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Copper or gold paint/spray for cases?

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January 16, 2010 9:10:43 AM

Hi.

Maybe a stupid question but does it exist gold or copper paint/spray for the inside of the case? Am thinking of ways to combine ordinary fan and heatsink cooling with other kinds of passive cooling, it just poped up in my mind that this may help to spread the thermal heat out? Any ideas?

/DT
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 10:00:55 AM

matt black would be better as it wil soak and not reflect the heat, mettallics will reflect the heat back into the case.
a c 248 ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 10:23:58 AM

I don't think any interior paint will contribute significantly to heat reduction. After all we have to use case fans to remove heat from gaming pc's.
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a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 10:31:55 AM

but any reflective paint would stop the material of the case soaking up the heat, which would probably just result in a faster heat up of the case and a slower cooldown. But the effect would be very small, i wasmore attempting to indicate that the OP had the wrong idea with reflectives as they would insulate against radiated heat.
a c 248 ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 11:37:25 AM

13thmonkey - I understand your point about reflective paint versus black paint. I've actually experienced it first hand here in beautiful sunny southern Arizona where the sun shines 350 days a year and people do not shovel snow. The solar hot water tanks are made of steel and painted flat black. The thermal coatings on flat roof tops are white and very reflective. The results for both are quite impressive.

PC components generate massive amounts of heat very quickly inside a case. With all of the case ventilation, airflow, and cooling required to remove the heat I simply thought interior paint of any kind would not make a significant difference. The heat that is generated is actually massive.
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 11:42:50 AM

absolutely, will be very marginal, i've used those portable solar shower water heaters when i've gone to lemans, with the right level of sun they are dangerously hot after a short period of time.

To OP, don't bother its not worth it, spend the paint money on cable ties.
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 6:22:31 PM

Inside of the case:
It will not matter as colors do not reflect heat, they reflect light. The only thing that would actually help or worsen is if the material in the paint is thermally conductive or not. (No copper paint is not copper, and no gold paint is not gold).
However if you do have lights inside the case, in particular blue (2nd highest energy containing color spectrum) then the best case to use is black (and it's shades) or red as they will absorb the most light of all the light spectrum. Most of the lights inside the case are produced by cold cathode lights or LED which both produce so little heat most of it is absorbed by the materials they are encased in. The thermal benefits from the paint it self are so minute they can be considered less important then say for example the ambient temperature in Alpha Centauri (closest star besides the Sun to the Earth).

(I have 2 Red cold cathode lights in my case (Red=lowest energy wavelength in the color spectrum after infrared light which is not visible to the naked eye). I have a temperature probe on each one, and both mark the same rating as the other 3 temperature probes scattered to the corners of my case.

Outside of case paint only:
Please do not confuse optics with thermal.

White would be the best color to use for a case as it would reflect the most light. The sun gives off energy in the form of heat in photons (or light). A glossy surface would not deteriorate the amount of light taken into the material. A reflective surface like a mirror would reflect most if not all light.

The best color to use after white (and it's shades) is violet as violet's wave frequency or length carries the most amount of energy.
A violet colored object would actually repel violet frequency thus absorbing less energy producing less heat.
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 8:06:42 PM

in which case why does the shiny side of aluminium foil react differently to heat than the matt side, yet they have the same thermal conductivity. Given that Infra red radiation is simply a bit further along the spectrum than red and blue then surely it reflect heat an light. Yes if they were a lot further along the spectrum then the wavelength of the light will be affected very differently. I'm only talking about radiative heat, yes conducted heat, i.e. the warm air pass heat to the case will rely on the conductive properties of the surface, and for all heat transfer to the case the thermal conductivity between the surface paint and the metal will be important.

As another example white cars are cooler than black cars in the summer, because they reflect more heat, and keep less in.
January 16, 2010 9:24:16 PM

Interesting debate what colours can do :)  Well, as I thought it wont make any notable change, but a funny item to discuss. Thus, agree that it would feel rather cool to have the whole case in 24k pure gold :D  Maybe something we might will see on the next CES...
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 10:47:21 PM

13thmonkey said:
in which case why does the shiny side of aluminium foil react differently to heat than the matt side, yet they have the same thermal conductivity. Given that Infra red radiation is simply a bit further along the spectrum than red and blue then surely it reflect heat an light. Yes if they were a lot further along the spectrum then the wavelength of the light will be affected very differently. I'm only talking about radiative heat, yes conducted heat, i.e. the warm air pass heat to the case will rely on the conductive properties of the surface, and for all heat transfer to the case the thermal conductivity between the surface paint and the metal will be important.

