Question High Density Polyethylene Tubing (HDPE) for water cooling?

LuckyTheLadyBug

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Jul 5, 2015
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Hi all,

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=129814

I know that HDPE tubing is not commonly used for water cooling. I work in a research lab, and I am designing a system that needs to cool a few Thermoelectric Coolers (Peltier coolers) with water cooling.

I am wondering what soft-tubing type is best for this application? It needs to be able to withstand 5% isopropyl alcohol for biocidal purposes and also have a very long lifetime. The tubes need to not crack, split, or degrade over the timespan of at least 8-10 years. I'm thinking HDPE would be good for this, but it is not widely used for this, so I am concerned.

Do you have any other recommendations?

Thanks!
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Hmm, temperature range looks a little lacking. 66C to brittleness. As long as you kept it cool enough maybe.

8-10 years might be pushing it.

Stainless steel tubing? I think they use titanium tubing in high pressure work which would have a whole series of laboratory supplies (might be mis-remembering, could have been even more exotic)

Maybe look at high pressure vacuum tubing? Surely that stuff is stable for many years.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi all,

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=129814

I know that HDPE tubing is not commonly used for water cooling. I work in a research lab, and I am designing a system that needs to cool a few Thermoelectric Coolers (Peltier coolers) with water cooling.

I am wondering what soft-tubing type is best for this application? It needs to be able to withstand 5% isopropyl alcohol for biocidal purposes and also have a very long lifetime. The tubes need to not crack, split, or degrade over the timespan of at least 8-10 years. I'm thinking HDPE would be good for this, but it is not widely used for this, so I am concerned.

Do you have any other recommendations?

Thanks!
PEX is used for residential water service, both hot, cold and circulated water heating. I would think that would be durable.
 

LuckyTheLadyBug

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Jul 5, 2015
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Hmm, temperature range looks a little lacking. 66C to brittleness. As long as you kept it cool enough maybe.

8-10 years might be pushing it.

Stainless steel tubing? I think they use titanium tubing in high pressure work which would have a whole series of laboratory supplies (might be mis-remembering, could have been even more exotic)

Maybe look at high pressure vacuum tubing? Surely that stuff is stable for many years.

The tubing has to be soft tubing, so the titanium wouldn't work unfortunately. The temp of the water will probably not go more than 30C since it will be run through a chiller.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Cooling the peltier though right? How hot is that side?

The chill side should stay pretty cool indeed, but the tubing is rated for quite a dip below freezing, so it should be alright there.

Unless the peltier will be air cooled on the other side, then should be fine.
 

LuckyTheLadyBug

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Jul 5, 2015
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Cooling the peltier though right? How hot is that side?

The chill side should stay pretty cool indeed, but the tubing is rated for quite a dip below freezing, so it should be alright there.

Unless the peltier will be air cooled on the other side, then should be fine.
Yes, we will be cooling the hot side of the peltier by a water chiller. I'm either thinking HDPE, EPDM, or normal PE tubing. I'm only hesitant because I don't see a lot of people using such tubing, so Im worried im missing something.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
You would need a way to regulate the temperature closely then. Peltier can get much hotter than 66C depending on your target chilled temperature. That chilling would have to be around 0C at the most to keep the hot side from going to extremes that the tubing might not handle. Though that depends on your radiator size and how cool you can keep the water running through.
 

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