Again, no liquid metal on aluminum!


Short video from Der8auer talking about the havoc that liquid metal can wreak if applied anywhere. While it offers excellent thermal conductivity, it is also a very corrosive TIM… At least on aluminum, aluminum/zinc alloys and steel. The gallium it contains will eat away at the walls of these metals, rendering the heatsink inoperative!

Liquid metal, yes, but not everywhere!

Der8auer received from one of his viewers an RTX 2060 with a new TIM. During the operation the thermal paste was replaced by liquid metal. Except that the latter has completely damaged the surface of the aluminum heatsink. The effects are quickly felt with important temperature rises: 100°C until thermal throttling!

The solution behind all this? Completely rework the heatsink with a CNC machine to remove all the corroded parts. Behind all this, Der8auer also changed the thermal pads to match the new height of the fan. Finally, he applied some good old thermal paste before putting the heatsink back in place. After all these operations, we find a properly cooled card slightly above 76°C.

In short, if you want to apply liquid metal, be careful with the surface of the cooler. If it goes well with copper or nickel-plated copper, on aluminum, it doesn’t. Likewise, make sure you properly protect the surface capacitors around the CPU/GPU die because, unlike thermal paste, metal is conductive. A good coat of varnish should suffice.