Before we get kicking today, I have to thank Koolance for helping us out and sending some of their VL series Quick Disconnects over to the lab. Quick disconnects have been one of those LC parts that I have been very interested in, but always wondered what the restriction trade off would be. Lets face it, QDC’s could be the greatest thing since sliced bread from a usability standpoint but if they kill my loops with added restriction, then no thanks. Thanks to Koolance, we can finally figure out what QDC’s would do to our loops.
I need to point out the person to blame for all of this QDC craziness, Naekuh at XtremeSystems is responsible for putting crazy QDC scenarios in my head as well as sending the Colder QDC’s over and fueling the curiosity even more. Now that we know who to blame for all this, lets see what the benefits and compromises of Quick Disconnects does for our loops.
The quick disconnect selection is not as prevalent as fittings or cpu blocks, Koolance is the only major liquid cooling company sporting QDC’s in their product portfolio and the other well known company is Colder (CPC). In the round up we have three different models from Koolance and one from Colder, this is certainly not every possible QDC out there, the lab just doesn’t have the budget for it. The goal here is to give you an understanding of Quick Disconnects, restriction data as well as some practical use.
Trying to work up a lehman’s explanation for the basic design behind quick disconnects result in a lot of gestures at the monitor and keyboard. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which thanks to Colder we have a cutaway diagram… here. Designs do vary, but the overall concept of two spring loaded shutoff valves with o-ring seals is constant. Achieving higher flow through, less restriction and no spill are where the differences in design come into play. The two shutoff valves is what I refer to as the flow channel, I’m probably wrong with the name but I see that as the largest area of restriction. Again, I’m not a quick disconnect engineer or pretend to be one. I refer to the flow channel with measurements of the individual models, so I just wanted to be sure you all read the disclaimer on my slaughtered terms before proceeding.
With that said, lets take a look at the motley crew that will be participating in the round up…
The Colder HFC12′s we have for the round up are the no frills version, can’t complain I had them sent by Naekuh. Colder makes a large variety of Quick Disconnects, the HFC series is just one of their plastic line. Need Medical Grade Plastic or NSF/Food Grade, they’ve got a quick disconnect for you. Anyhow, the set we have is comprised of the HFCD22812 male and HFCD17812 female part. Tales of the tape on the HFC12′s comes in with a 9.5mm barb ID, 10mm diameter flow channel (where the plungers meet and compress), 95mm in total length and thanks to the push release the largest OD of the HFC12 is 36.5mm. The Colder’s are quite large, but light due to the plastic although I’m sure the metal QDC’s from Colder weigh close to a metric ton.
The Koolance VL3 Quick Disconnects are the first ones I remember seeing from the Koolance. Once again, Naekuh went parading them around showing his poorly lit, dusty rig photos. For one full set of the VL3′s, you need the 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Male (VL3-M13-19S) and 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Female (VL3-F13-19S) nozzles. The plunger as I call it– the part of the QDC that connects with the opposite fitting to open the flow– is clearly visible in the photos below, the flow channel outer diameter of the male is 9.25mm. On the VL3′s, the compression fitting collar is the largest diameter at 25mm, 15.5mm diameter at the coupling, and total length of 73.5mm.
The Koolance VL3N’s are deceptively named, sporting a complete different plunger mechanism to achieve the No-Spill moniker. For one full set of the VL3N’s, you need the 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Male (VL3N-M13-19S) and 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Female (VL3N-F13-19S) nozzles. Best flow channel measurement I can get is of the plunger on the male fitting, coming in at 9.6mm. Really the only commonality to the VL3 is the compression fitting collar being the largest diameter (25mm) on the set, flow channel diameter taping out at 17.75mm and barb to barb length of 87mm. From the photos, you should be able to see why the VL3N’s are Low Spill to No-Spill… We’ll see if the No-Spill name holds true in testing.
The Koolance VL4′s are just massive, we’re talking a serious chunk of brass. As with the other Koolance QDC’S, the 25mm diameter fitting collar is the largest part but barely. The flow channel bore is 14.25mm and female flow channel outer diameter of 21.35mm, total length of 84.5mm barb to barb. Like the others, a 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Male (VL4-M13-19S) and 1/2″ ID-3/4″ OD Female (VL4-F13-19S) nozzles make the set. The VL4′s were easier to photograph since they are so stinking big and I couldn’t help but throw in a 4th picture.
The QDC’s we have all use a slightly different design at the shutoff valve, or what I like to call the plungers as I cannot get a good view of the internal mechanisms. Unfortunately, QDC’s are just a difficult component to photograph and describe. Luckily we have criteria other than photos and my words to judge QDC’s, time to take a look at pressure drop and restriction.