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Thermal xfer medium other than water.

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February 3, 2007 3:02:32 PM

Has anyone ever tried a true thermal xfer liquid in their cooling systems? I work for a chemical company that manufactures a thermal xfer compound designed for extreme temps on both sides of the temp scale called Therminol. It is applied in many different industries and scenerios to either heat or cool a given process and I am curious if anyone has ever tried such a substance in a pc liquid cooling system and the potetial results compared to treated water. It is unique in that it does not break down or cause corrosion like water alone does. The only drawback I know of is that it is more viscous than water and could cause flow problems, but I'm not sure how bad. I do not have a liquid cooling system at the moment to try it out, but I am currently looking for a suitable system for personal use and I may just dabble in this very thing. If anyone has tried a similar substance I would be very curious about the results. Thanks. :idea:
February 3, 2007 3:31:40 PM

Double post. Beer...
February 3, 2007 3:41:23 PM

I've worked with some pretty cool stuff. We use FC-72 as a coolant medium for big, heavy-duty rectifiers and inverters in our solid-state frequency converters. It flows like water, but with superior thermal conductivity. It is also completely non-conductive. The big problem is that it's ~$400 a gallon, and it evaporates like nobody's business. When spilled, a huge puddle litterally vanishes before your eyes. Even the smallest of leaks results in it disappearing. To save cost, we're switching to distilled water.
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February 3, 2007 4:31:57 PM

Quote:
Has anyone ever tried a true thermal xfer liquid in their cooling systems? I work for a chemical company that manufactures a thermal xfer compound designed for extreme temps on both sides of the temp scale called Therminol. It is applied in many different industries and scenerios to either heat or cool a given process and I am curious if anyone has ever tried such a substance in a pc liquid cooling system and the potetial results compared to treated water. It is unique in that it does not break down or cause corrosion like water alone does. The only drawback I know of is that it is more viscous than water and could cause flow problems, but I'm not sure how bad. I do not have a liquid cooling system at the moment to try it out, but I am currently looking for a suitable system for personal use and I may just dabble in this very thing. If anyone has tried a similar substance I would be very curious about the results. Thanks. :idea:


You could probably find out better than me give your job, but I think the thermal conductivity of water is better than just about any other fluid except mercury.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-...

It sounds like the benefits of therminol are all about its much wider temperature range than water rather than its thermal conductivity. That temperature range is probably necessary in some very cold/hot applications but PC's dont get that hot or cold so it may not even be as good as water for a PC.
February 3, 2007 6:42:44 PM

Quote:
Mercury --- Hg ---- but I would not recommend it.


Yeah, Hg is really heavy (hard to pump) compared to water, very toxic, and metal has a nasty habit of being thermally conductive...
February 3, 2007 6:45:18 PM

Quote:
Mercury --- Hg ---- but I would not recommend it.


Yeah, Hg is really heavy (hard to pump) compared to water, very toxic, and metal has a nasty habit of being thermally conductive...

I thought it was a good idea. It may be conductive, but if it leaks, you could just power down and then lick it off.
February 3, 2007 6:53:52 PM

Quote:
Mercury --- Hg ---- but I would not recommend it.


Yeah, Hg is really heavy (hard to pump) compared to water, very toxic, and metal has a nasty habit of being thermally conductive...

you mean it is very thick and has high viscosity? never heard of a hard liquid.
February 3, 2007 7:19:16 PM

Water is the perfect cooling agent: it has a high ability to absorb heat, is essentially free, and is extremely reliable. If anything could beat water, it'd be in use already.
February 3, 2007 7:23:24 PM

Anyone tried Prestone for car ? lol
February 3, 2007 8:15:46 PM

Quote:
Mercury --- Hg ---- but I would not recommend it.


Yeah, Hg is really heavy (hard to pump) compared to water, very toxic, and metal has a nasty habit of being thermally conductive...

you mean it is very thick and has high viscosity? never heard of a hard liquid.

Mercury isn't viscous, it's heavy. 2 liters of Hg at a given temperature and pressure will weigh much more than the same volume of water. The higher weight and density would put a horrible strain on any pump.
February 3, 2007 10:43:32 PM

I have an old Celeron system I am planning on liquid cooling. And when I say liquid cooling, I mean dropping in a small tank of circulating mineral oil!

