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Cleaning liquid metal with more liquid metal (IHS and Copper plate)

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Cleaning liquid metal with more liquid metal (IHS and Copper plate)

I just thought it would be useful for people curious about LM and how to clean it up.

Someone suggested to use a bit more LM to clean up between applications.

I'm using it between the IHS and my AIO copper cold plate, so after about one month I wanted to check my first application to see if everything was in order.

I naturally found the usual stain on the copper plate starting to develop.

For science, I tried cleaning the IHS with alcohol and I tried to clean the AIO copper plate with a bit more LM.

So, as expected, the IHS surface turns black with the alcohol and cleaning takes more effort.

On the copper plate adding more LM activated the stain and it all turned shiny and liquid again (was partially dry and partially still liquid before). I got a clean dry cotton pad and removed it all quite easily, also I rubbed on it a bit more with steel wool. The result was that the copper plate had a nice shiny coating, where later on I re applied a fresh paint thick coat before mounting.

So, I strongly suggest you do that. No more alcohol to remove LM.

PC Specs: 3900X - X470 Taichi - TridentZ Neo CJR 64GB 3733Mhz CL16-19-19-19 1T / 1080ti waterforce xtreme - H115i Pro with 4 fans + Lapped IHS + Liquid Metal.
Per CCX OC Settings: 4.5/4.4/4.35/4.35 at 1.33V (1.306V vdroop) Max AIDA64AVX temp 74c balanced AIO (23 room temp)

Last edited by SaccoSVD; 08-16-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 07:38 PM
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That's interesting... never knew that

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm gonna update it in about a year from here.

PC Specs: 3900X - X470 Taichi - TridentZ Neo CJR 64GB 3733Mhz CL16-19-19-19 1T / 1080ti waterforce xtreme - H115i Pro with 4 fans + Lapped IHS + Liquid Metal.
Per CCX OC Settings: 4.5/4.4/4.35/4.35 at 1.33V (1.306V vdroop) Max AIDA64AVX temp 74c balanced AIO (23 room temp)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 08:33 PM
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The "stain" is the gallium leaching out of the liquid metal compound into the copper (I think it forms some sort of gallium/copper alloy). Which is also the reason liquid metal "dries up" and needs to be replaced occasionally, the gallium has leached out leaving behind the other drier components in the liquid metal compound.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by SaccoSVD View Post
I just thought it would be useful for people curious about LM and how to clean it up.

Someone suggested to use a bit more LM to clean up between applications.

I'm using it between the IHS and my AIO copper cold plate, so after about two months I wanted to check my first application to see if everything was in order.

I naturally found the usual stain on the copper plate starting to develop.

For science, I tried cleaning the IHS with alcohol and I tried to clean the AIO copper plate with a bit more LM.

So, as expected, the IHS surface turns black with the alcohol and cleaning takes more effort.

On the copper plate adding more LM activated the stain and it all turned shiny and liquid again (was partially dry and partially still liquid before). I got a clean dry cotton pad and removed it all quite easily, also I rubbed on it a bit more. The result was that the copper plate had a nice shiny coating, where later on I re applied a fresh paint thick coat before mounting.

So, I strongly suggest you do that. No more alcohol to remove LM.
This is pretty interesting.
Basically the hardened layer is leftover indium and tin that hardened because the gallium got absorbed. If you apply more LM, the indium and tin may realloy (there's another better word, but I forgot the word), allowing it to get wiped up again then any gallium leftover is child's play at that point.

definitely worth trying out eventually.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
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It would be really good to see someone to try this as well with a much older application.

The first one I did on my 1800X after a year looked pretty nasty. CPU and Cooler "glued" together and I had to pry them loose.

I wish I knew this trick back then.

PC Specs: 3900X - X470 Taichi - TridentZ Neo CJR 64GB 3733Mhz CL16-19-19-19 1T / 1080ti waterforce xtreme - H115i Pro with 4 fans + Lapped IHS + Liquid Metal.
Per CCX OC Settings: 4.5/4.4/4.35/4.35 at 1.33V (1.306V vdroop) Max AIDA64AVX temp 74c balanced AIO (23 room temp)
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