[Beowulf] materials for air shroud?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Aug 31 14:05:34 PDT 2011

On Wed, 31 Aug 2011, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

Also thin aluminum.  You can get aluminum sheeting that you can cut with
scissors and that is easy to bend into shapes if you have a bending jig
(or can make one with two pieces of board stock and a vise).  Cheap,
fireproof, meltproof at any temperatures you're likely to reach, no
toxic fumes in a fire, can be glued or screwed.  The one drawback is
that it is a PITA to weld or solder if that's important to you, but for
an air shroud you can probably make compression joints (interlocking U
rims, squeezed down) that are adequate.

Most hardware stores (roof flashing), some auto parts or hobby stores.
Copper too, but more expensive.  Don't know about thin "enough" sheet
steel, but probably -- copper or steel would both weld or solder easily.


> Cardboard? Card stock? Masking tape? White glue? (that's what I usually use for cooling ducts.. easy to cut, glue, tape..)  It's no more flammable than plastic, and it doesn't melt and get soft. Papier Mache, works too.
> On the other hand, if you want to mold a smooth curve, then plastic is the way to go. Vacuforming can make a very nice thing, and the form is made out of wood (usually), but you don't need to go to that extreme.. you get some nice thermoplastic, put it in hot water to get it soft, and mold as needed. (yes, you could use those old LPs you've got stashed away.. )
> Thin, cuttable plastic could be polyethylene (not necessarily High density) or similar.  Polystyrene and acrylic tend to be more brittle.  ABS is very nice to work with.  PVC is also easy to work with. Nylon is another possibility.
> Do you want to be able to glue it?
> What I would do is call up profesionalplastics.com  formerly Cadillac Plastics (many outlets nationwide) and see what they have.  It might be more useful to find a retail outlet and go look through their scrap bin.. Before Gem-O-Lite in Woodland Hills went out of business, that's where I used to go.  Plastic Depot in Burbank has a huge selection.
> Drive over there, and ask the counter folks what would work for you.  $10-20 will get you more plastic than you know what to do with.
> Art supply places (e.g. Blick on Raymond.. any of the countless Michaels or Aaron Bros) also carry sheet plastic, but I find the plastic places tend to have more variety, and more practical information about use for "engineering" applications.
> Jim Lux
> +1(818)354-2075
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of David Mathog
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:29 AM
>> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
>> Subject: [Beowulf] materials for air shroud?
>> Anybody know of a nice cheap, high melting point, easy to work with
>> sheet material, for making a custom air shroud?
>> We have one box with stuff in it that looks similar to HDPE, the
>> material the white flexible cutting boards are made of, but it is a bit
>> thinner and more rigid that that.  Unfortunately there are no markings
>> on it, so HDPE is just a guess.  Whatever it is, it cut easily with
>> scissors (I had to trim it slightly at one point.)
>> Background.  We have an older Supermicro SC-823 server with dual
>> processors.  The air shroud it came with only covers the first
>> processor.  That didn't matter much when it had two low power processors
>> in it, but after upgrading it to dual Opteron 280s, the uncovered second
>> one runs considerably hotter than the covered front one.  (Swapping the
>> processors around didn't help - the heat stayed where it was, so a
>> ventilation issue, not a processor issue.)  Supermicro does make a newer
>> shroud which extends to the back of the case, but the manual (google for
>> "SC-823 air shroud user's guide") indicates that it is designed for
>> Intel CPUs.  So it may or may not fit around the Opterons.
>> The redesigned air shroud will probably work, but I'm about 90%
>> confident that taping a sheet of plastic onto the back of the existing
>> shroud would work as well - if I can find a plastic that won't flap
>> around or melt.
>> Thanks,
>> David Mathog
>> mathog at caltech.edu
>> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
>> _______________________________________________
>> Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org sponsored by Penguin Computing
>> To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit
>> http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf
> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org sponsored by Penguin Computing
> To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf

Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

More information about the Beowulf mailing list