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For Science!

Do manufacturers need to document their coolants Better?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is going to be a bit lengthy so buckle down.

 

It has recently been brought to my attention that documentation surrounding the safety and contents of typical watercooling pre-mix coolants to be inconsistent, inadequate, and sometimes outright incorrect. I'm going to be firing in particular to Mayhems and EKWB because that's the ones I've been looking at so far, but I am sure it is a widely spread practice (or lack thereof). I would love to hear the opinions of Industry Affiliates @EK Luc, don't know if there is a Mayhem's affiliate here, I've tried to ask their company but failed to get through so far.

 

Before the distilled water community come chorusing in about their superiority, I would quickly mention that this technically applies any common additives as well; so unless you are running literally only water, this applies to you too.

 

It all started with a minor inconsistency observation about the Mayhems Pastel Extreme 100ml that clearly stated on their product page (all information shown here was true at least on the 4th of July 2017)

 

mayhems.png.d8e4c557482ede8b1a069e1351ef6c4c.png

 

which is fair enough, however I noticed in the safety documentation sheet (SDS) the next inconsistency:

 

mayhems3.png.43e01bd350f435e6daaa8d4bd4acf0c6.png

 

mayhems2.png.3e4ec5dba56d51cd617668fb9e28bdd5.png

So clearly, this coolant is supposedly 99.8% ethylene glycol (commonly used antifreeze) which is not "that safe". However the more disturbing thing is that firstly, the SDS states rather boldly that the product "Can be disposed of down normal waste drain" in clear contradiction to their product webpage. It is also strange that the two components of concern, zinc oxide and titanium oxide, do not feature at all in the safety data sheet. There are many instances like this within the Mayhems series of coolants - but this was the most striking.

 

In EKWBs case, this was more of inconsistencies, where the 100ml concentrate show 3 components:

 

EKWB1.png.b8e54f2812431ffb5bf2f6449e639b69.png

 

where the pre-diluted 900ml mix only documents 1 component

 

ekwb2.png.a49f10106c92964433201dd70cb28bbb.png

 

This brings into question really, how many more components are in these pre-mixes sold by companies, and generally brings into question the usefulness of the SDS they provide if so much information is hidden. If Mayhems want to claim all their things are non-toxic because its 99% glycerol, and thats what they document (for example), and not talk about the nasty 1 %, that is not very good practice in my opinion.

 

Now I suspect the most of this is going to be answered with "its so dilute that its not worth writing down", but we should all be aware that it is not necessarily the concentration of a chemical that determines whether it should make it into a SDS. If it clearly at a concentration that carries out its function, then I believe it should be noted. Unless of course the companies would like to admit that they are actually operating on the basis of homeopathy.

 

My opinion is that since we as an end-user of these product (I personally am using the EK-CryoFuel and very happy with the results), but we really should be allowed to know what is actually going on inside these coolants and be provided with good quality information. Please do not get me wrong, I will still continue to recommend people to use pre-mixes over homebrewed solutions (-insert toothpaste argument here-), I just feel more information would make it even easier for me to wholeheartedly recommend these products.

 

Thanks for your attention.

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I feel don't drink and don't let kids under 6 touch it is kind of of obvious.I'm not saying transparency is a bad thing,but who really cares


My life

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Posted · Original PosterOP
23 minutes ago, Himommies said:

I feel don't drink and don't let kids under 6 touch it is kind of of obvious.I'm not saying transparency is a bad thing,but who really cares

Firstly, it is actually very important for you as an end-user to understand the consequences that a product can have on you, as well as the environment. "The environement" maybe something that you may not care about in the grand scheme of things (which I feel is irresponsible, but is unlikely that you as an individual will be held accountable for), but I feel that it is important that you are given the chance to make the correct decision with regards to handling and disposal routes. In a coorporate situation (yes, companies are allowed to watercool PCs too) the company can be held accountable if they are found out dumping nasty stuff down their drains.

 

Secondly, it also allows you as a buyer to find out if you are being sold just pure nonsense. If you look at the SDS of the Mayhems X1: 

http://mayhems.net/sds/pastel/1ltr/pastel_white_1_ltr_sds.pdf

You will see that according to this document, this coolant is supposedly, 10 % glycerol + 89% water. 10% glycerol alone is an excellent medium for growing bacteria and algae (we do quite frequently in the lab). Clearly the unaccounted 1% is whats doing the business, but how am I to compare one product from another if they are all "10 % glycerol". Listing out the active ingredient will allow you as a buyer to make an informed decision as to which coolant to buy, how long that biocide or corrosion inhibitor is likely to last, etc.

 

Sure I accept most buyers do not go this far, but then you might as well be buying snake oil and be none the wiser.

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Hi!

 

I'm not a chemist so I won't be able to answer your question but, I totally understand your point. :)

 

Did you sent an email or opened a ticket on the EK website to obtain more infos on this matter?

