EKWB (EK Water Blocks) have come under heavy fire after end user investigations on the degradation of their EK nickel plated waterblocks. The company has acted in the form of RMA returns, and halted the sales of the affected nickel plated products. More details inside.
The nickel plating on the EKWB waterblocks is supposed to increase corrosion resistance and provide an attractive shine to the waterblock. Instead, it appears to be the cause of corrosion. Rubidium, a forum member from RealRedRaider who has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics and a PhD Doctorate in Nuclear Physics, had carried out intense testing of the nickel plated waterblock.
Test results showed a possible sub-standard plating process as there were pores throughout the nickel plating, causing the copper (main material of the waterblocks) to be exposed.
Institute Jozef Stefan, which EKWB had chosen to check their samples, have recommended using low conducting and anti corrosion liquid (eg. distilled or deionised water). They also suggest that users should change the coolant periodically as ions from the closed water loops might become dissolved in it. The presence of metals such as silver in the closed water loop or the use of algaecides (which contains copper sulphate), even in minute concentrations, will cause corrosion.
EKWB emphasised that the corrosion of the nickel plating is due to certain chemical additives based on pure silver and copper sulphate that were added to the water loop. EKWB has halted the sales of the affected nickel plated products, and advised its resellers to do so.
However, should any customer still insist on buying the EK nickel plated waterblocks, EKWB will continue to offer their full 24 months warranty on materials, manufacturing and corrosion. EKWB has also upgraded the RMA option. They have also extended all warranties and will cover all shipping costs of the RMA back to reseller, and the shipping of the replacement block back to the customer.
Visit EKWB on their official statement regarding the nickel plating issue.
See the official internal test report by EKWB.
See the official test report by the Institute Jozef Stefan on the testing of the EK samples.
Visit the RealRedRaider thread on the unofficial testing and detailed report of the EK nickel waterblocks.