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A word of caution for those who may use Star Brite liquid electrical tape on their MOBO


The3DLink
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When prepping my Apex IX for LN2 use, I decided to use some LET to coat nearly the entire board. I used a brand called Star Brite (mostly because it was the only brand at home depot that didn't come in black) and things appeared to be going great at first. I was using the brush method and switched to pouring once I got a feel for the consistency and had some more open board areas. Everything looked great.... at first. Upon removing the regular tape I had protecting the ram slots, I discovered that this product has some major capillary action (attraction) in some areas. It actually started to climb its way UP the slots, much higher than the poured or painted levels. It also occurred inside the CPU socket and up the pins. Luckily I caught it before levels rose to actually cover the contacts of anything, but there was one end where I had to pick/peel some out of a ram slot. This stuff removes rather easy, which was one of the perks to trying it out. I think I'll continue to use this stuff to coat GPUs but not MOBOs, or at least come up with a different technique (i.e. not near any socket with unsealed bottoms). Maybe put some eraser around the base of the sockets beforehand.

 

Also to note: It could just be this brand as I've used other brands such as Permatex and Gardner Bender which are a lot thicker than the Star Brite brand and didn't seem to have this issue. YMMV

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Does it feel way more liquid than the other LET ?

 

Yes, way more thin than the other brands I've mentioned. (Which definitely makes it a lot easier to syringe) Also, as a follow up, it ended up cracking on the backside of the GPU for me somewhere between -100 to -130℃ during my 2nd pull-down with this application. Picture included.

 

The Gardner Bender worked better for me. It has remained more flexible at low temps and sustained multiple pull-downs, however I did encounter some of the air cavities during application as Splave has mentioned. For me, I think it had more to do with using the included brush, as it goes on extremely thick and will pass over surface mount components and create a canopy of sorts. I had to go around with a smaller brush and pop some of them to get around the base of the bigger caps/components

 

I haven't noticed any major capillary action with the GB/permatex brands but I definitely will keep a closer eye on all future mobos I prep.

Edited by The3DLink
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