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Hello For Science!

 

"REACH" Regulations state we do not have to say the full chemical mix up for what we use in our products , if and only if there is less than 1% of it. E.g Zinc uses 0.02% per 100ml in concentrate. Because we use less than 0.02% also it is regarded as safe but we would prefer users to get rid off it in a better manner than throwing down the drain. We also do not mention some products due to the commercial sensitiveness related to them! all again with in REACH regulations.

 

We no longer make EK coolants and having nothing to do with there docs.


Ref our ethylene glycol, it is none toxic and uses an additive that stops it from being metabolically ingested, there for non toxic (studies and tests have been carried out). Patent can be found here -> https://www.google.com/patents/EP1303573A4?cl=en . Again its less than 1% again with in reach Regulations with in the European union.


Mayhems is the "only" Gold REACH standard company in the liquid cooling world and all our documents have to be verified by the REACH compliance agency here in the UK. 


Hope this helps.

 

P.s i do not visit these forums and i am mainly on OCN if you need any direct support or please visit our site www.mayhems.net.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'd like to thank both of you for replying to this thread.

 

I just find it upsetting that as PC enthusiasts we spend a lot of time reading specifications and sorting pseudo-chemistry by reading into mixing metals etc. And then all of that careful reading gets thrown out at the stage of coolant selection. Just like how one wouldn't buy a pre-built PC that just says "its damn good" or maybe at a push "has an i7 inside" - one would want more information to make a informed decision. However due to the proprietoriness of some coolants, the consumers are forced to rely on word of mouth.

 

7 hours ago, EK Luc said:

Did you sent an email or opened a ticket on the EK website to obtain more infos on this matter?

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate that you can see what im getting to. I'm actually fairly happy with the documentation of the concentrate EK-CryoFuel as I can at least find a chemical for each claimed function in the documentation. I suspect the lack of chemicals in the pre-mix is due to what Mayhems has responded with: "Its not documented because we didn't have to" - not best practice, but I guess thats the way it goes.

 

5 hours ago, mayhems said:

Ref our ethylene glycol, it is none toxic and uses an additive that stops it from being metabolically ingested, there for non toxic (studies and tests have been carried out). Patent can be found here -> https://www.google.com/patents/EP1303573A4?cl=en . Again its less than 1% again with in reach Regulations with in the European union.

 Thank you for linking me to this information, but I would also like quote directly from the linked patent. This clearly states that the non-toxic coolant is in fact a mixture of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. 

Quote

3. An antifreeze/heat transfer fluid concentrate composition containing an antidote for ethylene glycol poisoning comprising:
(a) from about 50% to about 70% by weight ethylene glycol; and
(b) from about 30% to about 50% by weight propylene glycol.

Afterall, ethylene glycol can only be ethylene glycol, which has a fixed toxicity - There is no such thing a non-toxic ethylene glycol. The patent points towards mixing a sufficient amount (>30 %) propylene glycol to combat the toxicity of ethylene glycol. And so based on this fact either one of two conclusions can be drawn about the Mayhems Pastel Extreme.

 

1. The safety documentation is incorrect and the product actually contains at least 30 % propylene glycol. (This cannot be an omission, since it is clearly more than 1 % and that currently the document clearly states it is 99.8 % ethylene glycol)

 

or alternatively

 

2. The product is indeed 99.8 % ethylene glycol and maintains its toxicity and so should not be advertised as a safe product, and thus the safety documentation is still incorrect and should reflect the toxicity of ethylene glycol. See below quote also from the linked patent page:

 

Quote

EG has an acute oral toxicity (LD50) of 4,700 mg/kg. Although marginally hazardous by this rating system, EG is a known toxin to humans at relatively low levels (reported as low as 1,570 mg/kg) and consequently is classified by many regulatory authorities as a hazardous material. 

 

Personally I would prefer it to be option 1, where the Mayhems are providing safe products and just failing to document it to be so, but who knows. There are plenty of ways to disclose the contents of a mixture without making it easy to reproduce, and I hope companies would be more transparent and allow buyers to make informed decisions about their products.

 

 

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Hi For Science!

 

You are correct in saying our doc are not 100% accurate and the ratio in ETG (just my nick name for it) is less than stated and is a mix of more than 2 chemicals in total. The ratio is diffrent than stated how ever it all comes under a single classification when all merged together (due to atom bonding it is 1 named chemical due to there is no other name for it).  Some chemicals we use such as a deformers = 1 drop (0.2ml) to 125 ltrs of Concentrate, hence again not stated This is just an example. The pure mixture of ETG is not made in Mayhems due to its toxicity when raw and has to be processed very accurately with the other chemicals at an external factory (large scale). When it comes to us we then process it further and refine the product to our own specification and colour as required. This makes us what is known as a downstream user and this is where the law changes. https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/downstream-users/about-downstream-users/who-is-a-downstream-user

 

