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EK improves nickel plating to solve corrosion issues

EK improves nickel plating to solve corrosion issues

Water-cooling enthusiasts found the nickel plating on some waterblocks was being corroded.

EK has announced that it plans to improve the nickel-plating process it uses when manufacturing its waterblocks.

We previously reported that the waterblock manufacturer had halted production of its nickel-plated waterblocks, due to reports from customers that the plating had started to corrode.

This, according to EK, was due to the mixing of certain types of coolant, silver coils and copper sulphate-based additives, which are both used as anti-algae treatments.

However, a member of water-cooling forum RRTech called rubidium completed his own testing, and revealed what seems to point at sub-standard nickel plating, with plenty of copper visible through the plating on the site's test sample.

Thankfully, EK has finally come up with a solution. The company says it will now be using Electroless nickel plating - a more expensive and harder-wearing method of depositing a layer of nickel onto the surface of copper waterblocks.

According to EK, the process is up to five times more expensive than the standard electroplating method it had been using, while offering far-improved resistance to corrosion and a hardness equal to hard chrome and superior to that of electrolytic copper.

EK also states that the 'old' blocks will continue to be sold, but with advisories on which coolants and additives to use to avoid corrosion issues. Both old and new nickel-plated waterblocks will still come with EK's 24-month warranty, although the company claims that very few people have returned corroded waterblocks.

Do you own one of the affected blocks? Are you planning to buy one of EK's nickel-plated blocks in the future? Let us know in the forums.

14 Comments

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Bloody_Pete 28th July 2011, 14:55 Quote
The problem with this is, unless you have a clear top cover, you can see if it's corroded inside without opening it up, with voids the warrenty...
ChromeX 28th July 2011, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody_Pete
The problem with this is, unless you have a clear top cover, you can see if it's corroded inside without opening it up, with voids the warrenty...

Wont the corroded pieces sink to the bottom of your reservoir though, which are usually clear?
Tattysnuc 28th July 2011, 15:24 Quote
I've got one of their supposedly faulty ones, and haven't seen any evidence of corrosion via debris. Supposedly Fesser 1 is included in the list of bad coollants, so I'm wondering if this is a case of several isolated cases. Not sure what algae inhibitor is used, but I don;t use a killcoil.... not since I bought several and read these articles...
SlowMotionSuicide 28th July 2011, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody_Pete
The problem with this is, unless you have a clear top cover, you can see if it's corroded inside without opening it up, with voids the warrenty...

The sticker is there to only cover against out-of-the-box leaks. If you remove it and the block fails in some other way, ie. corrode, it would still get covered. If you doubt you could put the o-ring back properly without causing a leak, you might wanna reconsider watercooling alltogether as you'd need to open the block at some point anyway for cleaning.

You can read about it from EK's site.

"EK blocks are sealed with warranty void circular label, which proves that the block has withstood a pressure
leak test. Removing it will void only leaking issues. Any other RMA issues can be reported to
support@ekwaterblocks.com for further analysis."


"Warranty Void If Removed" is pretty misleading though.
p0Pe 29th July 2011, 07:30 Quote
Here is an advise for you EK:

Just friggin use the same method as EVERYONE ELSE!

You are the ONLY ones with this issue, and STILL blames it on the coolant...

Everyone can now look forward in a price increase in EK products dou to the "new nickel plating procedure"
A price increase like that will proberly put EK up around the same price as AquaComputer, and who would want EK machining over AquaComputer?
Hannes 29th July 2011, 07:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p0Pe
Here is an advise for you EK:

Just friggin use the same method as EVERYONE ELSE!

You are the ONLY ones with this issue, and STILL blames it on the coolant...

Everyone can now look forward in a price increase in EK products dou to the "new nickel plating procedure"
A price increase like that will proberly put EK up around the same price as AquaComputer, and who would want EK machining over AquaComputer?

In terms of design, then I would. But I'm right there with you. Hopefully - any price increase would come with a even greater quality increase.
Nexxo 29th July 2011, 08:05 Quote
Couldn't they just leave the blocks in original copper or brass? Steampunk!
p0Pe 29th July 2011, 08:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannes


In terms of design, then I would. But I'm right there with you. Hopefully - any price increase would come with a even greater quality increase.

Dont get your hopes up. There will still be very visible machining marks on the Ek blocks. No reason for them to turn down production speed and lose money when they can just fire away with some bs like "look at us, we use electolytes, beacuse thats whats plating crawes for"

The plating might improve, but that wont hide the marks in the copper base:)
LooseNeutral 29th July 2011, 08:55 Quote
Really - Raising prices in this economic climate .... for the same products you now claim costs more due to some new process your moving to ...... not a good idea. Even if you "prove" the price increase justification. Not going to be an easy sell!
Baekkel 29th July 2011, 09:14 Quote
I read the article about the corrosion while looking for a fullcover block for my RE3, and i must admit, i got a little scared about the entire thing.. Since i got a nickle platd cpu block from EK.
and especially due to the debris in the loops that could cause severe injury to my little 'o' pump..

The proof of the lacking plating quality, and the "out of stock" tags thrown everywhere, i must say MIPS sure is a brilliant alternative, especially if EK bumps the pricetag even more...
Farfalho 29th July 2011, 21:27 Quote
I wonder how much will be the price scaling. I'm very fond of EK but to have them at a ridiculous price, I'll be sad to say no to them. The decision about the nickel plating is very good news but the cost of it....
Bloody_Pete 29th July 2011, 22:43 Quote
There were no pieces in my loop anywhere, and I double checked all of it apart from the rad... I have a copper one now though :)
ONUC 7th August 2011, 08:11 Quote
Good to see that p0Pe (and friends) are back to hijack the thread again with the last word on design expertise, manufacturing processes, and marketing plans ... Good on EK for not sweeping the issue aside and coming up with a solution. Guess you can't satisfy everyone though ...
DirectOverkill 3rd December 2011, 17:56 Quote
Unless Rubidium reveals his name he is just a shill doing a favor with partial test for RRT who is sponsored by Sidewinder, who own PT nuke brand. Do the math.
And pope, go check tons of pics of other brands. Machining marks are everywhere. EK acrylic tops just allow to see the interior of block.
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