Production Aquanaut - Ultra Low Profile CPU/Pump Water Block

duynguyenle

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 20, 2019
282
263
Update 2021-02-19:

Online Store - Service improvement
To further expand the cost saving arrangement for buyers, we have enhanced the VAT/GST collection/prepayment feature for the following region/countries, in our online store:
  • EU with VAT
  • UK with VAT
  • Canada with GST
Our online store will now automatically detect the region/country of the buyer, and offer the appropriate price with VAT/GST. Nouvolo will collect and prepay VAT/GST on behalf of the buyer, and avoid paying extra handling fee, which can cost up to 20%!, depending on product price. This can also result in a smoother and quicker delivery process. For details please refer to our FAQ

Lets have your feedback
Not having to deal with courier handling fees is a big plus :)
 

srekal34

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2019
111
104
I would definitely pay 200$+ for a premium package:
-POM top
-premium coldplate(maybe sourced externally, Optimus maybe)
- both socket options included in package

It may be worth reaching to Optimus for cooperation. You already have a great project, just flawed by the choice of Coldplate and material. Together with them you will probably be able to charge 250$ for it and you will still be selling instantly, given the hype about Optimus currently.
 
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Pyotr

Chassis Packer
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
I would definitely pay 200$+ for a premium package:
-POM top
-premium coldplate(maybe sourced externally, Optimus maybe)
- both socket options included in package

It may be worth reaching to Optimus for cooperation. You already have a great project, just flawed by the choice of Coldplate and material. Together with them you will probably be able to charge 250$ for it and you will still be selling instantly, given the hype about Optimus currently.
It it goes near 200$ it better include a pump too. 120$ would be a reasonable price for a metal variant and an additional premium for a Optimus cold plate.
Or maybe just a replacement acrylic top for the Optimus blocks that lets you bolt up a DDC pump. that might actually be the best possible solution
 

einmannbude

Caliper Novice
May 22, 2016
24
17
I am kind of desperate. In my case I have 27mm clearance from the Aquanaut (without pump) to the case panel. Does anyone know 90° angled fittings with installed height lower or equal than 27mm?
My EK 90° rotary fittings are too high. I ordered Alphacool 90° non-rotary fittings, only to find out that it is impossible to screw the second one in if the first one is already installed, because of their length.
If I install a usual hard tubing fitting, there should be slightly over 12mm left in height for the 90° bend of the tube. I think this is also not possible.
 

biopunk

Cable-Tie Ninja
Bronze Supporter
Sep 24, 2020
180
257
I am kind of desperate. In my case I have 27mm clearance from the Aquanaut (without pump) to the case panel. Does anyone know 90° angled fittings with installed height lower or equal than 27mm?
My EK 90° rotary fittings are too high. I ordered Alphacool 90° non-rotary fittings, only to find out that it is impossible to screw the second one in if the first one is already installed, because of their length.
If I install a usual hard tubing fitting, there should be slightly over 12mm left in height for the 90° bend of the tube. I think this is also not possible.
These have installed height of 24mm.
 
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flar

Average Stuffer
Jan 19, 2020
74
37
These have under 20mm clearance, but the outgoing fittings would be flush with the surface starting about 13mm from the center of the mounting hole.
 

morj

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 11, 2020
123
174
I am kind of desperate. In my case I have 27mm clearance from the Aquanaut (without pump) to the case panel. Does anyone know 90° angled fittings with installed height lower or equal than 27mm?
My EK 90° rotary fittings are too high. I ordered Alphacool 90° non-rotary fittings, only to find out that it is impossible to screw the second one in if the first one is already installed, because of their length.
If I install a usual hard tubing fitting, there should be slightly over 12mm left in height for the 90° bend of the tube. I think this is also not possible.

Those Alphacool rotary fittings have installed height of 21mm.
 

Pyotr

Chassis Packer
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
Having my Aquanaut in hand, and assembled, i can fit a fingernail between the top and bottom acrylic plates, even with the screws torqued to spec. no chance that wont cause a leak in the future for sure.
Why is there not an additional set of screws from the top side under the pump to alleviate the flex? why acrylic? Why did I pay money for this?
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
1,605
1,463
Having my Aquanaut in hand, and assembled, i can fit a fingernail between the top and bottom acrylic plates, even with the screws torqued to spec. no chance that wont cause a leak in the future for sure.
Why is there not an additional set of screws from the top side under the pump to alleviate the flex? why acrylic? Why did I pay money for this?
There's a thick O-ring in there - that's why it bulges. No reason that it should leak unless the O-ring deteriorates massively.
 

Pyotr

Chassis Packer
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
There's a thick O-ring in there - that's why it bulges. No reason that it should leak unless the O-ring deteriorates massively.
That's kind of the point. if the oring is thick enough to cause the clamping material to warp from the fastening points, there needs to be more fasteners, or the material more rigid.

Assuming that's a typical Nitrile Rubber oring, it has a shelf life of 3 years, let alone a lifespan in use given uneven clamping force.
 