If that goes well the P4 is next 8)
February 3, 2007 11:01:44 PM

I read an article somewhere that some guy showed that he putted is computer into a container of baby oil ( non conductive ). That must be weird shit to go buy that many quantity of baby oil at the store.
February 3, 2007 11:50:07 PM

Quote:
I read an article somewhere that some guy showed that he putted is computer into a container of baby oil ( non conductive ). That must be weird **** to go buy that many quantity of baby oil at the store.


They would probley think you were doing some amature porn or a body building shoot.
February 4, 2007 12:02:03 AM

[/quote]
Quote:

They would probley think you were doing some amature porn or a body building shoot.


Lol
February 4, 2007 1:19:14 AM

Water is quite ideal, actually.

Tcase (temperature on the CPU heatsink) and radiator temperatures (ambient room) both fall in the temperature ranges of liquid water at atmospheric pressure, so the only pressure on the tubing would be from the pump. Water has among the highest specific heat capacities (liquid ammonia is the only substance I know with higher), so the weight of coolant that must be pumped is minimized.

The only drawbacks to water that I can think of are low thermal conductivity, necessitating a large surface area for heat transfer ("capillary tubes"), and viscosity. Even though water isn't terribly viscous, there are quite a few liquids that are far easier to pump.

Anhydrous liquid ammonia is not that practical as a non-phase-change coolant because it boils at -33 Celsius (entire loop has to be pressurized), is even less conductive than water (capillary tubing needs to be finer), and is highly corrosive (tough choice of metal for coolant block) as well as toxic. However, ammonia is an excellent refrigerant because of its low boiling point and viscosity - it's used in some high-capacity refrigeration systems even today.

Mercury is an interesting suggestion because as a thermally conductive metal it would require hardly any capillary tubing to cool efficiently. However, like most metals it has a low heat capacity, and so to remove the same amount of heat as water, one must pump 30 times the weight in mercury (about 75% more volume than water). The good thing is that mercury isn't much more viscous than water, and without that capillary tubing, a mercury loop should be easy to pump. The drawbacks are toxicity (it does have a vapor), low tolerances for elevation changes (loop has to withstand substantial pressure gradients), and sheer weight causing a strain on the pump whenever starting up.
February 4, 2007 3:50:43 AM

Quote:
I have an old Celeron system I am planning on liquid cooling. And when I say liquid cooling, I mean dropping in a small tank of circulating mineral oil!

If that goes well the P4 is next 8)


This can be done, but it's certainly not recommended. The oil can't circulate when it gets trapped in the tiny components around and behind the CPU, leading to extremely intense hot spots and premature death of any system. You can try of course, but it will turn out badly.
February 4, 2007 1:11:20 PM

Quote:
I have an old Celeron system I am planning on liquid cooling. And when I say liquid cooling, I mean dropping in a small tank of circulating mineral oil!

If that goes well the P4 is next 8)


This can be done, but it's certainly not recommended. The oil can't circulate when it gets trapped in the tiny components around and behind the CPU, leading to extremely intense hot spots and premature death of any system. You can try of course, but it will turn out badly.

If I would do the P4 I would seal the CPU as to try and keep the liquid from getting underneath. I've read a few examples where not doing so ended with some issues, :) 

I honestly probably won't end up doing it to the P4 in the -near- future, but the Celeron system I won't even bother sealing off. Compared to a P4, a 466Mhz Coppermine is an ice cube.
February 4, 2007 1:55:03 PM

Yea, it might work well enough on an older system, where there's more space between the components. Definately let us know how it turns out.
February 6, 2007 4:23:57 AM

The marketing guru onsite had some interesting points when considering the thermal properties of water compared to Therminol, but when asked directly if Therminol or some other substance would work better than water, he didn't know. There are several grades and formulations and they all have such a high heat range I don't think it will make much if any difference one way or the other. He did say he had not heard of any application that Therminol is used in ambient air temp ranges, only in more extreme heat profiles. I will probably try it anyhow just to see!! Thanks for all the input!! :D 







Quote:
Water is quite ideal, actually.

