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Can I spray oil over my MB and memory to prevent corrosion?

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March 1, 2007 11:48:18 AM

Hi people. I manage a small network in a office right next to the beach. The office has been set up some 8 months ago ( with brand new machines ) and my machines are starting to "dye" one by one ... I openned them up and what I saw was that, basically, components were beeing eaten up by corrosion.. I supose it is beacause of the salted air environment ( as I said, it's right next to the beach ): Some contacts of memory chips (from RAM and GPU) were almost gone, and there was "rust" (not "rust" but I don't know the english word for it) building up in chip contacts, in the that are close to fans (memory gets air from cpu fan, graphic card memory is cooled by the GPU fan... ).

Well, anyway, I would like to prevent this and I don't know how. One thing that crossed my mind (particularly after reading about the "oil cooling" articles) was that maybe I could spray the motherboards with some oild-based spray (WD40 maybe?). Could anyone comment on this? What do you think?

More about : spray oil memory prevent corrosion

March 1, 2007 12:17:55 PM

I wouldn't try any 'off the self coatings' to try to prevent corrosion. there are specific compounds for that, and they need to be applied at the point of manufacture.

I would work more at trying to cleanse the enviroment the pc's are in.. do you have Air conditioning?? that will help tremendously.. at the very least dehumidifiers and keep as many of the doors/windows closed as possible. People in places such as Miami dont have much problem with corrosion, and almost every place there has air conditioning.

if air conditioning/dehumidifiers are not a viable option, then maybe some dessicant bags placed inside each pc will help, but these will need changing every so often.
March 1, 2007 12:25:54 PM

I don't know about that, WD-40 is not electrically conductive at least on automobile systems and is an off the shelf sealant lubricant.
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March 1, 2007 12:40:59 PM

Buy Dells with the gold service warranty.
a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
March 1, 2007 12:52:43 PM

Dust would immediatley start sticking to anything with oil on it like a magnet. I don't know what would happen if you used them on electronic devices as I haven't researched their conductivity, but there are spray-on dry film lubricants. We use them on machinery where a lot of dust created, such as high speed paper punches etc....
March 1, 2007 12:53:07 PM

Oils will wear off. You want something more... permenant. I suggest finding a way to seal the case completely, hooking it up to a dehumidifier, or watercooling it so there is no need for air intake. I'm assuming the problem is that the humidity.

Some questions: Are they in a closed room? How many are there? Are you will to modify them yourself? Would you rather have a permenant solution thats a pain to make or a simple solution (Dell Gold warranty) thats initially easy?

BTW: Your english impresses me, for a non native speaker.
-cm
March 1, 2007 1:28:44 PM

If you find that air conditioning or dehumidifiers will not do the trick and you want to try a coating, you should try what is called Conformal Coatings. These apply a thin layer of a sealant material that will cover the board and parts and protect them. Because it dries and hardens to a solid it will protect your electronics without allow dust to stick. Our company has products that must withstand salt water spray and these coatings work very well.

Do some searching on Conformal Coatings and find one that comes in an aerosol spray as that will be the only easy method of applying to pre-assembled computer electronics. Be careful, in that slots with no cards can get the coating on the contacts and then have connection failures if you try to install a card later. Also be careful around fans and fan bearings or the fan life can be reduced.
March 1, 2007 1:32:19 PM

Quote:
Buy Dells with the gold service warranty.


I... uhhh...er... umm... err...what?

If you have an air conditioned or heated building possibly a special filter in place?

I agree that oil + dust = bad things.
March 1, 2007 2:27:10 PM

I didn't know that... what is the name of your company?
-cm
March 1, 2007 2:31:39 PM

Under no circumstances should you use oil on a motherboard. The problem isn't resistance, it's the capacitance caused by having oil between the pins. Also oil has a tendency to migrate to tiny spaces between chips and sockets and cause localized, intense, hot spots.

The best thing would be to purchase some VCI's, or Vapor Corrosion Inhibiters. They are available as strips or tubs. I'm in the US Navy and we use these on our topside radars and computer systems. They work like a champ.

Link
March 1, 2007 2:40:37 PM

Here's the knock-off brand. We pay almost 100 bucks a pop for cortec emitters, but here they have a carton of 50 for 80 bucks. Good deal.

Link
March 1, 2007 2:56:14 PM

A quick search found this article:

http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articl...

"...............The problem is the salt. Our community is bordering the ocean. Motherboards and electronics last on average about two years because of the corrosion and rust............."

Some good solutions presented in that article including sprays. Man I wish I live that close to a beach.
March 1, 2007 3:05:09 PM

Sick...
-cm
March 1, 2007 3:08:42 PM

Quote:
Buy Dells with the gold service warranty.


