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THE BATTERIE AFFECT COPPER + ALUMINUM

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junk30

Registered
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
I have just read an old article on watercooling said something about copper and aluminum mixed make a great batteries. I am going to use a copper water block and a Trans cooler that is aluminum( fairly large) and was wondering what the batterie affect was? and will it affect my set up for the worst? and if there is a way to stop this? Could someone enlighten me?
 

[Oc]acaridans

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2001
Batterie effect is copper and aluminum chemically reacting when they com into contact, the water helps this process along.

You probally dont have to much to worry about, but i would reconmend getting a copper core radiator, that would basically elimnate the worry.
If you did that the only other place that you would seethe batterie affect is where the fittings screw into the waterblock.

All in all it takes a while to happen,so if you keep everythnig clean, and use ionized or distilled water you will be alright.
 

[Oc]acaridans

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2001
It causes corrosion where the 2 metals meet..not too big of a deal as long as you keep everything clean..

Over time pieces of corrosion could break free and clog lines, blocks or disrupt pumps and in the worst case it could eat through the metal..

But like I said, it takes a while for all this to happen and if you do regular maintainence there is nothing to worry about.
 

Fink

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Just make sure that you use 10-20% antifreeze in your water; that will eliminate any possibility of galvanic corrosion for about six months. Some Redline waterwetter will help improve the thermal transfer properties of the water/antifreeze mixture. Cheers!
 

Staz

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Location
Lafayette, La.
What you're talking about is cathodic erosion. When two dis-similar metals are emersed in an elctrolite (a fluid that conducts electricity) one metal will act as a cathode and one will act as an anode. Free floating electrons will travel from the anode to the cathode. This will cause pitting and erosion in the anode. This means that your radiator will lose electrons to the copper block. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze should combat this. A better solution would be to put a small chunk of zinc in your resivoir. The zinc will act as an anode to both the aluminium and the copper.
 

Fink

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
I think we have had this debate before. I don't care for the idea of pumping a ton of zinc ions into the solution. It is going to negatively effect the heat capacity and transfer properties of the water and the salts will interact with the plastisizers present in the tubing. I vote for antifreeze.