Nouvolo

Creator
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Sep 8, 2018
525
1,096
www.nouvolo.com
That's kind of the point. if the oring is thick enough to cause the clamping material to warp from the fastening points, there needs to be more fasteners, or the material more rigid.

Assuming that's a typical Nitrile Rubber oring, it has a shelf life of 3 years, let alone a lifespan in use given uneven clamping force.
That's how o-ring works... suppose to compress it, that's why the initial gap. You just need to screw the two blocks together, till they touch. ALL distro plates work THIS WAY! There is nothing wrong with implementation of Aquanaut.

As for warping, more screws will help. But top and bottom blocks do touch when screwed together, with no noticeable warping, during our testing phase, and community testers feedback was ok in this regard. The 4 screws around the corner are sufficient considering the small space available.

And for rubber o-ring lifespan, yes they all do have a lifespan... but it should last much longer than others that are operated outdoors with big environment changes such as in car parts, or garden tools. O-ring thickness is 2mm. It is pretty standard in PC water cooling. Please refer to the pump o-ring (not supplied by Nouvolo), if you are just skeptical about us

Newcomers reminder: Take your time, don't rush your installation!
 
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Pyotr

Chassis Packer
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
That's how o-ring works... suppose to compress it, that's why the initial gap. You just need to screw the two blocks together, till they touch. ALL distro plates work THIS WAY! There is nothing wrong with implementation of Aquanaut.

As for warping, more screws will help. But top and bottom blocks do touch when screwed together, with no noticeable warping, during our testing phase, and community testers feedback was ok in this regard. The 4 screws around the corner are sufficient considering the small space available.

And for rubber o-ring lifespan, yes they all do have a lifespan... but it should last much longer than others that are operated outdoors with big environment changes such as in car parts, or garden tools. O-ring thickness is 2mm. It is pretty standard in PC water cooling. Please refer to the pump o-ring (not supplied by Nouvolo), if you are just skeptical about us

Newcomers reminder: Take your time, don't rush your installation!
Torqued and built exactly to your spec per the guide with fully seated orings. top and bottom are touching at each end, then gap in the middle.
so yeah. not rushing if i was, id have it installed and not even made a post. Pointing out a design flaw that's fairly easily fixed for minimal cost and time.
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
1,605
1,463
Torqued and built exactly to your spec per the guide with fully seated orings. top and bottom are touching at each end, then gap in the middle.
so yeah. not rushing if i was, id have it installed and not even made a post. Pointing out a design flaw that's fairly easily fixed for minimal cost and time.
Adding screws would necessitate widening the block, as there isn't room for screws to the side of the pump. It might look like there is, but adding screws to a too narrow piece of acrylic will lead to cracking under pressure. IMO the current design is a good compromise.
 

Nouvolo

Creator
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Sep 8, 2018
525
1,096
www.nouvolo.com
Torqued and built exactly to your spec per the guide with fully seated orings. top and bottom are touching at each end, then gap in the middle.
so yeah. not rushing if i was, id have it installed and not even made a post. Pointing out a design flaw that's fairly easily fixed for minimal cost and time.

"Flaw" is a bit strong to be used in this case I think. We specifically checked for leakage in our initial community testing, and it came out fine.

Yes, "fixing" (I would use "improving") it will be by adding more screws, welcome your suggestion as to where to add those screws....consider the small size...

Update: thanks @Valantar for answering the same 😉
 
Last edited:

duynguyenle

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 20, 2019
282
263
That's kind of the point. if the oring is thick enough to cause the clamping material to warp from the fastening points, there needs to be more fasteners, or the material more rigid.

Assuming that's a typical Nitrile Rubber oring, it has a shelf life of 3 years, let alone a lifespan in use given uneven clamping force.

What exactly do you mean 'Shelf-life', it's not like these are perishables. In aviation, o-ring spares can sometimes sit on shelves or in storage for much longer than that. It's not like these are being subjected to industrial solvents and/or oils either, they're literally just sealing against water. None of the additives typically added to PC cooling fluids. The things you typically must avoid when using Buna Nitrile rubber compounds are strong oxidising solvents or strong bases in conjunction with extreme heat. None of those things are of any relevance in a PC cooling context.

When used correctly in a typical PC cooling loop, there isn't any such things as 'shelf-life' for these o-rings, assuming you don't over-compress them, they should outlast the things that will actually fail (pumps, fans, components with actual moving bits)

The other posters here have already pointed out design limits in terms of package size. I won't touch on that. Needless to say, if you're unhappy with your block, return it and move on.
 

Pyotr

Chassis Packer
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
"Flaw" is a bit strong to be used in this case I think. We specifically checked for leakage in our initial community testing, and it came out fine.

Yes, "fixing" (I would use "improving") it will be by adding more screws, welcome your suggestion as to where to add those screws....consider the small size...

Update: thanks @Valantar for answering the same 😉
First off: Apologies if coming off a bit antagonistic. I appreciate the product and the niche it occupies, and the work you've done to get it here. Should have been more constructive in my approach to feedback earlier.

