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Warning! Liquid Metal Thermal Material Destroys Aluminum Heatsink
Do NOT buy "Liquid Metal" thermal compound from Ebay!! Check out the pictures on this site:
Liquid Metal Thermal Material Destroys Aluminum Heatsink
"Coollaboratory Flüssigmetall" is a thermal interface material that should not be used with aluminum heatsinks, according to the manufacturer. By that innocuous warning on the product one would assume it causes some minor oxidation over time, or reacts with unanodized aluminum in a minor way that reduces thermal conductivity... Well, according to this report by Nokytech that is a substantial understatement!
'Dams57000' is a Nokytech forum user who describes his experience with the substance when some overflowed onto the sides of a Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu, coming into contact with the aluminum components of that heatsink. "My friend had spoken to me about a very effective thermal paste which can be bought on Ebay. It's a German product called "Liquid Metal" which is supposed to replace thermal pastes. According to the manufacturer, this product has an excellent thermal conductivity (82 W/mK, instead of 10W/Mk in general). I bought some and decided to apply this product to my Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu LED heatsink.
On my first attempt it was kind of difficult to spread out the molten metal. I tried my utmost but could not get a perfect layer. The liquid metal spread out very easily and overflowed the copper portion of the Zalman heatsink, onto the sides. I went looking for some cotton swabs to try and clean up the surplus. With my return... horror! The two small parts of Aluminum on either side of the copper had turned a black color. I tried to remove the "Liquid Metal" with the cotton swab but could not. The aluminum was completely oxidized... and looking at it more closely I realized then that the Aluminium was "boiling!!!"
Panicing, I took the Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu and ran it under tap water; but it was impossible to stop the chemical reaction which had become very extensive. Believe me or not, the aluminum parts of the Zalman heatsink just disintegrated in the flow of water and went down the drain. It just crumbled in front of my nose!"
Yeah man, looks like gallium. This page even says.............
'If a drop of water is added to the resulting bead of liquid metal, the water combines vigorously with the aluminum, making a hot solution of caustic aluminum hydroxide. What is left is the original drop of gallium, with a tiny amount of aluminum dissolved in it. (Don't put that drop back in the bottle, it will contaminate the rest of the gallium). "
Check the bottom pictures.
I don't think I want any of the stuff myself. I can be a bit messy at times.
There's nothing wrong with it. The site that sells it says not to use it or get it on any aluminum coolers or parts. That guy just didn't know what he was doing.
Originally Posted by Midknyte
Water was the absolute worst thing he could have done to stop the corrosion.
Still though, as I said I can get a little sloppy. I can't even seem to apply AS5 without getting some of it on me.
Can you imagine the mess I could make with that stuff.
still, it's probably a good idea not to use it anywhere near a computer.
Originally Posted by mpc2
although I'm sorely tempted to buy some just see the chemical reaction first hand.
Especially if ya have one of the $200 aluminum cases. I'd be a bit miffed if that stuff put a hole in a high dollar case just because I am a slob.
Originally Posted by Strawbs
Strawbs, that stuff is a bit expensive just to play with but if ya do it post pics.
good god im glad i saw this.... this guy reall y needs to not touch that thermal compound. if im not mistaken that compound is made of mercury, it would be a very resonable explanation for the aluminums corrsion.
for those who dont believe me. however i must say that stuff look as if it could be a great thermal compound for copper heatsinks.