As another example white cars are cooler than black cars in the summer, because they reflect more heat, and keep less in.


Does aluminum foil react differently to heat on it's shiny side differently to the matte side?
Yes. But it is not because it's shiny it is because the aluminum is naked or uncoated with any other material. The matte side will most definitely have a different thermal conductivity because the aluminum is being covered with paint. The paint then becomes the material which comes most in contact with the air which may carry heat. I do not know how thermally conductive paint is so don't ask.

Infrared starts the color spectrum wavelength, and ends with ultraviolet. So it is not farther along, it's actually the beginning. The color spectrum is measured by the wavelength from longest to shortest. The shorter the wavelength the more energy that can be carried. Also infrared light cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Light is not affected by heat. Light however can carry energy in the form of heat with no affect the photons (or light).

Once again colors DO NOT reflect heat they reflect light which often carries energy in the form of heat. Please stop confusing light/heat as it can cause very puzzling responses.
White cars stay cooler because they reflect all light spectrum and some of their heat (some of the heat is transfered anyways), black cars stay hotter because they absorb all light spectrum and most if not all energies.

Applying paint to the inside of the case will have no affect on the cooling properties of any the objects inside as the case itself is not used as a medium to pass off heat to outside. As such the color of the paint will also be unimportant.
Now applying paint to the heat sink would affect thermal conductivity of the heat sink because the metal is then covered and must rely on the paints thermal conductivity to pass the heat from the source of the heat to the air around it.
Remember objects transfer heat through DIRECT contact with another object. (Air is an object as well) So if the aluminum or copper or gold is being covered with paint, then the paint is the material that will come into contact with the heat source.
a b ) Power supply
January 16, 2010 10:52:16 PM

DarthTengil said:
Interesting debate what colours can do :)  Well, as I thought it wont make any notable change, but a funny item to discuss. Thus, agree that it would feel rather cool to have the whole case in 24k pure gold :D  Maybe something we might will see on the next CES...


Wait your using real gold or the paint color as "24k pure gold"?

If it's real gold it may actually affect temperatures as gold has a good thermal conductivity of around 300/mK, which if I am correct would actually increase temperatures since the case it self would retain heat and not be blown out of the case.

Like I said color or shininess does not matter, what matters is the thermal conductivity of the paint which I must say is probably irrelevant with most paints used today.
January 19, 2010 4:20:53 AM

Yes I meant real liquid 24k pure gold to spray-paint the inside aluminium walls with from the beginning of this thread, not any color that looks like gold. I disagree with you AsAnAtheist when you were writing that "Applying paint to the inside of the case will have no affect on the cooling properties of any the objects inside as the case itself is not used as a medium to pass off heat to outside. As such the color of the paint will also be unimportant". Most cases are made of aluminium or a copper layer between two aluminium layers that have a very important role as a thermal heat medium to spread the heat inside out of the case. Adding a extra layer of metal (real pure gold) in form of liquid spray to paint the inside of the case should in my mind absorb and transfer more heat into the aluminium walls and accordingly out of the case. We use gold and copper in our heatsinks to better transfer heat out, why should it not have the same function on the walls inside a computer case?
a b ) Power supply
January 19, 2010 8:48:56 AM

DarthTengil said:
Yes I meant real liquid 24k pure gold to spray-paint the inside aluminium walls with from the beginning of this thread, not any color that looks like gold. I disagree with you AsAnAtheist when you were writing that "Applying paint to the inside of the case will have no affect on the cooling properties of any the objects inside as the case itself is not used as a medium to pass off heat to outside. As such the color of the paint will also be unimportant". Most cases are made of aluminium or a copper layer between two aluminium layers that have a very important role as a thermal heat medium to spread the heat inside out of the case. Adding a extra layer of metal (real pure gold) in form of liquid spray to paint the inside of the case should in my mind absorb and transfer more heat into the aluminium walls and accordingly out of the case. We use gold and copper in our heatsinks to better transfer heat out, why should it not have the same function on the walls inside a computer case?


You are confused about the functions of a case.

#1 Most cases are made out of aluminum or SECC steel (galvanized steel). SECC Steel which actually has low thermal conductivity of about 12w/km and aluminum which has a decent thermal conductivity of around 237w/km.

