Fluid XP+ Cooling Fluid

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Possible alternative to water with acceptable performance loss – Joe

SUMMARY: Possible alternative to water with acceptable performance loss.

The good guys at Integrity PC were nice enough to send over a sample of Fluid XP+. This is sold as an alternative to water for use in watercooling systems.

According to Integrity PC, Fluid XP+ is

  • Environmentally Safe: Non-toxic, biodegradable, all FDA approved food grade ingredients.
  • Long Lasting: 5+ year shelf life.
  • Robust: Not prone to mechanical shearing (Pumping).
  • Corrosive Inhibiting: Neutral pH (pH of 7) and non-electrolytic; does not cause galvanic corrosion (if spilled in system, no need to clean between chips on board etc.) or rusting.
  • Non-conductive
  • Versatile: Formula can be tailored for various viscosities and systems.

If there’s one thing about water (tap water), its thermal properties are tough to beat with any alternative fluid. Its drawbacks when used in computer cooling are well know:

  • Does not mix well with electronic components
  • Perfect host for growing organisms, eg. algae
  • Electrolytic (causes corrosion)

Some of these properties can be ameliorated by using distilled water, but over time it may become contaminated such that it loses some of its desirable properties; note that distilled water is a good medium for growing algae, so adding an algaecide is a must.

There are various concoctions and formulas around to address these and other issues; Integrity PC is marketing Fluid XP+ as an alternative to water. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) given to me by Integrity PC, FLuid XP+ contains

  • Dihydrogen Oxide, [Water]
  • Xanthan Gum, [CP Kelco: Keltrol-T &/or Keltrol-T622]
  • 1-Dodecanol [Lauryl Alcohol]
  • 1,2-Propanediol [Propylene Glycol]
  • 1,2,3-Propanetriol, [Glycerin]

It feels a little denser than water, although not appreciably so. Integrity PC aslo supplied some data on conductivity:

Fluid

microSiemans/cm¹

De-ionized Water

0-10

Fluid XP+

76

Tap Water

250

Anti-Freeze and Water (50/50)

2,750

Windshield Washing Fluid

4,800

Wetter/Water (50/50)

29,400

¹microSiemans/cm is a measure of conductivity

Considering that tap water will fry components very easily, the threshold for non-conductivity is fairly low.

The Test

I tested Fluid XP+ by running it in a system which included a waterblock, radiator and waterpump. I first ran it on water only, then drained it fully and installed Fluid XP+. The waterblock was left in place on the Die Simulator to avoid any change in performance due to remounting. Components were in the same position as with the water test – no changes.

Fluid XP+ Cooling Fluid

Test

Die Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

Water Only

39.5

21.3

18.2

0.26

Fluid XP+ Only

40.9

21.7

19.2

0.27

The net difference between Fluid XP+ and water was 1ºC at 100 watts; users running CPUs at less than that will most likely not see any difference at the desktop, nor is it likely that users will see much difference during non-stress use.

CONCLUSIONS

As a cooling fluid, Fluid XP+ is a reasonable, but costly ($50/32 ounces, $100/gallon), alternative to water. Considering that users could “set it and forget it”, it may not be an unreasonable price to pay.

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