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Versarien water-cooled PCs use a “revolutionary” heatsink material

by Mark Tyson on 4 October 2013, 11:01

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab3pf

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An interesting new water-cooled PC has been launched by UK start-up company Versarien Plc. This initial offering, from the Cinderford-based company, is called the VPC Type-001. It uses pretty standard components, which you might find in many PCs, except for one important thing - a water cooling system utilising a “revolutionary heat transfer material” called VersarienCu.

10 X cooling efficiency

The headline properties of the VersarienCu material are that it offers the following:

  • Up to 10 times more effective cooling than a micro-channel heat sink of a similar size
  • A smaller cooling footprint – create more compact and streamlined products
  • Improved green credentials for your product
  • An extremely cost effective manufacturing process
  • A usable heat supply to other on-site processes
  • Groundbreaking levels of heat transfer between device and cooling fluid

Science mimics nature, again

The Versarien PCs use water-cooling in conjunction with VersarienCu patented porous copper heatsinks. This technology was developed by metallurgists at the University of Liverpool’s Department of Engineering. The metallic material features “fine, open, interconnected pores which emulate structures that are commonly found in nature”. As we know from many great innovations discovered by humans in the past; nature knows best. In tests this material “permits thermal transfer levels that surpass anything that was previously possible”.

You can read a lot more about the technology, why it works so well and how the VersarienCu patented porous copper are made on the Versarien technology page.

PC distribution deal

In related news this week Versarien signed a distribution contract to make its PCs available through a company called Compare the Game. The gaming PCs aren’t listed at this time but another chassis was displayed featuring the custom water cooling system.

Looking at other, and possibly more lucrative markets, Versarien says that its porous copper tech will be used in cooling and thermal management of; server racks, incandescent or fluorescent lighting and the automotive sector.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Hmm very interesting, I wonder if they will license out the new tech to current waterblock manufacturers.
DemonHighwayman
Hmm very interesting, I wonder if they will license out the new tech to current waterblock manufacturers.

I think they need to unless they have plans to produce the cooling units and sell them directly without being attached to PC's already.

This might help open up the cooling performance gap between air and watercooled again which has been narrowing (as long as you had a case big enough to house the high end air cooled solutions) and would maybe finally convince me to go that route in my PC.
Reduces bottleneck of heat transfer from plate to fluid, but I imagine it has it's own problem of reduced flow rates through the honeycomb
Looks like foamed copper. Interesting, but while you've dramatically increased the surface area of the block/water interface, you've decreased the block/CPU surface area, as well as dramatically lowering the rate of heat conduction through the block.

I guess if you very, very carefully selectively melted one side of the block of copper foam you could create a gradient transition of solid to foam, but for all the complexity and expense I'm not sure if it'd have any noticeable advantage.
The only real problem I can see with this is that such fine channels through the heatsink will be easily blocked by any impurities in the water and any oxides forming on the copper.
Using this foamed copper will mean coolants will have to be selected very carefully. Additives can leave residues which are no problem normally but could leave deposits large enough to block the tiny channels.

edzieba
Looks like foamed copper. Interesting, but while you've dramatically increased the surface area of the block/water interface, you've decreased the block/CPU surface area, as well as dramatically lowering the rate of heat conduction through the block.
The contact area and rate of heat conduction should have very minimal impact since the water flow will be almost exactly adjacent to the CPU. The foam basically means the copper is now less of a heat transfer medium and more as a container to simply hold water in place.