I have not heard of a case made out of copper with 2 layers of aluminum. Actually that would basically defy the purpose of the copper as the aluminum would ultimate decrease thermal performance of the copper by providing a very poor medium or transfer. Let's not forget the fact that a copper case would be incredibly heavy, and be prone to oxidation.

#2 If it is real pure gold, your prone to having short circuits as it does have a high electrical conductivity. While viable for the outside layer it may become dangerous to use it for the component area itself if any parts come into contact with it via whatever means.

#3 Top rated heat sinks use a copper/aluminum heat sink design. Copper pipes make contact with the processor's heat spreader through thermal compound to fill in any gaps/provide a seal. From there the copper pipes carry the heat through the aluminum portion transferring heat to the aluminum fins. From there the air flow from the heat sink's fan or case fans in the use of a fanless heat sink will transfer heat from the aluminum fins to the air. Case air flow should then remove the hot air out while bringing cold air in.

By applying gold paint you are not really going to get any cooling from it, and in fact may promote internalization of heat.

First thing is first:

Let's say you have a computer case with all of the computer components inside: CPU/heat sink, RAM, Graphics card, PSU, Hard drives etc.

Airflow inside the case will touch the case transferring some heat to it however the case itself will not serve any purpose as far as heat dissipation goes because of several factors:
1. The outside of the case has limited air flow, so transferring of heat to the outside is minimal or non existent.
2. In the event that there is air blow outside of the case hitting the case itself, there is the paint which will prevent the heat from escaping by providing a poor medium of heat transfer. Knowing this the actual material inside of the case (gold coated-aluminum, bare aluminum or SECC steel) would be irrelevant.
3. Since no heat is escaping the case it self will house some heat, upon which once the temperature rises on the case material enough to match the air inside the case the heat transfer to the case would end. Since the heat is no longer being transfered to the case, it would balance out and the case would seize to have any impact on the cooling. Please keep in mind this would take anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes to take place, or less time if the components are placed under load.


Even if you were to paint the computer case gold inside/out the thermal conductivity of gold would be hindered by the middle layer of aluminum. Then even further decreased by the lack of airflow outside of the case.

Now if you were to place a room fan besides the case to blow air to the computer the cooling would be significantly better but not because of the case, but because of the high air flow going inside the case. The case itself would not matter because since the air flow inside the case has been increased by a room fan thus introducing more cold air into the case which would absorb most of the heat, and not transfer heat to the case it self.
January 19, 2010 7:10:36 PM

Look at this: [ http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MTgyNg== ]. Your still wrong, the metal in the case is made to spread the inside heat out by the case INNER walls, which is constructed in a lot of different combinations to hold the case cold and quit. A number of pro´s have told me that and almost everyone knows it. Just feel on the outside of the case (which mostly is made of simple steel), if its hot its means that the inner layer is good to absorb and spread heat out. At least if you have a good case. Skip thous thoughts on spray-painting the outside (which I never ever wrote aboute) and just focus on whats happening inside!

Have some copperplates at home and got the thought of cut and place a bigger plate on the HDD:s top-side or on the sides inside of the basket you screw the HDD:s in, can that may help spread the heat from the HDD:s?
a b ) Power supply
January 19, 2010 7:37:49 PM

DarthTengil said:
Look at this: [ http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MTgyNg== ]. Your still wrong, the metal in the case is made to spread the inside heat out by the case INNER walls, which is constructed in a lot of different combinations to hold the case cold and quit. A number of pro´s have told me that and almost everyone knows it. Just feel on the outside of the case (which mostly is made of simple steel), if its hot its means that the inner layer is good to absorb and spread heat out. At least if you have a good case. Skip thous thoughts on spray-painting the outside (which I never ever wrote aboute) and just focus on whats happening inside!

Have some copperplates at home and got the thought of cut and place a bigger plate on the HDD:s top-side or on the sides inside of the basket you screw the HDD:s in, can that may help spread the heat from the HDD:s?


You didn't even read the P193 description correctly, did you?

The P193 (which I am familiar with) uses a compartmental design to avoid hot air flow from the power supply from hitting other components. In no way does the case itself transfer the heat through the case material.

The 3 layer design (aluminum/plastic/aluminum) on the side panel is NOT to transfer heat (plastic is not a good conductor of heat at all and would act as an insulator if anything). It is designed to lower noise levels. The padding on the rest of the steel case is also to damped noise, not a heat dissipater.

I still have yet to see a aluminum/copper/aluminum or copper/aluminum/copper case.

