Coolant options

infin@

Gawd
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
812
I been using fluid XP in my system for the past year and have no quams with it. I am moving to distilled water/antifreeze combo at a 9 to 1 ratio to save some money. I'm wondering how often a fluid change will be needed and how much harder it will be on my copper water blocks and aluminum radiators.
Are there better alternatives to distilled water? Fluid XP is like $40 cdn a bottle and my system uses a bottle and a half per fill. :(
 

Tangent inc.

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
398
water and glycol work great and if you keep light out nothing will grow but you might need a higher ratio to stop the galvanizing. fluid change depends on the tow factors.
 

kunsunoke

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 20, 2000
Messages
5,250
Are there better alternatives to distilled water? Fluid XP is like $40 cdn a bottle and my system uses a bottle and a half per fill. :(

Try 10% of 91% isopropyl alcohol in distilled water. Make sure you add Zerex or some other water wetter for radiators to keep the surface tension low. Dyes are often helpful for monitoring whether your system is moving the coolant properly.
 

kunsunoke

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 20, 2000
Messages
5,250
Depends on whether it's contaminated with acetone. If acetone is present, you may end up crazing your lucite-topped block. If not, should be fine.

In any case, it's not like it's 100% alcohol - the solution is pretty dilute.

I've been using the same exact mixture in my water boxen at home. My main rig hasn't been drained in two years, and has operated more or less continuously for that period. The alcohol seems to have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the PVC used in the res or the tubing.

Main advantages to IPA are the enhanced wetting and the biocidal action. I should also note that (unlike methanol or glycol) it's relatively non-toxic, and it can be purchased from any drug store.
 

Arcygenical

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Jun 10, 2005
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25,068
Try 10% of 91% isopropyl alcohol in distilled water. Make sure you add Zerex or some other water wetter for radiators to keep the surface tension low. Dyes are often helpful for monitoring whether your system is moving the coolant properly.


No no no! Alcohol WILL destroy plexiglasses, and leech the plasticizer out of rubber and delrin. I've cleaned a typhoon bay-res with a 30% concentration of ISO. Alcohol with a cotton swab, came back, and it was covered in tiny micro-cracks. For kicks, I dropped a rubber washer into a cup of 70% USP alcohol, came back in a few hours, and the entire solution had turned gray... The washer was hard as a rock, and shattered when I put pressure on it.

Now, these were at higher concentrations, yes... But Laing specifically says not to use any alcohol in their pumps... That's enough for me to stay away from it.

PVC is a different story though... as it's chemically resistant to most things. The clear or softer plastics, however, don't fare as well.
 

kunsunoke

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 20, 2000
Messages
5,250
Truth be told, Plexiglas (PMMA) is not good material for reservoirs or for CPU blocks. It cracks too easily and can't stand up to even mild chemical attack. Ketone solvents (such as Acetone) turn it into cloudy mush.

Delrin, on the other hand, does pretty well. PVC with polymeric plasticizer does likewise.

http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/chemcomp.asp

By the way, Delrin isn't generally processed with plasticizers. What would be the point, when you're trying to maintain rigidity, which is what you want in a block body? Rubbers do make use of some plasticizers, but that assumes your o-ring seal has the consistency of chewing gum. Most of them do not.

PVC varies, depending on formulation and on the intrinsic viscosity of the resin. Higher IV resins don't do quite as well. Phthalate plasticizers can (but seldom do) leech out, which is why most rigid materials and food-contact grades use polymeric type plasticizers or epoxidized soya oil - or both.

In any case, IPA is pretty inert when it comes to plastics - PMMA excepted.

You might want to ask Laing why they want you to stay away from 10% alcohol solutions. It may have to do with NPSH and the deleterious effects of low boilers present in solution. Erodes the impeller when your pressure across the blade surface is two low (cavitation). If the pump bodies are Delrin, ABS or some olefinic material (such as TPO) there isn't a problem.
 

Top Nurse

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Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
The best cooling solution is distilled water. Unfortunately you end up with other issues due to algae growth. The attempts by others to create effective cooling solutions that negate the problems of mixed metal loops, use of various types of plastics (general sense), and the algae issue have led many towards automotive based coolants or additives. The bad part of this is that you lose a bit of the heat efficiency of water by using such materials due to the concentrations needed to work.

So if you want good cooling efficiency and have the other advantages of the above mentioned fixes I would suggest you go Euro! Alphacool, Aqua Computer, and Innovatek all supply a chemical that is totally water soluble at any temperature and if mixed according to manufacturer's directions of 2% (not Innovatek) will have a decidedly non-negative impact on the cooling ability of the final coolant solution.
 
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