My Apogee GTX fail~ (Epic Example of Galvanic Corrosion) - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community
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My Apogee GTX fail~ (Epic Example of Galvanic Corrosion)

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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After 4 years running my watercooling setup, I finally get a chance to take apart my loop completely. I figured something was wrong when my overclocked Q6600 hit 75*C under load.

Here is what I found when I took the block apart.

[WARNING: The following pictures are disgusting.]

thumb.gif

486700400400400400400400400400

Not sure about the cause. Galvanic corrosion?

Coolants & Additives used:

Distilled Water + Pentosin (used for as long as I can remember, purged every 2 months)
Petras Nuke (copper sulfate) just a few drops
Primochill Red Dyebomb

The stuff you see is actually SOLID. They look like mineral deposits.

You can see whatever metal the metal top of the block was made of (Aluminum?) slowly got eaten through. You can see cavities created in the pictures.

The copper was badly tarnished, but no problem, some of that blue toilet cleaner gel and a toothbrush got rid of all that scaly gunk and brought it back to its copper shine (unpictured).

Note the toilet cleaner (Hydrogen Chloride) reacts with the Aluminum metal top of the block, so I didn't use it on anything non-copper.

I really hope my radiators are ok... it should be copper / brass on the inside so no worries right?

Now here is the thing, If I add enough radiator additive (with anti-corrosion properties) it should slow down the process right?

I'm on a tight budget, not wanting to spend on another block just yet... your input will beappreciated!
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:20 PM
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Good God man. What all, if anything, are you planning to reuse?

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:24 PM
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Geez man. I'd not re-use it. I use distilled water and a silver coil, and just checked my Apogee XT after upgrading it to a Apogee HD, and it still looks brand new after almost 2 years of use.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well looking at how undamaged the copper was after cleaning it, It would be safe to assume that if the radiator components which make contact with water are made of brass / copper then they would be ok.

I want to reuse the block (though I can see "highly not recommended" in the near future) but I'd assume to have to take some kind of pre-emptive measures to reduce the rate of degradation of aluminum.

I'm no chemistry expert, so this is where I need help thumb.gif


I was thinking of coating the exposed aluminum in some epoxy or automotive paint. what are your thoughts on this?
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:29 PM
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puke.gif

Originally Posted by t00sl0w go_quote.gif
lol wut?
is an aborigine banging on your keyboard?

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghooble View Post

puke.gif

This

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:37 PM
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The white stuff may actually be plasticizer, some of which is stained red from the dye bomb. It also seems the "protective coating" on the aluminum probably failed in spots. I'm surprised it lasted that long, though the Pentosin probably helped.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:38 PM
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I think the ideal place for that block is a bin.

The problem with the older GTX blocks is that they use an Alu top and a copper base, two metals which are far apart on the galvanic index. So yes, that is from galvanic corrosion.

In theory you could run some corrosion inhibitor, something like a glycol based car coolant, and it will slow the process down. However I would say, looking at the state of it, that it is time for a new block. Something like the Rasa block is a good cheap alternative, or you could go for the CPU-370, Supreme HF or Raystorm for a little bit more performance.

I know you said that you are on a budget, but honestly $50 for a new block is cheaper than replacing any parts that get damaged by a leak, which is where that block is heading.

I would also check out your rads very carefully. As they are copper and brass they should not be corroded but is still worth checking.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:49 PM
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I'm under the impression that you should not have copper and aluminum parts in a loop because of galvanic corrosion. Regardless, you probably should try to flush your radiator (vinegar and water???), and if possible inspect the pump. My guess is that most of the red/rust colored gunk is a side-effect of the dye you used. The salt like crud I would guess to be the result of the mismatched metals in water. I have no first hand experience with this issue, but if I were you I'd be pulling the entire loop apart for a massive cleaning/refit.

As for cleaning the aluminum top, I'm not sure what would be ideal. My instinct would be to soak it in a light oil and scrub that booger vigorously with a stiff plastic brush. The only caveat is that when you are done you need to make sure that it is totally oil free or any remaining oil may break down the rubber gasket (which probably should also get replaced with a new one).

My non-expert 0.02 smile.gif

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[ Waits for parts feeling like a cat looking at a can opener... ]

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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hex65000 View Post

I'm under the impression that you should not have copper and aluminum parts in a loop because of galvanic corrosion.

While this is true, 4 years ago aluminum was very common in liquid cooling. With that block itself, the top is coated aluminum and a copper base. There were also several aluminum radiators on the market.


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