Soft copper tubing for a loop...need ideas? check here

hey there

I know alot of people have been mesmerized by steampunking+watercooling their rigs and the idea to get soft copper tubing instead of soft plastic tubing is a favorite but really stressful adventure.

I ALSO know that some have planned forth a soft copper tubed build project ----> this means you Boiler hehe
so without further delays

and a lil more inspiration drives via a google search

nothing special but a few words of caution

* I guess I should up my ante with my builds :/ :??:
15 answers Last reply
More about soft copper tubing loop need ideas check here
  1. Great finds! I'm sure this will find its way into some upcoming builds or projects.
  2. :) yeah, i suppose toolmaker could make use of it in his current build :)

    but here's hoping your steampunk idea takes flight...[:lutfij:3]
  3. Man, that is impressive. But routing all that pipe probably took quite a bit of patience and a steady hand.....Both of which I am sorely lacking.
  4. I mentioned this to another member, for the looks dept, its worth that extra mile. BTW, copper is malleable but a real PITA to work with. when all is set and done - you'll def need to re-polish the tubes as OP is doing :)
  5. I like the looks of the first one a lot, but what does that do to the turbulent water flow of the system? I would think that it cleans it up quite a bit, but is that a good thing? or does it not mater that much in the first place.
  6. well modo had a thread asking any member that had knowledge of turbulence to respond to him...and if memory serves me, he also crafted lil barbs from plastic to act as a turbulence generator...
  7. if you are going to try using cooper tubing for cooling loops be sure to fill the tubing with sand before you start bending and shaping so it doesn't snap or crumple up. As for welded cooper pipe that too works but chances of leaks increases greatly as there are more joints.
  8. I know that a pipe bender of varying radi will help with the bending procedure - otherwise you'd need a water to flush the sand from blocks...or maybe do it your way efficiently.
  9. Quote:
    I like the looks of the first one a lot, but what does that do to the turbulent water flow of the system?

    Shouldn't be much different than the laminar flow you already get from normal tubing. You'd want laminar flow through tubing/fittings for higher flow, and turbulent flow through radiators. This is the reason each pass in a rad is multiple channels, turbulent flow is slower, but if you increase the total pass volume by using multiple channels, it's negligible, which is why radiators are low restriction in most instances.
  10. Yup, the fluid mechanics thread I posted was actually to try and help Toolmaker, we were pondering the best way to make his manifold up, or if to do it at all :)
    and my little turbulence inducers are in the radbox (Well, hopefully they still are hehe) between the input and first rad, and between the first and second rad, just to swirl it up before it hits the rads
  11. I like some of those builds - a few do need some work, but I feel like I'd find a way around that come time for my build. I've also been debating attempting a passive build using a MountainMods case (with the triple 360 or triple 420 panels); at some point I will probably try to run legitimate numbers to see if it's feasible ;)

    As for turbulent/laminar flow, the real difference between the two is purely the speed of the fluid. You'd have to calculate the Reynolds number (density * velocity * tube ID / viscosity); if Re > 2300, it's turbulent, or otherwise it's laminar. Flow patterns (like Moto's "turbulence inducers") have nothing to do with the flow; it is a result of the speed of the fluid.
  12. From a quick calculation:

    Density (@ 20C) = 998.2 kg/m^3 (doesn't change much based on temp)
    Kinematic Viscosity (@ 20C) = 0.001002 N/s*m^2
    Diameter = 1/4" = 0.00635 meters

    Velocity is diffcult to calculate, since you need to back-calculate from flow rate, but assuming an MCP 655 or so with 1000 LPM:

    1000 LPM = 16.667 Liters per second = 0.016667 m^3/s

    Dividing flowrate by tube area gives velocity:

    Area = (pi)*(0.00635/2 m)^2 = 3.167*10^-5 m^2
    Velocity = (0.016667/3.167*10^-5) = 200.5 m/s (although it seems high, it makes sense, since you're pushing so much water in such a small space)

    The Reynolds number in that case is about 1.2 million. I would appreciate a numbers check, since I did this on my iPad and didn't have any paper to do a hand calculation. Either way, this number will be far above the laminar flow regime.
  13. Yeah I don't think you want any laminar flow here, you'd need such a low pump speed. It makes little difference anyway, and ultimately the turbulent flow helps the heat transfer.

    Anyway that copper stuff is awesome. Looks really cool, I especially liked the one where there was bits of neon blue tubing between copper elbows and such, looks bad ass.

    Trying to find the image, it might have been on a very old Tom's article, but there was a guy who made this massive copper pipe loop on the wall as a passive radiator. It was probably at least 1 meter high and maybe .25 to .5 meters wide, with about 6 loops. Looked like wall art, very cool stuff. You could do some basic calcs to figure out the heat transfer out of something like that to build one yourself (or any passive radiator).

    I think in the future my goal is to build some sort of PC inside a desk with exposed parts, and this copper stuff looks so awesome I might have to figure out a way to doing it too. Though, this won't happen for a long time.
  14. Also, this is a crazy copper rad project:
  15. That HUSH has been posted a lot (lots of folks have used it as inspiration) and similar to a project I wanted to mess with a long time ago but then realized how expensive all the copper I didn't pursue it. I think a passive, winding set of copper tubing would be a great case exterior, but likely would need supplement of at least one radiator, depending how it was setup. Copper is pricey, so it's not a task for someone looking for a budget DIY project...unless you have a large budget. The look of it is just fantastic, and if you know what you are doing, it could be a fantastic looking project.

    I love stuff like's so creative and different that it just sparks all sorts of ideas.
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