Foam dam barriers for Liquid Metal safety insurance guide.

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Falkentyne, May 21, 2018.

  1. intruder16

    intruder16 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I really have no idea how to find it. I went to buy just the plywood & mdf sheets and accidentally stumbled upon it. It was a furniture warehouse, not exactly a shop. I can't visit that place again as I've shifted to another city. If i have to take a wild guess i think foam sheets like this are used to protect laminates. I'll try to ask a few people i know in woodworking if they know where this kind of foam is used. They might have an idea. I'll post here if i find anything.

    Yep. It is. I have some packing foams as well but they're a bit stiffer.
     
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  2. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Consultant

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    I'm curious as to what benefit foam has over tape? I feel like tape is thick enough to provide a barrier since the CPU and heatsink are so close together where trying to find the correct foam is more of a headache and might not work as well. If anything just use a couple layers of tape on top of each other if you think it's not thick enough.
     
  3. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Laptop heatsinks are often mounted upside down

    Foam stops the potential of LM escape by running along the heatsink (or along the top of the tape and out onto mobo)

    It's not an either/or thing. Both are added methods of protection.

    Also I use liquid electrical tape now. The Kapton tape I've used in the past has occasionally lifted in spots, and doesn't completely gap fill around the smds. Going on as a liquid, the nail polish/conformal coating/LET options do

    Here's some I've done over time. Ivy bridge, Pascal (GP104), LGA IHS. Very compressible packing foam. That Ivy bridge one I cut in half as it was too thick iirc[​IMG]
     
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  4. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Tape doesn't work.
    if there is any excess liquid metal, it just runs over the tape. Or rather, since most laptops are inverted these days, the liquid metal runs over the heatsink itself if there is any gap at all. All it takes is a tiny drop.

    Have you ever played with liquid metal? It acts similar to water drops. It basically adheres to 'itself', so a drop that escapes off the CPU die area can potentially "pull" other LM to it (In either direction).
    Tape is to be used as an insulator in case a little bit of liquid metal does happen to spill over, it won't short out the resistors around the CPU or GPU immediate BGA area. Also, tape does decrease the amount of "space" between the heatsink and silicon itself, so it reduces the ability of LM to run off by reducing the space. However it does NOT prevent it completely! A sharp vibration or drop could overcome the tiny gap and liquid metal can squeeze outwards more.

    The foam dam is an emergency dam to prevent your mainboard from being destroyed if any LM DOES escape. It's insurance. If you ever drop your laptop and then see the temps skyrocket afterwards, you will be very glad you had that foam dam barrier, and all you have to do is repaste, rather than potentially buy a new mainboard (or laptop).

    *edit* @bennyg ninja'd me.
     
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  5. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you both for this information. I have never actually used Liquid Metal myself, only seen lots of pics and threads of others applying it.
    I actually have a TON of foam that I bought from this place >> https://www.foambymail.com/

    They have a bunch of foam to choose from and I needed to find which one compressed the best while also protecting my laptop while it was in this Pelican case I have. I'll give them a look over and see if there are any I can smush down real hard to fit under my heatsink. I'm not sure what HIDevolution does to keep their Liquid Metal in maybe @Donald@HIDevolution can give me a little bit of knowledge on that one, but as far as I could tell they only used Kapton Tape but so far my laptop has survived 4 shipments and many many many trips to work and a trip down to Texas without any issues!
     
  6. Donald@HIDevolution

    Donald@HIDevolution Company Representative

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    Production techniques are above my pay grade. For details, I would recommend writing Support@HIDevolution.com.
     
  7. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    Here's mine. Not pretty, but it works.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. JohnnyR8

    JohnnyR8 Notebook Guru

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    interesting thread for me because i am thinking about using LM on my Laptop too...
    but what temperatures could this foam-barriers resist?
    i dont want that it can slowly start to burn…?
     
  9. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Should be up to 100C. Most I ever saw was the material slightly melted at worst. It isn't going to burn or anything. There's no ignition source. I have a foam barrier in my 95C running RX Vega 64 (well the HBM gets that hot) and no boom yet.
     
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  10. JohnnyR8

    JohnnyR8 Notebook Guru

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    the biggest problem for me would be the trimming… how did you did that to 1mm?
     

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