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Water cooling distribution plates

Discussion in 'Watercooling' started by Mungler, 28 Aug 2018.

  1. Mungler

    Mungler New Member

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    Starting to see more and more of these plates around. The 1000D build, for example
    https://bit-tech.net/features/moddi...integrating-reservoirs-into-a-distro-plate/1/
    Another example of one that I consider decent (and has good photos of it to boot)
    https://www.ekwb.com/blog/project-aorus-hans-peder-sahl/

    Obviously these distribution plates are highly bespoke as even in the same case you could have many different configuration of res, fittings etc. so quite hard to just go out and buy one, plus, 'I mod therefore i am'.

    What I am looking to discuss is thickness' as, after doing a bit of research, it seems that there is quite a range of measurements when creating plates like this.

    Generally, it seems that you should start with a 10mm sheet of acrylic to cut the main channels into, with a 1.35mm channel cut just outside the perimeter of the channels for o-ring placement. Then a 6mm sheet fixed down on the top of this to create the appropriate seal. So 16mm thick in total for a basic, flat plate with some channels in.

    A couple of questions come out of this, I would guess that the channel depth in the example above would be 4mm, giving thickness of 6mm on the main plate at the bottom of the channels to match the top plate. This does seem thick to me, mainly because the tops you can order for various blocks don't tend to be this thick (or I need my eyes tested). Those tops include holes for fittings etc and can take a fair bit of punishment before issues arise. So what would the forum consider the minimum safe thickness for main plate and top cover?

    Also it seems to be very much up to the individual regarding screw spacing, distance from edges of the sheet of channel, proximity to screws from other channels. Obviously I want a good amount of compression on my o-rings, but I don't want it to look like I have gone crazy with all the screws. It would be handy if there were a guideline on this.

    Lastly, channel depths, which relates back to plate thickness. I want to avoid restricting flow in the system, so, having very shallow channels would seem to necessitate those channels being wide in order to allow for the appropriate volume of coolant to travel across the plate. Is it that simple, or is there a bit more magic to it than this? Again, experience would
     
  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I'm not good with the metric equivalents, but there's a lot of factors that add to the plate's thickness. The big one is actually the fitting threads. You can seat a fitting in 1/8", but half the barb thread will be sticking into the channel.
    Personal preference comes into play too. I prefer the cover plate to be 6mm. That gives space for fitting threads and screw countersinks, and is less likely to warp under O-ring pressure. (It still can, thus the high screw count.)
    Fewer screw would mean you would need longer screws/thicker material. Plexi stress at screw points shows up sometimes years later. It usually looks like spiderweb cracks radiating out from the threads.

    OK, i'm wandering off. I should answer questions instead of a full overview. :lol:
    Channels should be wide enough to match the area of the inside of your fittings for good flow.
    I try to have a screw every inch along an O-ring channel. It could probably be less, but that's my preference. With thick materials, you could use less.
    Minimum: If the fittings are all in the cover plate, 1/4" top, 3/8" base. HOWEVER, Thick plexi is sex. Thus why we use it. :D

    Also: https://www.parker.com/literature/ORD 5700 Parker_O-Ring_Handbook.pdf
    -ack, just noticed all the seating numbers are imperial. I guess you will need to find a metric O-ring manufacturer.
     
  3. Big Elf

    Big Elf Oh no! Not another f----ing elf!

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    When it comes to O rings I would highly recommend Sealforce. They're not the cheapest but they supply top quality O rings and are happy to give advice on the best material for a particular use.

    If they don't have the size you want listed they can always get it for you. Alternatively you can just buy O ring cord in the diameter you want and make them yourself (superglue to stick the ends together).
     
  4. Mungler

    Mungler New Member

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    I'm fine with converting both ways :D

    A great point, the top cover I was looking at when I wrote this post has thicker rings around the fittings but the rest of the sheet is thinner.

    I accept that you are correct about fewer screws meaning they need to be 'bigger' but is there a guideline or formula for working out those stress's and therefore the optimum distribution of screws? I found a few references talking about individual screw points material stree numbers but not about applying it to a plate for evening out stress across a surface.


    loving it, all good stuff so far :)

    Ok, so it is as simple as I thought. The ID of a tube is 10mm (3/8"). This is an area of 78mmsq. So a channel 1mm deep (I know, stay with me) would need to be 78mm wide in order to not restrict liquid flow. scale that up and you end up saying a 6mm deep channel would need to be 13mm wide in order to not restrict liquid flow. Conveiniently 13mm (1/2") is the OD of the tube. Which will look nice, :thumb:cool, happy with that.


    I'll be making my own o-rings from cord. in hindsight, I am not sure why I included the measure for the o-ring channel :)
     
  5. Impatience

    Impatience Active Member

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    Might be of use to you?

     
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  6. Mungler

    Mungler New Member

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    An awesome video by the person that made the aorus rig in my first link. Not sure how I didn't find that! Thanks
     
  7. Mungler

    Mungler New Member

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    and this is why bit-tech is so awesome:


    screw spacing, material thickness and an on screen display of the tool shortcuts used (patterns rock!!)

    thanks bit-tech
     
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  8. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    Couple of questions:

    Anyone got any advice on where to get stuff CNCed?

    Also, do people recon 6mm is enough to hold a motherboard by itself? Asking for a friend :worried:
     
  9. Impatience

    Impatience Active Member

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    I used Parvum when I had a distro plate made, were really good service overall!
     
  10. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    Last edited: 21 Jan 2019
  11. TodMod

    TodMod Member

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    I'M Undecided between CNC or laser engraver, unfortunately I would need both because I care, make also satin
    Opaque Effects on the plex
     
  12. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Just as an aside, if its viable, you could go for a laser cut silicon gasket as they're much easier to design for and are far less prone to errors, its what I use for work for simplicity :)
     

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