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Copper/Aluminum rig. Are you an anti-corrosion expert?

Jayzilla

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#1
Hi. I’m having a very diverse liquid-cooled case mod project. The system will be running with some copper and aluminum parts in a single loop that I can’t and will not avoid. Here are the cooling parts:

Copper:
1X 240MM rad.
2X 120MM rads.
1X20MM~rad.

Aluminum parts:
1X40MM rad.
4X aluminum tunnel OCZ Flex RAM.

So here my questions:
What is the chance for corrosion to occur when running under Anti-corrosion coolant, a piece of sliver coil, changing coolant every three months? I’m talking about long term for at least 5 years and 2hrs of usage every day.

If the corrosion is unavoidable what else I could do to slow down or stop the corrosion process?

Where the corrosion will takes place first? On aluminum or copper or both?

How can I tell if there is corrosion inside of the radiators? What are the effective ways to clean them?

These might be hard to answer but I want to hear your real experience and thoughts. Some of the parts in my project are really hard to find/replace if something went wrong. Thanks!
 

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#2
Three things throw up flags for me before I go too far.
1) 20mm rad?
2) 40mm rad?
3) You do realize yout don't need to water cool that memory?
 
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#3
Three things throw up flags for me before I go too far.
1) 20mm rad?
2) 40mm rad?
3) You do realize yout don't need to water cool that memory?
I have the same question
 

Jayzilla

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#4
Three things throw up flags for me before I go too far.
1) 20mm rad?
2) 40mm rad?
3) You do realize yout don't need to water cool that memory?
I have the same question


Sorry for the dark photo. You are seeing the fastest AGP video card. 3 slot radiators and one hyper CPU cooler...I might miss the size of the rads, but just a bit. That's not the point. Lets not question about my parts and focus on my corrosion questions. Now how far can you go? and yes I don't have to water cooled the Flex but I WANT to. Thanks.
 

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#5
I dont think corrosion will be that much of a deal if you used pure distilled water.
 
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#6
I dont think corrosion will be that much of a deal if you used pure distilled water.
You'd need to use something OTHER than distilled water, distilled will pick up the free ions much faster than if you used a glycol based liquid (like whats in those sealed LC units) or by adding anti-corrosion inhibitors.

The silver will only help with bacteria/algae growth, and not with your bigger problem of gavonic corrosion. It'll be fine for a year or two, but shortly after that it'll start to happen pretty fast.

Honestly, don't wc the ram, and don't use the aluminum rad and you'd be doing yourself a huge favor.

Source: I used to run a mixed loop, it was a nightmare with nothing but problems.
 

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#7
Run dexcool or that newer red ford stuff. They have been running mixed alum/copper/brass in cars for a while. I run a 20% dexcool mixture in my big loop and have never changed the fluid. With multiple checks on the components there is no corrosion or build up.
 
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#8
why not run separate loops?
 

ortizimo

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#9
well I'm not an expert but what I have found is that aluminum and copper in the same line are not good together. One will start stripping the other out of material and you will have corrosion and eventually lickage.
 

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#10
Electrolytic corrosion will be huge, you need two separate loops, go checkout someones attic who has a copper pipe plumbing system and a cast iron cistern........... bad news.
 

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#11
well I'm not an expert but what I have found is that aluminum and copper in the same line are not good together. One will start stripping the other out of material and you will have corrosion and eventually lickage.
i think this is called galvanic corrosion

4 types i know of

Galvanic
Pitting
Intergranular
Exfoliation
 
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#12
This will be a very wastefull system. You must run a high Glycol mix and flush every month, 2 months TOPS :eek:

I suggest you don't keep this setup 24/7, you will eventually have problems. Theres a reason why you don't see any/many Aluminum parts in PC watercooling...
 
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#13
Im not much of a water cooling expert at all but here is what I know about corrosion.

Corrosion is caused by electrolysis when opposing metals are in water together. Or any conductive liquid. Just like a battery it creates an electrical charge that will deteriorate the metal. Distilled water will help as metal minerals are part of the issue. However Copper and aluminum will create electrolysis. The solution is a anode. A peace of metal that is softer the ether of the metals used. And change it often. Is that what the sliver coil is for? It needs to be grounded and it will corrode first.

