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Theoretical waterproofing and cooling a PC

Harpener

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#1
Could someone tell me why this wouldn't work. Since water is supposedly one of the best heat transfer materials around but it can't be mixed with electricity so why not use the recent cellphone waterproofing technology. Have every single component, wire, motherboard, case, CPU and even the power supply sent through the nanotechnology waterproofing process then reassemble the computer and drop it into a big tub of water. Since the technology works for phones, Nintendo DS's, and other electronics why wouldn't it work for a computer. Seems like this would be the ideal cooling solution.*
Feels free to shoot my idea full of holes. It just popped into my head when I saw a notice about one of the nanotech waterproofing companies planning to open a location near me.*
 

Frick

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#2
As long as it doesnt make contact i dont see why not. I dont know how this waterproofing technology works though.
 
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#4
There have been liquid cooling already done that way, albeit it's oil and not water that is used.
 
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#5
This shows a fundamental lack of understanding about the technology. Here we go.

Water proofing, as in the kind for smaller devices, is providing a seal around the entire device. This seal is generally a deposition process, so light easily passes through the surface. You wind up with a device that isn't actually waterproof, just water tight.

Water is actually non-conductive. Whenever you get salts, or other conductors, dissolved into it you get something dangerous to technology. You can run deionized water over a running motherboard without any fear of a short circuit. The problem is that deionized water only stays that way for so long.

The devices you are talking about generate almost no thermal energy. They are designed to run on batteries, and thus minimize power consumption. A PC is designed to have much higher temperatures, but be able to perform calculations a lot better.



The "solution" you're thinking about is not reasonable. There is no magic water proofing element. On the other hand, the solution you are aspiring toward has existed for years. Submerge the entire PC in oil. No water damage, better heat dissipation, and less costly than applying a coating. Is it stupid, yeah. Do people do it, yep.
 

Harpener

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#6
I'd seen the oil bath version before. I read in that article that water is a much better coolant. Also mineral oil is expensive especially if you need a large amount. Water is pretty much free and it's easier to cleanup if you spill some. Is it possible that the high temperatures break apart the nano seals?

Edit: just noticed lilhasselhoffer answered most of what I was curious about.
 
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#7
I'd seen the oil bath version before. I read in that article that water is a much better coolant. Also mineral oil is expensive especially if you need a large amount. Water is pretty much free and it's easier to cleanup if you spill some. Is it possible that the high temperatures break apart the nano seals?
?


1) Nano seal means nothing. It just means that the deposition process they use is very fine.
2) Heat is referenced because sealing something in tends to stop heat transfer. No heat transfer means heat buildup, which mean overheating.
3) Water is not a better conductor than oil. You give me the situation, and there are a dozen oils that can transfer heat better.
4) A computer has multiple ports. A water seal would have to cover them. Who wants a PC that can't even have a graphics card (not to mention RAM) swapped out?

If you want a computer with zero upgradeability, no warranty, and you've got money to burn you're welcome to do this. Otherwise it's 100% frivolous, 100% a money waste, and completely non-functional.



Now one last point of education. The "nano waterproof seal" is a misnomer. Essentially a very thin layer of metal oxide is applied to a surface. The process vaporizes the metal oxide, then allows the vapor to condense onto the device. This deposited layer creates a shell around the device, sealing it from outside water penetration. Not magic. It's basically the same as plastic shrink wrap. Now think about plastic shrink wrapping your motherboard. Seem foolish yet?
 
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#8
im just wondering if u buy som watercooling kit...,witch u need to asemble by your self...,is ther some liquid that is non conductive to fill the loop so if the loop is leaking for some reason it dont damage hardware??is there some kind of oil that can fill the loop and doo the job??
 

Harpener

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#9
Thanks. I've learned alot. It wasn't something I was really planning on trying I was just curious about the theoretical possibility. If most oils are better thermal conductors why do most water cooling kits use some form of water based coolant?
 

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#10
Now one last point of education. The "nano waterproof seal" is a misnomer. Essentially a very thin layer of metal oxide is applied to a surface. The process vaporizes the metal oxide, then allows the vapor to condense onto the device. This deposited layer creates a shell around the device, sealing it from outside water penetration. Not magic. It's basically the same as plastic shrink wrap. Now think about plastic shrink wrapping your motherboard. Seem foolish yet?
Hey thanks. I thought someone had made something new and awesome.

Thanks. I've learned alot. It wasn't something I was really planning on trying I was just curious about the theoretical possibility. If most oils are better thermal conductors why do most water cooling kits use some form of water based coolant?
Oil is thick. Water flows like .. water, oils doesn't. There might be more to it.
 
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#12
james888 has it.


Flow is something completely different. Viscosity is a function of how well molecules within a fluid are allowed to slide past one another. More viscous fluids have a higher internal resistance to flow.

Viscosity does not imply thermal resistance, conductance, or capacitance.

Thermal resistance, conductance, and capacitance determine how a fluid transfers and stores heat energy.

To put us in the right frame of mind, here are a few examples. Thermal paste is a homogenized fluid. It has a very low resistivity, but tends to be immensely viscous. Water is a good conductor, but non-viscous. Silly putty is extremely viscous, but a poor conductor (yeah, I'm cheating with a non-newtonian fluid).

Oil is a general term. Hydrocarbons have a myriad array of building themselves. By choosing a hydrocarbon mix you can get very specific properties for whatever application you'd like.



Now, addressing the issue of why water is used in sealed coolers.

Plastics are functionally hydrocarbons. This means that exposure to oils may partially dissolve them over time. Choosing the right non-corrosive plastic and oil combination may not be ideal for heat transfer. Additionally, cost is an issue. The right oil may be twenty times more expensive than deionized water.

None of this even touches on the potential danger of leaking systems. An oil leaking could present the risk of fire damage, given the correct conditions. Water may damage systems, but a $1000 computer is preferable to a $100,000 home.

So in short, water prevails because it is more cost efficient and presents less inherent risk than oil.
 
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#13
Now, addressing the issue of why water is used in sealed coolers.
Sealed like the h60/antec620/etc? Those all use a distilled water glycol solution. Not just water. I am not trying to say your wrong or anything, I just thought the glycol part is relevant to the discussion.
 
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#14
The hotter components like CPU, GPU and Chipset would need most likely need moving water to dissapate the heat... and of course if it's a closed system, some type of external radiator.
 
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#15
Thanks. I've learned alot. It wasn't something I was really planning on trying I was just curious about the theoretical possibility. If most oils are better thermal conductors why do most water cooling kits use some form of water based coolant?
because oil is thicker(Viscossity) and will burn out a pump in no time. Plus it would take for ever to pass through a Rad, oil is a better coolant under Certain Conditions (this not being one of them). We could split hairs all day about this........

OPPS Already covered, im on a small phone
 
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#16
Fully immersed cooling wouldn't be very practical. Although, computer guts in a fish tank with live fish.... Any takers??
Might be cool on an older rig where you can conformal coat the board and silicone up the slots and ports.
Also oil can be a better thermal conductor, but there is the viscosity issue and the cost. Most transformers that step down power line AC are oil filled, because the oil also increases the dielectric strength of the wire insulation/coating inside.
I've made boards "water resistant" before for TEC/peltier + Watercooling. I stripped the board down, taped off the slots,dies, sockets, and conformal coated it. I used silicone gel (spark plug boot goo) in the cpu and ram sockets. Worked even when covered with condensation.
 
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#17
deja vu