MATERIALS

MATERIALS

C110-GRADE COPPER

US-SOURCED ASTM B187 SPEC


Copper is the foundation of high performance liquid cooling with far higher thermal conductivity than aluminum. But not all coppers are equal with C110 copper being the ideal grade for liquid cooling parts. With 99.9% purity and excellent material properties, C110 has the highest thermal conductivity with excellent machinability for creating ultra-thin cold plate fins.

Our fresh US-sourced copper is guaranteed to meet ASTM B187 spec. This means it's the real deal. Some copper products on the market -- especially overseas recycled scrap copper -- can contain iron, carbon, arsenic and other contaminates. We pride ourselves on using the genuine product, that way we can be sure we've eliminated galvanic corrosion and have the absolute highest performance.

360-GRADE BRASS

US-SOURCED ASTM B16 SPEC


Brass is the best material for making fittings and other parts in liquid loops. While copper conducts heat better, brass is far harder, similar to steel, with excellent machinability. Because brass is an alloy of copper, brass acts in a loop the same as copper and doesn't corrode, whereas steel will cause galvanic corrosion.

And like copper, brass comes in numerous grades. We use only US-sourced 360-grade brass. 360 brass is the best brass for premium fittings, hydraulics and more.

6061-T6 ALUMINUM

US-SOURCED ULTRA HARD ALUMINUM


While we only use copper and brass for liquid loops, we use aluminum and steel in other parts. 6061-T6(511) aluminum is extremely hard and excellent for precision parts like our reservoir heat sinks, CPU block brackets and custom thumb screws. T6 means the aluminum is tempered achieving almost triple the tensile strength of regular 6061. While "511" designates an even higher grade for machining perfect parts.

MIL-A-8625 TYPE II ANODIZATION


To finish our aluminum, we use either anodization or nickel plating. We currently offer type ii anodization, the best all around anodization with a combination of strength and great looks. Upon request, we can provide full type iii hard anodization for extreme scenarios.

CORROSION-PROOF NICKEL PLATING

PHOSPHORUS ELECTROLESS PLATING


BANISHING FLAKY ELECTROPLATED NICKEL

Flaking, disintegrating nickel is a widespread problem in liquid cooling. After all, nickel PC fittings and blocks prohibit use with plain water, or you void the warranty. Instead, you must use anti-corrosive fluids to protect nickel components Why? Because the industry standard electroplated (aka electrolytic) nickel is a cosmetic nickel finish that isn't meant to be used in liquid applications. Often called chrome or shiny nickel, electroplated nickel is cost effective and looks good.

Unfortunately, water, anti-fungals and fancy fluids, including opaques, will rapidly strip electroplated nickel. The gunk that will appear in block fins isn't just broken down fluid, it's often disintegrated nickel, paint and cheap plastics. If this seems crazy, it is. After all, the cheapest home faucet can handle tap water, so why can’t expensive PC fittings survive basic H2O?

Alas, eletroplated nickel is the PC industry standard. What's the solution?

ELECTROLESS NICKEL TO THE RESCUE

Optimus parts are finished with only industrial-grade corrosion-proof nickel, called electroless nickel.Electroless is an aerospace industry finish with extreme chemical resistance, hardness and superior fluid lubricity. So why isn't everyone using electroless? Cost and appearance. Electroless is far more difficult to manufacture, especially when achieving perfect finishes needed for premium PC builds. And electroless can't achieve that easy chrome look of electroplating, which is why electroplating is the industry standard, even if it shouldn't be used .

SAFE FOR H2O

Aside from reliability, electroless nickel is able to withstand saltwater, corrosive chemicals and, yes, even plain water.With Optimus, you can use distilled water without fear of flaking. Distilled, aside from being cheap, is also the highest performance coolant readily available. Anti-corrosive additives lower the thermal conductivity of the liquid.That's why we can offer a 10 year warranty, even with regular H2O. It has been a herculean task to create Optimus's electroless products, but the results look great and are nearly indestructible.

PLEXIGLAS® BY ARKEMA & POLYCAST™ BY SPARTECH

CRACK-PROOF CAST ACRYLIC


Optimus uses only cast acrylic from premium name-brand suppliers like genuine Plexiglas® by Arkema and Polycast™ by Spartech. Cast acrylic combined with our proprietary machining methods makes our acrylic blocks both crack-proof and optically stunning.

Unlike cast acrylic, extruded acrylic is the #1 culprit of of cracking in water cooling parts. Extruded acrylic is cheap, easy to cut and polish. That’s why extruded is used by nearly every water cooling company. And other materials like injection molded nylon, polycarbonate and borosilicate glass, while more cost effective, have multiple drawbacks and ultimately aren't suited for high end liquid cooling.

After all, the biggest aquariums in the world use only cast acrylic. Like the AquaDom (right), the world's largest clear reservoir at 52 feet (15.85m) tall, 36 feet (11.08m) in diameter and holding 250,000 gallons (over 940,000 L) of saltwater. With an elevator right through the middle, no less. And zero cracks. Read more about the AquaDom here.

EPDM O-RINGS

US-SOURCED PLASTICIZER-FREE


O-rings seem like a small detail, but are critically important for PC loops. We only use US-made EPDM o-rings with zero plasticizer added.

Plasticizer was common in clear tubing to make it flexible, but disintegrates and turns into loop gunk. In the last few years, tubing manufacturers have worked to eliminate plasticizers in tubes, but plasticizers can still be found in o-rings. Common o-ring materials like nitrile (aka buna-n and NBR) and viton can contain plasticizers. And often need lubricating oil to fit correctly into blocks, a major source of fluid gunk buildup. You'll notice this oil leaching in GPUs.

Moreover, parts with o-rings in funky colors have unknown materials and colored silicone o-rings are very fragile. Using pure EPDM is more difficult requiring the parts to have higher accuracy, but the benefits are loops free from contaminants.

STAINLESS STEEL

OPTIMUS-MADE AND US-SOURCED


Stainless steel is the workhorse of screws. We design and mill our own specialized CPU block standoffs out of stainless steel. For other common screw types, we source from premium suppliers in the US, EU or Taiwan.

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