Why do you hate me so ? lol just kidding :) 
March 1, 2007 3:26:54 PM

What's sick about it?
March 1, 2007 7:10:04 PM

Hi people, and thanks for all the comments!
MichiganTeddyBear :
I could try to use dehumidifiers ( running at night ) but besides that there is no air conditioning and doors and windows are open all day long... and it's a wide-open area, and there is no option to close that bit down.
I had already tought of using dissecant bags inside the casing, but I was not sure if that would help. I think I'll try it if I can find a big pack for sale somewhere. I don't mind scheduling a "monthly task" for doing this. It would be acceptable.

warezme, JITPublisher :
Thanks for the info on Wd-40 and other oils. As a personnal experience in another similar office, dust usually builds up in an unbelievable way on those PC's, so I'll stay out of WD-40 because of that. Now.. I'll look for those "dry lubricants" , altough I've not a clue of what could that be... is there a know example?

foxyxi :
I'll search for those coatings. I can tape unused slots before applying, and I'll skip fans as I alread expect them to fail after an year... Thanks for reinforcing that tought!

AdamBomb42:
Sorry, Dells are too expensive here in Portugal :-(

celewin:
Thanks for the compliment! And thanks for the tip too! I'll recommend a dehumidifier, but watercooling is not an option: Too expensive ( there are about 10 machines there ) and too much maintenance ( don't watercooling systems need periodic water/liquid cleaning/changing and are prone to misbehave after several months ? Maybe I'm too ceptic about them ...)
I think the problem is both the humidity an the salt (altough salt should absorve water ?). I would rather a simple solution...

sweetpants :
AC or heater it's not a possibility but... I have the habit of using "kitchen extractor" filters in the air intakes of other boxes ( which are in a dusty place ). Do you think these air filters will help ? The problem seems to be humidity filled with salt, I don't think they'll work, but I could try.

cb62fcni :
Thanks for the tip. Do that also applyes to "dry lubricant" as suggested by JITPublisher , and for the "conformal coatings" suggested by foxyxi?
I'll search for those Vapor Corrosion Inhibiters.. the link you pointed has dissecants and coatings... Are you suggesting something special that is on that page and that I missed? Or all of those are VCI?
OOPS! I was not notisting you second post! It's kind of a dissecant, right?

Trakz:
I'll look up the document! thanks! Living near a beach is good during the summer but chilly during the winter... humidity gets inside your bones!

Thanks for all the help people! I hope the things you referred at available here in Portugal, but hey, there is always international shipping, right?

Thanks again!
March 1, 2007 8:13:28 PM

Yes, the tubs have dessicant in them, but they also emit vapors that prevent oxidation and dissimilar metal corrosion. The effect lasts for a good long time, even after removing them. It could be used in conjunction with a conformal coating. We used to have corrosion issues in the electronic portion of our CIWS mounts and on other topside radar components, but these things actually really worked like magic, I was doubtful that they would do anything, but I was wrong. They're kind of pricey though, but the 2nd link has them fairly cheap. Good luck!
March 2, 2007 5:07:40 PM

This was a very cool thread with some interesting and creative information. I love it when one can learn something new. A quick investigation yielded this website from a well-reputed manufacturer. Nice job to the ^^^posters.

http://www.dowcorning.com/content/etronics/etronicscoat...

To cb62fcni: Yeah, the Navy always gets the coolest "toys" -- our tax dollars at work!
March 2, 2007 5:34:33 PM

Quote:
thanks!
Leave it to the massage therapist to jump in and take all the accolades. 8O
March 2, 2007 10:22:51 PM

Hmmm, I guess you want me to feel bad about "wasting" your tax money? Sorry, I can't, it gets spent on far more useless things than I've mentioned every day. You'll just have to suck it up and get on with your life somehow....shame.... Thanks for paying me though!
March 2, 2007 11:33:44 PM

Quote:
Hmmm, I guess you want me to feel bad about "wasting" your tax money? Sorry, I can't, it gets spent on far more useless things than I've mentioned every day. You'll just have to suck it up and get on with your life somehow....shame.... Thanks for paying me though!
Not at all, my friend. Hardly -- intended as sincere -- I thought your insight in this post was great. I've got an uncle (Annapolis) and brother-in-law, both ex-navy; a cousin, ex-navy intelligence; and a Marine son doing a second tour in Iraq. I'm just an old ex-hippie watching the show (with the utmost admiration of you guys, that gotta put it on), and wishin' I could play with some of the cool toys, but not in any of your circumstances. As far as Uncle Sam, I've heard all the stories; don't get me started. Stay safe, Bro'!
March 2, 2007 11:54:21 PM

Dielecric grease is the only thing that comes 2 mind.
Will be a pain in the azz to coat everything tho, and u will prob need to reapply twice a year.
a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
March 3, 2007 12:15:58 AM

To add to foxyxi, you need to use an electronic cleaner like CRC QD Electronic Cleaner, that can be acquired from any local auto parts store, to clean the corrosion from the boards before coating them, it will completely remove the corrosion to your amazement, and then the coating won't be covering an eventual problem, the salt corrosion must be removed, or the deterioration will continue under the coating.

CRC QD Electronic Cleaner will not damage substrates or plastics, it dries extremely fast, like seconds, it is also extremely flammable, use it outside, and do not smoke while using it, I use it all the time for completely cleaning CPU and GPU dies of all old thermal compound, cleans to brand new, and also removes corrosion.
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