Than said, I would look into either extending the cold plate or pump screws to extend through one plate to thread into the other as an easy way to add additional clamping force, at minimal risk to the integrity of the acrylic. alternatively, add a screw from the top under the pump as seen below, though this risks potential for cracks with the small amount of material between it and the pump opening. less ideal of a location to install into.


What exactly do you mean 'Shelf-life', it's not like these are perishables. In aviation, o-ring spares can sometimes sit on shelves or in storage for much longer than that. It's not like these are being subjected to industrial solvents and/or oils either, they're literally just sealing against water. None of the additives typically added to PC cooling fluids. The things you typically must avoid when using Buna Nitrile rubber compounds are strong oxidising solvents or strong bases in conjunction with extreme heat. None of those things are of any relevance in a PC cooling context.

When used correctly in a typical PC cooling loop, there isn't any such things as 'shelf-life' for these o-rings, assuming you don't over-compress them, they should outlast the things that will actually fail (pumps, fans, components with actual moving bits)

The other posters here have already pointed out design limits in terms of package size. I won't touch on that. Needless to say, if you're unhappy with your block, return it and move on.
While I may be an aerospace engineer, all orings regardless of usage case require an even clamping force to seal properly, which is the root of my concern in the design lack of even clamping and degradation over time increases the risk of a critical failure in the area with less clamping force. given this is using a Class I oring, with a use life of around 3 years, I felt this was a reason to be concerned that failure may be seen earlier in its lifespan, risking hardware failure.
I plan to modify mine at my own risk, as I believe it is still a good product for use, with a minor modification, but as a whole yes would I have been wholly unsatisfied a return would have been sought as that is the correct course of action rather that a (see above) admittedly overzealous post on a public forum.
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
1,605
1,463
First off: Apologies if coming off a bit antagonistic. I appreciate the product and the niche it occupies, and the work you've done to get it here. Should have been more constructive in my approach to feedback earlier.

Than said, I would look into either extending the cold plate or pump screws to extend through one plate to thread into the other as an easy way to add additional clamping force, at minimal risk to the integrity of the acrylic. alternatively, add a screw from the top under the pump as seen below, though this risks potential for cracks with the small amount of material between it and the pump opening. less ideal of a location to install into.



While I may be an aerospace engineer, all orings regardless of usage case require an even clamping force to seal properly, which is the root of my concern in the design lack of even clamping and degradation over time increases the risk of a critical failure in the area with less clamping force. given this is using a Class I oring, with a use life of around 3 years, I felt this was a reason to be concerned that failure may be seen earlier in its lifespan, risking hardware failure.
I plan to modify mine at my own risk, as I believe it is still a good product for use, with a minor modification, but as a whole yes would I have been wholly unsatisfied a return would have been sought as that is the correct course of action rather that a (see above) admittedly overzealous post on a public forum.
Ouch, that looks like a crack waiting to happen. Drilling and tapping a hole with just a few mm of acrylic on either side in the area of the block with the most stress? That doesn't sound like a good idea to me, especially when the screw will just be holding against threads cut into the acrylic. I would rather deal with changing an O-ring every few years (the loop should be torn down for cleaning anyhow) than ruining a perfectly good block.
 

duynguyenle

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 20, 2019
282
263
While I may be an aerospace engineer, all orings regardless of usage case require an even clamping force to seal properly, which is the root of my concern in the design lack of even clamping and degradation over time increases the risk of a critical failure in the area with less clamping force. given this is using a Class I oring, with a use life of around 3 years, I felt this was a reason to be concerned that failure may be seen earlier in its lifespan, risking hardware failure.
I plan to modify mine at my own risk, as I believe it is still a good product for use, with a minor modification, but as a whole yes would I have been wholly unsatisfied a return would have been sought as that is the correct course of action rather that a (see above) admittedly overzealous post on a public forum.

While I see your point, given the moderate head pressures seen in a PC loop (something like 40-50kPa for a DDC Pump) and low coolant temperature (typical loops shouldn't be exceeding 45-50 C) I still don't see much of a concern, but as you said, if you're happy with modifying the block yourself, that's not too much of a problem. I personally think that's a bit close for comfort considering the small distance to the edge of the block for a threaded hole into acrylic. At this point you're trading peace of mind in terms of mid-span clamp force against potential higher risk of thermal creep-induced cracking near the theaded holes. In any case, that tradeoff is up to you. I'd just advise to be gentle with that fastener
 
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Alloy Craft

Caliper Novice
Oct 25, 2019
32
35
Uhh the screw in that location actually reduces stress in the acrylic mid span. So no, adding a hole there wont increase the chances of a crack occurring. Pyotor has a valid point, in that the bow in the acrylic loads the sealing ring unevenly. Orings are recommended to have a optimal squish for sealing against set pressures. Loading unevenly means some areas are over squished, some is optimal and some is under squished. Also acrylic is very good at creep so yes there is a possibility of leakage at a later date due to deformation of the plastic and loss of preload in the center. Creep occurs at room temperature for loaded plastics, and heat accelerates the process.