Tcase (temperature on the CPU heatsink) and radiator temperatures (ambient room) both fall in the temperature ranges of liquid water at atmospheric pressure, so the only pressure on the tubing would be from the pump. Water has among the highest specific heat capacities (liquid ammonia is the only substance I know with higher), so the weight of coolant that must be pumped is minimized.

The only drawbacks to water that I can think of are low thermal conductivity, necessitating a large surface area for heat transfer ("capillary tubes"), and viscosity. Even though water isn't terribly viscous, there are quite a few liquids that are far easier to pump.

Anhydrous liquid ammonia is not that practical as a non-phase-change coolant because it boils at -33 Celsius (entire loop has to be pressurized), is even less conductive than water (capillary tubing needs to be finer), and is highly corrosive (tough choice of metal for coolant block) as well as toxic. However, ammonia is an excellent refrigerant because of its low boiling point and viscosity - it's used in some high-capacity refrigeration systems even today.

Mercury is an interesting suggestion because as a thermally conductive metal it would require hardly any capillary tubing to cool efficiently. However, like most metals it has a low heat capacity, and so to remove the same amount of heat as water, one must pump 30 times the weight in mercury (about 75% more volume than water). The good thing is that mercury isn't much more viscous than water, and without that capillary tubing, a mercury loop should be easy to pump. The drawbacks are toxicity (it does have a vapor), low tolerances for elevation changes (loop has to withstand substantial pressure gradients), and sheer weight causing a strain on the pump whenever starting up.
February 6, 2007 8:01:13 AM

Hey there

Water is all great, but I'd personally like to try the oil experiment that THG did, with a circulatory and radiator system installed sometime. Problem with water is all the freakin' piping you need (or with any liquid cooling), and actually raises the ambient temperature of your rig by a few degrees, due to reduction of the natural ventilation. Distilled water is great, but becomes contaminated. also, the mobo itself should be cooled as well, as the current also pumps through the board; reduce the heat resistance, better conductivity etc.

What are the specs for Therminol? Sounds like a very interesting compound.
February 6, 2007 2:38:46 PM

www.therminol.com and there are several grades and the vlt and d12 are the two I am considering. These are not available in retail channels nor in small amounts but since I work for Solutia, I was hoping to get some for R&D through onsite marketing. I will update when/if I am successful in obtaining some for use in my testing. At the very least the engineer I talked to said Therminol would perform at least as well as water.
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2007 2:59:43 PM

Nah, just keep the normal case fans running and install your water loop. Fact is, it is probably much lower due to all the heat dissipating through the water loop to the outside of the case via the radiator, instead of spinning off of heatsinks to warm up your case and recycle. A few case fans (that come with almost any case anymore) will do enough to keep a H2O case cooled from radiated MB heat. Biggest heat source in a case? GPUs...watercool that bad boy and its a balmy ambient temp inside. That's what I do... :) 
February 6, 2007 3:04:20 PM

The early attempts at "liquid metal cooling" for video cards used a gallium-based mixture, I think. It had like 20-30 times the thermal conductivity of water, but it also had much, much less thermal capacity. This means that it would absorb heat easily, but it would also heat up more than water if it absorbed the same amount of heat. Its much higher thermal conductivity, however, more than made up for that.

But I guess this wasn't the end-all solution to cooling, because it didn't make it: no retail products as of yet.
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2007 3:07:57 PM

I think at this point the best alternative to a liquid cooling idea is the heatpipe/heatsink. The fluid in the pipes uses convection to move heat from the base to the heatsink in similar fashion that lava lamps do (my understanding, at least). Anyone have any specific information on what this fluid is, and its conductivity/dissipation ability?
February 6, 2007 3:50:06 PM

Quote:
I think at this point the best alternative to a liquid cooling idea is the heatpipe/heatsink. The fluid in the pipes uses convection to move heat from the base to the heatsink in similar fashion that lava lamps do (my understanding, at least). Anyone have any specific information on what this fluid is, and its conductivity/dissipation ability?


Heat pipes operate by vaporizing a liquid at the heat source which is recondensed into liquid at the cold end and then drawn by capillary action along a ceramic honeycombed liner back to the heat source. Thus cooling is performed by a phase change using the latent heat of vaporization of the material not it's thermal conductivity.
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