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copper block and aluminum block safe?

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ap0calyps

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2001
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
 

ken257

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
I have been using a Swiftech MCW464 waterblock since Jan2001. It is made with an copper base and an aluminum top. I have not had ant trouble with this setup using 85% distilled water, 10% antifreeze, 5% redline water wetter. If you use a simmilar anti-corrosion mixture it should be ok.
 
OP
A

ap0calyps

Registered
Joined
Apr 9, 2001
dude, I'm 17. What should I use as an "anti-corrosion" mixture? If it has alcohol or anti-freeze in it, is it safe to use with my water bong evaporative cooler?? Some of the alcohol will get absorbed into the air.
 

ken257

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Sorry I guess I read your post to fast. I saw the word radiator but missed the part about you using a bong. I am not sure what would be ok to use in a bong for this because you don't want any funnky stuff evaporating. The best bet would be to just go with all copper. Chipset coolers are not that much money, replace your aluminum one with copper. Antother option is to use a good HSF on the chipset. On my AMD boards I use a stock Intel P3 cpu cooler on the chipsets. This works really well.
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
ap0calyps (Jul 19, 2001 09:11 a.m.):
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
As long as the copper and aluminium are not electically connected (like by touching each other or earthed through your case) you will not get any galvanic corrosion.
So dont worry about it.
 

cjtune

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Badger (Jul 19, 2001 04:38 p.m.):
ap0calyps (Jul 19, 2001 09:11 a.m.):
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
As long as the copper and aluminium are not electically connected (like by touching each other or earthed through your case) you will not get any galvanic corrosion.
So dont worry about it.

They don't have to touch each other or be earthed -the water completes the circuit!!! (regardless of water flow direction) The anodic metal (aluminium) will get eroded.

In radiator WCs, the antifreeze or other additives inhibit the electrical conductivity of water so any galvanic corrosion will not be observable for years maybe. I advise against mixing any copper and aluminium parts in a WC rig but if you must, galvanic corrosion will only take its toll a long time from now but not immediately.
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
cjtune (Jul 20, 2001 11:54 a.m.):
Badger (Jul 19, 2001 04:38 p.m.):
ap0calyps (Jul 19, 2001 09:11 a.m.):
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
As long as the copper and aluminium are not electically connected (like by touching each other or earthed through your case) you will not get any galvanic corrosion.
So dont worry about it.

They don't have to touch each other or be earthed -the water completes the circuit!!! (regardless of water flow direction) The anodic metal (aluminium) will get eroded.

In radiator WCs, the antifreeze or other additives inhibit the electrical conductivity of water so any galvanic corrosion will not be observable for years maybe. I advise against mixing any copper and aluminium parts in a WC rig but if you must, galvanic corrosion will only take its toll a long time from now but not immediately.


No Your wrong on this one ! To complete a circuit, yes you need an electrolite but the metals also need to be in electrical contact directly (Think of a car battery, no current flows untill you join the terminals).
don't believe me? You can read all about it from the expert here: http://www.alliedcorrosion.com/techinfo.html
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
cjtune (Jul 20, 2001 11:54 a.m.):
Badger (Jul 19, 2001 04:38 p.m.):
ap0calyps (Jul 19, 2001 09:11 a.m.):
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
As long as the copper and aluminium are not electically connected (like by touching each other or earthed through your case) you will not get any galvanic corrosion.
So dont worry about it.

They don't have to touch each other or be earthed -the water completes the circuit!!! (regardless of water flow direction) The anodic metal (aluminium) will get eroded.

In radiator WCs, the antifreeze or other additives inhibit the electrical conductivity of water so any galvanic corrosion will not be observable for years maybe. I advise against mixing any copper and aluminium parts in a WC rig but if you must, galvanic corrosion will only take its toll a long time from now but not immediately.


No Your wrong on this one ! To complete a circuit, yes you need an electrolite but the metals also need to be in electrical contact directly (Think of a car battery, no current flows untill you join the terminals).
don't believe me? You can read all about it from the expert here: http://www.alliedcorrosion.com/techinfo.html
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Edit... Insensitive comment snipped

The metals do not need to be in direct contact.

Edit... There are small fragments of free floating metal always in solution. Over time these deposits are what contribute to corrosion. If steps aren't taken to neutralize the electrolyte I guarantee you'll see corrosion. Even if the metals aren't in "direct contact."
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Richard999 (Jul 21, 2001 02:27 a.m.):
Edit... Insensitive comment snipped

The metals do not need to be in direct contact.