An example is you can sink an Aluminum boat by throwing pennies in the hull. The electrolysis will eat a hole threw the hull. Boats use a Zinc Anode

But if you could put a soft Zinc peace of metal in the liquid and ground it. It would attract the charge
 
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#14
i think this is called galvanic corrosion

4 types i know of

Galvanic
Pitting
Intergranular
Exfoliation
Wrong,

You have missed electrolytic, Galvanic is typically associated with galvanised iron and copper
 

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#15
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barlowLAD

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#16

eidairaman1

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#17
Appologies, In plumbing school we would call this electrolytic corrosion, different terminology over the pond :respect:
it is all good, I learned about these in Aircraft Maintenance School, how to spot it and prevent it. If corrosion gets to the intergranular and exfoliation stages those parts have to be replaced.

and yes seeing that stuff makes your stomach go in a knot
 
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#18
I learned about it in Marine mechanics school
 

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#20

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#21

Jayzilla

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#22
You'd need to use something OTHER than distilled water, distilled will pick up the free ions much faster than if you used a glycol based liquid (like whats in those sealed LC units) or by adding anti-corrosion inhibitors.

The silver will only help with bacteria/algae growth, and not with your bigger problem of gavonic corrosion. It'll be fine for a year or two, but shortly after that it'll start to happen pretty fast.

Honestly, don't wc the ram, and don't use the aluminum rad and you'd be doing yourself a huge favor.

Source: I used to run a mixed loop, it was a nightmare with nothing but problems.
So we only need the silver if we running water from the tap. Other than that, there is no benefit at all. Especially in my case? Am I right?
I’m taking your advice by discard the aluminum rad, but I need the OCZ Flex. They are a part of my project.

Run dexcool or that newer red ford stuff. They have been running mixed alum/copper/brass in cars for a while. I run a 20% dexcool mixture in my big loop and have never changed the fluid. With multiple checks on the components there is no corrosion or build up.
Do you have a work-log for your metal mixed loop? I got many coolant formulas from people but I need an actual experience and seem like you had it.

why not run separate loops?
I got a small case and I really want a single loop.

well I'm not an expert but what I have found is that aluminum and copper in the same line are not good together. One will start stripping the other out of material and you will have corrosion and eventually lickage.
Electrolytic corrosion will be huge, you need two separate loops, go checkout someones attic who has a copper pipe plumbing system and a cast iron cistern........... bad news.
I hope it will not happens in somewhere I can't see and I think I want to take this risk.

This will be a very wastefull system. You must run a high Glycol mix and flush every month, 2 months TOPS :eek:

I suggest you don't keep this setup 24/7, you will eventually have problems. Theres a reason why you don't see any/many Aluminum parts in PC watercooling...
The rig will be running 2/7, that's not much at all. You are right because I have many aluminum parts and they are from the stone age.

Im not much of a water cooling expert at all but here is what I know about corrosion.

Corrosion is caused by electrolysis when opposing metals are in water together. Or any conductive liquid. Just like a battery it creates an electrical charge that will deteriorate the metal. Distilled water will help as metal minerals are part of the issue. However Copper and aluminum will create electrolysis. The solution is a anode. A peace of metal that is softer the ether of the metals used. And change it often. Is that what the sliver coil is for? It needs to be grounded and it will corrode first.

An example is you can sink an Aluminum boat by throwing pennies in the hull. The electrolysis will eat a hole threw the hull. Boats use a Zinc Anode

But if you could put a soft Zinc peace of metal in the liquid and ground it. It would attract the charge
I think I've heard the sinking an aluminum boat story somewhere. Was it from MythBuster? I don't know, but the Zinc Anode sounds like a possible solution. I know many industrial uses this method as a corrosion inhibition. I haven't seem anyone applied it on PC liquid cooking tho.

I learned about it on TPU!! :rolleyes: lol

PS: Thank you eidairaman for your service :toast:
Thanks for all

Thanks you'll for taking time to answers my questions. I'm sure I can't avoid Galvanic Corrosion except my loop is made out of gold. I'm ready to take the risk and learn from it.



They are the only aluminum parts left for my rig. I'm having a work-log (Project: The Ultimate AGP System) and showing off my aluminum parts. Have a visit if you have the time. Thanks you all.
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171535
 
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#24
Look into the "nobility of metals". The farther apart the spread of the metals on the "chart", the more corrosion that the lesser metal will suffer. You want to always choose similar metals(i.e....Copper & Stainless Steel, etc).
 

Jayzilla

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#25
Look into the "nobility of metals". The farther apart the spread of the metals on the "chart", the more corrosion that the lesser metal will suffer. You want to always choose similar metals(i.e....Copper & Stainless Steel, etc).
Thanks! You just gave a fundamental of mixed-metal water cooling. I almost ignore this important principle. I looked at my question title again and I feel like it's way too simple.
The best and closest metal I could match for my loop are copper, brass and nickel. I would pick gold-plated waterblock if I there is option.

I made myself a sticky note to match the fittings too when I shop for parts. If I'm supper rich I would make my loop out of gold :cool:. Which is offers 0 corrosion.