Quote:
Just feel on the outside of the case (which mostly is made of simple steel), if its hot its means that the inner layer is good to absorb and spread heat out. At least if you have a good case.

Steel does not conduct heat well at all. My case is actually cold to the touch on the outside. This is partly due to the fact that the heat is not being transfered to the case due to the low conductivity of the case. My aluminum case is also the same, cold to the touch.

You obviously have little to no idea what a computer case is for or how heat is transfered (reflective paint to reflect heat, lol?). It's main tools are from greatest to least important:

1. Hold all the components in a strategically designed form. (Compartmentalization is a superb way to keep temperatures cool.)
2. Provide air flow through the use of case fans for cooling.
3. Provide physical protection from foreign objects/bumps/etc.
4. Provide a secondary input/output besides the mobo's I/O (usb/mics/optical drivers etc)
5. Provide a aesthetically pleasing effect (this is subjective as some people will go to great lengths to hide the case completely.)

Quote:
Have some copperplates at home and got the thought of cut and place a bigger plate on the HDD:s top-side or on the sides inside of the basket you screw the HDD:s in, can that may help spread the heat from the HDD:s?

Copper plates will slightly help cool the HDD's but the efficiency will be rather minimal as the hard drive's enclosure is already enough to dissipate the heat. Adding a fan directly to the hard drive would definitely render better results then just a copper plate.

I personally have a HAF 922 case, which is a superb gaming case. I have a 120mm high performance fan on the side for the ram's/some of the heat sink's cooling. (heat sink's Core-contact freezer's fan is facing the opposite way from the recommended position to negate the effect of a side intake fan on the air flow. The rest of the fans are stock case fans, in their original positions.
January 19, 2010 10:15:34 PM

I have 8 papst case fans, both in front to blow in air to cooling my HDD:s, some in the back to blow hot air out, and fans that blow uppwards to cool GPU (have passive cooling on it) and higher up fans that also blow uppwards to transport hot air from the RAM and chipset to the second PSU intake. Still I whant to cool the components a little bit more so they may last longer. Fun to experiment with unusual off-stock ideas :-) Looks like we just have total different schooling in cooling, cases and alternative modding. Well, thanks for answers!

/DT
June 6, 2010 8:07:51 PM

Your case is made of metal. You say that inside the case are mostly convection cooling, but you want to improve.
Answer:
You could benefit if the IR being generated will be allowed to exit the case.
The case is metal, and metal is highly reflective of IR. So if you spray black spraypaint (like a carbon black spraypaint) on the inside of the metal case, then the blackpaint surface will absorb the IR (rather than reflect it as the metal is doing) and send that heat via conduction into the metal case. Then on the outside of the metal case you should put a Noren Products air to air heat exchanger to conduct the heat and dispose of the heat via the fans (convestion). The spray paint should be an acrylic---the spray paint should not be a black metallic, should not be a black ceramic. The black paint should be a polyurethane spray, or an acrylic, and should be applied as thinly as possible---AS THINLY AS POSSIBLE.

Second answer
Another way to get the IR out of the cased is to drill holes in the case using an automotive standard for punchout dimensions. So 1st find an autoshop that has standard automotive 'punchout' plugs. Autos have holes punched in nonvisible locations of their structures, and the industry has standardized these. Purchase from an autoshop the plastic plugs which are available to push-snap onto the puchouts. remember though get the plastic plugs 1st. Once you have a set, the cut holes in the case the size for the plastic plugs to be snapped into. What you attain is the IR goes out, through the plastic, continuously. Actually i like that solution the most. If your case. In the above method you are collection the IR, and converting it twice, before finally disposing of it. This punchout methods is best, because no fans are needed.
June 6, 2010 8:52:49 PM

If your case was constructed like a tiny tent, with dowel rods for structure and one layer of saran wrap for the tenting, then all the IR generated would escape completely, and you would need very little or no internal convection cooling.

So if you were to cut a hand sized hole in the side of the case, and cover it by taping one sheet of saran wrap, then that would result in dramatic lowering of temperature inside the case--because so much IR would be exiting.

Metal reflects IR, and your metal case keeps shooting the IR right back to the CPU which is generating IR, and it's a tennis match shooting the IR all around inside the case.
June 6, 2010 9:59:58 PM

Try taking it into an auto-body paint-shop. If it is an aluminum case they might paint it for a good price. A local store near me painted my friends case for only $40.
!