Edit... There are small fragments of free floating metal always in solution. Over time these deposits are what contribute to corrosion. If steps aren't taken to neutralize the electrolyte I guarantee you'll see corrosion. Even if the metals aren't in "direct contact."

So what your saying here is the professional corrosion engineering company who's link I posted who are members of NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers ) which is the foremost world recognised body of experts on corrosion, don't know what the f*ck they are talking about?
Do a search on galvanic corrosion theory yourself and you will find the same information on many sites or get a book and read up on it.
I am an engineer by profession and I can say with absolute certainty that the metals do need to be in electrical contact for galvanic corrosion to occur.
As for bits of metal in solution, well unless your systems full of metal fillings this will not happen, neither copper or aluminium is soluble in water
 
W

William

Guest
badger, i have seen galvanic corrosion before, if you would like i can post a photo of it.....
 

Bad Maniac

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
I believe that board of scientific dudes are right in their case BUT, just take a jug of regular tap water, put one piece of copper in one end and a piece of aluminum in the other, with nu contact except the water, and leave it for a week, you will definately see corrosion.

How do you think a battery works? the different materials do NOT have direct contact, the connect through the electrolyte, then you connect the metals through cables. well think water tubes=cables. End of story.

(had to edit this, I was a little bit to fast when I wrote it)
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
The battery is a very good example of there being current flow without electrical contact. The + and - terminals of a battery are connected to an anode and a cathode which are immersed in a very good electrolyte (acid), however no current flows until you connect the terminals together with a cable. You can actually control the galvanic reaction by adjusting the resistance of the electrical connection, thereby adjusting current flow.

The two metals in a bucket of water is a good idea, try it.

William, I'm not saying galvanic corrosion does not happen, I engineer pipelines for a living where galvanic reaction is often used to protect sub-sea and buried piping systems (cathodic protection) I'm just trying to get people to understand the process involved.
 

Flash

Member
Joined
May 21, 2001
William, I'm not saying galvanic corrosion does not happen, I engineer pipelines for a living where galvanic reaction is often used to protect sub-sea and buried piping systems (cathodic protection) I'm just trying to get people to understand the process involved.

Uh, so I guess you weren't wrong before, you realized your mistake, and now you're changing your tune but without losing your patronizing tone then, eh?
 

cjtune

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Badger (Jul 21, 2001 01:44 a.m.):
cjtune (Jul 20, 2001 11:54 a.m.):
Badger (Jul 19, 2001 04:38 p.m.):
ap0calyps (Jul 19, 2001 09:11 a.m.):
I have a copper block on my CPU, and I have an old chipset block I'm going to put on my Radeon. It's aluminum. I don't have a rad, I use a water bong. I have read about copper blocks and aluminum rads eating eachother apart, will this affect me with a copper block and an aluminum block??? THey will not be in the same circut, but will share same water.
As long as the copper and aluminium are not electically connected (like by touching each other or earthed through your case) you will not get any galvanic corrosion.
So dont worry about it.

They don't have to touch each other or be earthed -the water completes the circuit!!! (regardless of water flow direction) The anodic metal (aluminium) will get eroded.

In radiator WCs, the antifreeze or other additives inhibit the electrical conductivity of water so any galvanic corrosion will not be observable for years maybe. I advise against mixing any copper and aluminium parts in a WC rig but if you must, galvanic corrosion will only take its toll a long time from now but not immediately.


No Your wrong on this one ! To complete a circuit, yes you need an electrolite but the metals also need to be in electrical contact directly (Think of a car battery, no current flows untill you join the terminals).
don't believe me? You can read all about it from the expert here: http://www.alliedcorrosion.com/techinfo.html

I apologise for my overly general branding of galvanic corrosion but you might want to read point (d) in the very same website:

"D) New Structure/Old Structure Corrosion Cell
This type of corrosion is very similar to dissimilar metal corrosion in that you have an electrical potential between two metals in a common electrolyte. New sections of the same type of metal are commonly used when making repairs or additions to a structure. The unfortunate thing about this type of corrosion is that the newer structure will normally become the anode."

I am not an expert in corrosion, but there are experiences of ppl which adds weight to the point that you cannot have copper and aluminium parts in a WC rig. I think a notable one was documented at OcShoot? (not sure). The guy's Senfu aluminium waterblock's innards were severely eroded and guess what? He had a copper radiator. Were the two components directly in metallic contact? Nope. Think about it: Two metals with a large potential difference immersed in an electrolyte (tap water, for example). Ions and free electrons all around and they need to do the nasty. What makes you think that the ionic and electronic interactions will take place only when the two metals are connected metallically? The ions and electrons will find their own way to the anode and cathodes through the electrolyte themselves. Connecting a wire only gives them an easier path, which, of course, then the majority of charges will travel through in opposite transit to the ones moving throught the electolyte. Another explanation, not unlike Richard999's, is that the waterflow conticuously dissloves metal ions from each dissimilar metal part in the rig and the corrosion cells occur locally at each dissimilar metal component. I think some guy claiming to be a chemist (CalCoolage, was it?) has said something about this.

