch? maybe just the angle of the pic?


Just the angle of the pic. The fans are identical except for their bearings.

 

As for Noctuas, others have taken them apart. But you can never get them back quite the way they were. Also, someone would have to send me a broken fan before I would take one apart. Even if Noctua sent me one to take apart, I'd be extremely reluctant to do it. Just destructively getting into an old Sickle Flow nearly broke my heart. These items, as opposed to $2 fans, are works of industrial art. Destroying art just feels wrong.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 02:16 PM
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Yeah that's some problem, you simply can't vivisection one for it would be a crime, and then you can't post-morten one 'cos they just don't die tongue.gif .

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post


Just the angle of the pic. The fans are identical except for their bearings.

As for Noctuas, others have taken them apart. But you can never get them back quite the way they were. Also, someone would have to send me a broken fan before I would take one apart. Even if Noctua sent me one to take apart, I'd be extremely reluctant to do it. Just destructively getting into an old Sickle Flow nearly broke my heart. These items, as opposed to $2 fans, are works of industrial art. Destroying art just feels wrong.
That's why i really hate hydro bearing fans ... (Noctua's SSO bearing is actually a hydro bearing). I ripped open a hydro bearing fan and it's never the same anymore just have to be careful not to exert pressure or the stopper piece comes off again and the whole fan makes a annoying rattling sound again

Luckily i didn't lose anything there because i'm not fond of the fan. Nice to keep as a conversation piece though and as a fan if i have a situation i ever run into a customer's computer which is overheating ...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 07:26 PM
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Cooler master specs seem BS to me...

SickleFlow X (Non LED))(R4-SXNP-20FK-R1)

Dimension 120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 inch)
Speed (R.P.M.) 2,000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
Air Flow (CFM) 90CFM ± 10% <-- the product manual says 69.69 CFM ± 10% (CFM) mad.gif
Air pressure (mmH2O) 2.94 mm H2O ± 10%
Noise 19 dBA rolleyes.gif
Connector 3-Pin <-- 3 pin PWM???

► Recommended GPU Projects: [email protected] , [email protected] (FP64) (AMD moreso) ► Other notable GPU projects: [email protected] (Nvidia), GPUGrid (Nvidia) ► Project list


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