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John O | May 2017

Ebullient develops two-phase, direct-to-chip liquid cooling solution


Ebullient, a liquid cooling system provider based in Madison, Wis., has created a two-phase, direct-to-chip cooling technology called DirectJet with sealed modules that can be installed in servers to keep components cool.

 


Ebullient is using Carbon 3-D printing technology for its two-phase liquid cooling
solution for servers. (Ebullient/YouTube)

 

According to a case study that was published by 3-D printing startup Carbon, the system works with a non-conductive engineered fluid (3M Novec fluids, according to the Ebullient site)that is pumped into a chamber in the module and then sprayed onto a copper surface that is in contact with the components on the server.

 

“The fluid partially vaporizes within the module to form tiny vapor bubbles that transfer heat away from the critical components to keep them cool,” the case study explained.

 

While the cooling modules were simulated with CAD software, Carbon claims that it was the switch from injection molded parts to 3-D printing with Carbon’s CLIP technology that the proper geometries were able to be achieved.

 

The case study added, “For example, draft angles, the elimination of undercuts, and other injection molding requirements greatly inhibited design freedom and optimization. These design constraints tied the hands of Ebullient’s engineers and ultimately limited module performance. Module designs that had been optimized with CAD and analysis software often had to be later simplified to make them injection moldable, thereby breaking the digital thread between design and manufacturing.”

 

Rather than using selective laser sintering (SLS) or stereolithography (SLA) as the 3-D printing process, CLIP technology offered Ebullient a greater heat deflection index to meet the potential 100°C that the device would be subject to and also a higher threshold for pressure.

 

The article added, “Carbon’s Cyanate Ester-based resin (CE 221) is the only material on the market that has a glass transition temperature of at least 175°C [347°F]. CE 221 exhibits excellent strength, stiffness and long-term thermal stability, making it particularly useful for under-the-hood applications, electronics, and industrial components.”

 

Brett Lindeman, Director of Advanced Development at Ebullient, noted, “There is only one material that fits our performance requirements and that is CE 221. It withstands higher temps than all other materials and it isn’t as brittle, which means it can deform more than other materials without breaking.”

 

Ebullient has unveiled its in-rack precision cooling system at the Data Center World Exhibit in Las Vegas in March and has partnered with several companies, including Rave Computer and Airedale International to provide direct-to-chip cooling solutions.

 

Learn more about Ebullient in the video below:

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