Finally I would like to quote the final passage of that Allied Corrosion website page:
"We would like to make it known that there are many other types of corrosion cells, and the corrosion mechanism is far more involved than stated here; however, the above is provided as basic information and reference for structure owners."
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Not saying that. I will say that you don't understand what you're reading though.

Do a little reading on electrolysis, decomposition of metals due to the battery effect, and I think you'll begin to understand. In the presence of an electrolyte and dissimilar metals you will get galvanic corrosion. Case closed. Move on.

Badger (Jul 21, 2001 04:55 a.m.):
Richard999 (Jul 21, 2001 02:27 a.m.):
Edit... Insensitive comment snipped

The metals do not need to be in direct contact.

Edit... There are small fragments of free floating metal always in solution. Over time these deposits are what contribute to corrosion. If steps aren't taken to neutralize the electrolyte I guarantee you'll see corrosion. Even if the metals aren't in "direct contact."

So what your saying here is the professional corrosion engineering company who's link I posted who are members of NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers ) which is the foremost world recognised body of experts on corrosion, don't know what the f*ck they are talking about?
Do a search on galvanic corrosion theory yourself and you will find the same information on many sites or get a book and read up on it.
I am an engineer by profession and I can say with absolute certainty that the metals do need to be in electrical contact for galvanic corrosion to occur.
As for bits of metal in solution, well unless your systems full of metal fillings this will not happen, neither copper or aluminium is soluble in water
 

Badger

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
My last post on the subject, it's a quote from the Allied Industries site that sums galvanic corrosion up:

"Corrosion is basically an electrochemical process in which four conditions must be present:
1. There must be a positive or anodic area, referred to as the "anode."
2. There must be a negative or cathodic area, referred to as the "cathode."
3. There must be a path for ionic current flow, or "electrolyte."
4. There must be a path for electronic current flow, which is normally a "metallic path."
[end quote]
Please note, there are no 'if' or 'buts' these 4 elements MUST be present for galvenic corrosion to occur.

If you choose to believe anecdotal evidence over the National Association of Corrosion Engineers that’s up to you.
You avoid using copper and aluminium together, I will continue to mix them freely as i have for the last year without any problem, we will both be happy so there is not really any problem.
Just to show I talk from personnel experience as well as quoting established galvanic corrosion theory, here's a pic of my rig, all home made including the water blocks. (you are all using water cooled systems I take it?)
 

Flash

Member
Joined
May 21, 2001
Badger (Jul 21, 2001 01:29 p.m.):
My last post on the subject, it's a quote from the Allied Industries site that sums galvanic corrosion up:

"Corrosion is basically an electrochemical process in which four conditions must be present:
1. There must be a positive or anodic area, referred to as the "anode."
2. There must be a negative or cathodic area, referred to as the "cathode."
3. There must be a path for ionic current flow, or "electrolyte."
4. There must be a path for electronic current flow, which is normally a "metallic path."
[end quote]
Please note, there are no 'if' or 'buts' these 4 elements MUST be present for galvenic corrosion to occur.

OK, so
1 & 2. The copper and aluminum parts are the anode and the cathode.
3. The water is the path for ionic current flow, or electrolyte. Since water is a corrosive ageint, over time particles of copper and aluminum will enter the water causing it to become conductive; and
4. The water is also the path for the electronic current flow--"normally" does not mean "always."
 

cjtune

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
OK, ap0calypse, due to the lack and want of corrosion knowledge here, using copper and aluminium parts in a WC setup is 'risky' rather than 'dangerous'. Case closed?
 

o¢r*Aiwa

Registered
Joined
Jul 19, 2001
I am using an aluminium/copper mixture WC atm and I gotta admit I worry about it. Espacially since I see some copper coloured dots on inlets of the aluminium radiator :/

I already ordered a second pump and another copper radiator. I will sepereate the WC and make 2 circuits. 1 aluminium only based GeForce 3 cooling solution consisting of a Senfu Waterblock und a Drop Rinse radiator and a CPU cooling circuit consisting of a Danger Den Maze 2-2 on 2 123 W Peltiers, a Senfu Dual Radiator and a Zern Server Radiator (www.zern.at). This should do a fine job ;)