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Nickel Plated D-Tek Fuzion (Pics)

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by EnergyFX, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    Background: I utilize Koolance radiators and Innovatek HDD coolers in my liquid cooled system. These are aluminum components and having them in my water loops means that I can not utilize bare copper without facing corrosion issues.

    Problem 1: Copper and Aluminum despise each other. /personification
    Problem 2: Koolance and Zalman CPU coolers do not perform as well as one would like.
    Problem 3: Koolance and Zalman are the only manufacturers to supply plated copper CPU waterblocks. Aqua Computers makes a silver CPU block, but its performance is a bit of a mystery and costs $300 USD.

    Solution (I hope): Nickel Plate a high performance copper waterblock. This is a project that has been in the works for a couple of weeks now and has been discussed in a couple of other threads:

    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=49288
    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=46358 <-- I hijacked this one but there is a lot of good info on this subject.

    In a nutshell, the nickel plating should theoretically provide a neutral metallic barrier between the coolant and the copper, thus nullifying the cathodic corrosion process (or at least significantly reducing it) typically experienced in copper/aluminum applications. Any residual corrosive tendencies should be within the preventive capabilities of the anti-corrosion chemicals in the coolant. FYI, this plating process is exactly how Koolance gets around corrosive issues with their entire line of cooling products, the only difference is they gold plate all of their copper products.

    The main question I am trying to answer with this is: Can beating galvanic corrosion issues really be as simple as just sending a copper component to a plating shop and paying a small amount to have it nickel plated... or is it a more complicated process?

    Below is the result of the $25 plating process performed by a local plating company (automotive oriented):
    [​IMG]
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    Here you can see that the mounting surface of the block is not a mirror finish polished surface you would typically see on a nickel plated product. This is not an issue since I intend to lap the mounting surface anyways. I could have requested a highly polished finish but it was fiscally unnecessary.
    [​IMG]

    And let the lapping begin.

    FYI, I reassembled the entire block for this process. The corner bolts are torqued.

    In these pictures you will see that the Fuzion is anything but flat. I'm not sure if this is a result of the manufacturing process or the plating process, but I suspect that the plating company was not exactly 'gentle' with their handling. They are used to palting car parts, not computer parts.
    [​IMG]
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    At this point I could not for the life of me get the last corner to lap even with the rest of the block. The block was warpped pretty bad in this area. It looked flat, but lapping tells all. We had to make a run to the local Pep-Boys for more sandpaper. The argument was made that this corner really wouldn't be an issue regarding the thermal capability of the block, but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving it like this. Damn my anal retentiveness!!!
    [​IMG]

    Finally after hitting the block with 250 for a while and then working up with 400> 800> 1000> and 1200 this is the final result. I tried 1500 but it honestly looked worse than the 1200 did.
    [​IMG]


    This is a picture of a lapped nickel plated D-Tek Fuzion... not a pencil and a crock pot :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Corrosion results will be provided as the system ages. I will perform an inspection at 6-months and a complete overhaul at 12 months with photo documentation of the results.

    ***UPDATE*** See page two of this thread for 6-months results!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
    WarEagleAU, intel igent and Jizzler say thanks.
  2. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    Nice job!

    My not-so-anal-retentive lap job only yielded me a couple of degrees (with an HSF, not water block). Yours looks great!
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    looks VERY SWEET!
    i would definately like to see results

    too bad you dont have a plexi top for that sucker

    :toast:
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    Well the system is fully assembled (again) and running cool and quiet. The current plan is to drain the system in about 6 months or so and inspect the Fuzion and one of the aluminum HDD coolers. This plan is dependant on what life is throwing at me at the time so no guarantees. I'm getting married end of Sept so it is very possible that there will simply be too much on my plate.
     
  5. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    i would like to see dated pix every month of the loop.

    i am skeptical as to the effectiveness of this.

    i think it would slow down the corrosion effect on the copper but as soon as the plating is gone youll be back at square 1. i dont think the plating would be permanent.

    i think something like this would be good for ppl who have mixed loops because IF they serviced the loop frequently there would be little/no corrosion, so youre blocks would last longer.

    mixed loops = galvanic corrosion. always.

    although i am skeptical, i am also aprreciative thank you for atempting this and posting your results here for all of us to see

    :toast:
     
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  6. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    I'm kind of surprised more people haven't chimed in on this.
     
  7. the_messenger New Member

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  8. philbrown23

    philbrown23 New Member

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    thats odd the inside of my FuZion looks different than that???? I wonder why??
     
  9. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    The link you posted has absolutely nothing to do with nickle plating or trying to beat the copper/aluminum corrosion issues.

    Lapping was a neccessary aspect of this experiment since the plating process stressed the block enough to nullify the factory lapping and 'bow'.
     
  10. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    were coming up on a month do you have any reports?
     
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  11. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    Fluid is clear, flow is normal, and temps are fine.
     
  12. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    thats good, have you opened the block to have a look?
     
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  13. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    nice work i have the same block :)
     
  14. WarEagleAU

    WarEagleAU Bird of Prey

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    I can tell you the reason you have that dark spot on your block is because of a chemical/electrical burn in the plating process. Most times it can be avoided but sometimes they overvolt the current to plate. Plating lasts a good time too, even if you have a 2mm coat on it. Ive done Electroforming for a few years and its something of a nice little science. Nice work though. Lapping is awesome.
     
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  15. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    no, it's only been a month. :slap:
     
  16. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    im glad youre so confident ;)

    but i am curious :)
     
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  17. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    i think my confidence surpasses your skepticism... and I think we both know that is saying a lot :D

    Seriously though... if you knew how much work is involved in breaching this cooling system you would understand why I don't want to open it up. It is monitored very closley though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  18. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    War, what dark spot are you referring to?
     
  19. kaosII

    kaosII New Member

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    I had a Jewler friend plate my DD tdx w/ White gold. It has been about a year...maybe a little less. But, no loss in performance. On the other hand I have an old build at a freinds, that has a TT watercooler probably ten different metals in that. lol. But it's got fesser coolant. One year plus no visible problems.
    That TUngsten guy really seems to know his stuff. Have you seen his website. I pretty sure it's all art, reguardless it is some beautiful stuff.
     
  20. TUngsten

    TUngsten

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    Thanks Kaos!

    If I were to bother plating anything, it would likely be with 24k or Rhodium (platinum). White gold usually contains nickel and occasionally zinc, which suck.
     
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  21. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    I want him to make my next computer case ;)
     
  22. kaosII

    kaosII New Member

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    If you ever find the time. I would really love to know a little, actually alot about your pieces. I see a Midevil theme. I am just very intruiged.
    Very, very beautiful stuff.
    Forgot to direct this to tungsten
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  23. kaosII

    kaosII New Member

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    If you ever find the time. I would really love to know a little, actually alot about your pieces. I see a Midevil theme. I am just very intruiged.
    Very, very beautiful stuff
     
  24. TUngsten

    TUngsten

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    PM me anytime, but lets not hijack EnergyFX's thread any longer :toast:
     
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  25. kaosII

    kaosII New Member

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    Sorry still trying to get my bearings on this forum.
    Appologies Energy
     

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