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Leaching considerations with reactive heat sink materials

  1. Sep 17, 2016 #1
    I need to cool a slow moving small flow of hydroponic plant water, at most 1000 ppm nutrients, with a pH of typically around 6.

    I'd like to use aluminum or copper heat sink directly in that fluid stream to drop temp 10 or 20 degrees F down to 50-60F neighborhood.

    My concern is I don't want to contaminate my fluids with copper or aluminum reacting to and leaching off into the fluid.

    Is that likely an issue and if so, is there any spray coating or other such treatment onto the surface of the heat sink to minimize that happening that does not greatly degrade the materials thermal conductivity?

    Thank you for any thoughts.

    - Shane
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2016 #2


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    Most coatings will degrade the thermal conductivity by comparison because copper is a very good conductor. The question is will any degradation be significant. I suspect it won't be because your application isn't very critical and the coating can be thin.

    Perhaps start by estimating the size of heatsink required. To do that you need to know the flow rate of the fluid you are cooling. Water has a high specific heat capacity so if the flow rate is significant the heatsink required might need to be large or impractically large. Might need something more like a fan cooled radiator.
  4. Sep 18, 2016 #3
    CWatters, thank you.

    - Shane
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