Like large scale companies we have very strict guidelines we have to follow and if we deviate from these we could fall foul of the law. Mayhems is pushing for some thing called ISO 9001 (http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/iso-9000/iso-9001-2015/), We are not there yet! but pretty close and we have to be able to prove and show all process and products we make or buy in, We also have to show we can trace all products from source (this is the hard bit) and more. If we get ISO-9001 we will be one of the only companies in the PC water cooling market to get it, just like we have the REACH Gold certification. At Mayhems (my beloved hobby) we are changing the way users see us and the way we do business. Our testing methods top all other companies and our R&D work, even on other companies products is well above and beyond any other company out there. If we get the blame for some thing (Alphacool is a prime example) we will buy in all there products, test them and find the issue and if its not our fault, i'm pretty much open about it and will fight it to the best of my ability. We even created the blitz kit cleaning system because there rads were so badly cleaned and they simply do not care! we had to do some thing about it.

 

We ship world wide and in some countries we have to prove beyond doubt our products do what they say and our SDS sheets are correct. This includes literally adding a book with all the information about the process and the R&D in the shipment. Shipping chemicals in the world today is nightmare and you have to be on top of your game to be able to do it.

 

I could spend all day chatting how i hate how we have been asked to remove some details on our labels as we gave to much information to the public and German government body's do not like it. You world think it was good to give loads of info but apparently no its bad :/.

 

There is so much wrong in this world and i would love to be able to correct it. Every time we do i ether get called some thing i am not or i am forced to change some thing. Not good. I do feel you pain and i do understand your reasoning. The law is a corrupt system there to help big companies and to hide as much information from the public as possible.

 

Mick


(excuse any spelling mistakes or grammar i have dyslexia and try my best). Google only fixes so much.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Dear Mick,

 

Thank you for your kind response; I wish all the best for your company to obtain the ISO 9001 rating. From a consumers perspective, I would love to see the book of all the information made available on your website, even if its on the side to the shorter standard SDS, hopefully having to prepare the documentation for the ISO 9001 would mean that this information would be fairly easy to just release if necessary. More information would allow people who are up to scratch with the chemistry to make recommendations on sound scientific grounds.

 

This is one of the reasons why I would recommend EK-CryoFuel over other clear liquids since I know for example, that it is not copper sulphate based since the SDS points towards chemical biocides. On the otherhand, the only documented biocide on Mayhems website is the Mayhems Extreme, which is copper sulphate based; making me wonder whether the biocide present in the Mayhems coolants are based off Mayhems Extreme. Probably not, but this is not documented and so I would not be able to recommend this to anybody else unless if I went through directly to you to find out - this is one function of the datasheets to quickly and accurately find out what are the active ingredient.

 

I think if Mayhems documented their products well, we could push your products in front of the competition in a far more effective way. For example, Primochill provides no safety documentation, it is completely a black box. Thermaltake on the otherhand states their product is >90% ethylene glycol and is considered a harmful product with no further information.

 

In terms of product popularity, I perceive that Thermaltake is not popular because of the opaque fluid settling (a completely undocumented aspect of their coolant). Whereas Mayhems and Primochill are more "recommended" for opaque fluids. Now, since Primochill is completely undocumented, there is no way to scientifically justify a recommendation over Mayhems' products apart from customer testimonials. Technically the Mayhems Pastel is in a similar boat, but at least we know it is glycerol based (which is much safer, compared to ethylene glycol), but again, no information about the active biocide, corrosion inhibitor etc. In my opinion correct and accurate documentation will set your product apart from undocumented competition since there will be tangible logic based arguments as to why one product may be better than another.

 

10 hours ago, mayhems said:

The ratio is diffrent than stated how ever it all comes under a single classification when all merged together (due to atom bonding it is 1 named chemical due to there is no other name for it).

 

I feel that EKWB is currently the role model when it comes to documentation, as you can see in their CryoFuel Concentrate they even list chemicals that are less that 0.02 % of the coolant, as well as in cases where there are products of 2 chemicals that do not necessarily have a name, they clearly state "The reaction mass of X and Y". This at least allows one to look it up if interested.

 

With regards to ethylene glycol + propylene glycol, there is no reaction between them and so they really should be listed as separate entities. It only adds to the strength of the product as you can point towards it and make a clear point that it is a mixture with substantially reduced toxicity compared to just ethylene glycol. 

 

I appreciate there are concerns about competing companies copying formulations but I think you already have a strong hold in the market, and so allowing people to make recommendations that are based on facts (rather than testimonials) would only strengthen any company's position in the market. As for individual users who may try to "reconstruct" the coolants were probably never going to buy it anyway (they would be classed as the infamous distilled water community) and so should not be taken in the numbers.

 

Anyway, I hope any company affiliates reading this thread would take this into consideration, and be more open about their coolants so that people can drive their decisions and recommendations based on scientific and chemical logic.

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