What material are computer fans made out of

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by MEX, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. MEX

    MEX Member

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    This may sound like a stupid question but bare with me.

    I know some of the cheap fans are just simple cheap plastic but the better ones are usually made from what seems to be some kind of resin ?

    the material i am talking about can be best described wen you screw them into a case. cheap plastic fans sound and feel smooth as the screw cuts into the plastic, the other type which i am trying to identify the material of have a gritty sound and feel.

    also cheap fans you can bend the plastic quite a lot before it breaks the good ones are quite fragile and snap off rather than bend.

    I figure its some kind of composite plastic.



    Any help would be much appreciated.


    Regards
    Luke
     
  2. Linkin

    Linkin Member

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    Um... they are all made of one kind of plastic or another, I'd assume. Also, fans that have the fins break of easily are not high quality...
     
  3. carbon_death

    carbon_death Member

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    I know what you mean, i broke two fins off an Noctua 80mm and it took no force (by accident obviously).
    Ive broken fins on cheaper cooler master clear plastic fans and they do bend a little before snapping.
     
  4. Hive

    Hive Member

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    Some kind of treated PVC or plastic
     
  5. thormania

    thormania Member

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    Sounds like the best of both worlds is the soft casing and the harder fins - easy to screw - less noisy to spin?

    :p

    Be hard to find out the plastic types - i guess if you really wanted to try emailing noctura/noiseblocker/premium fan company and see what happens.
     
  6. Hive

    Hive Member

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    Who would screw case fans?
     
  7. carbon_death

    carbon_death Member

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    Shal I draw you a pain-ful looking diagram? :D
     
  8. Hive

    Hive Member

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    Why sir that would be excellent
     
  9. jozlod

    jozlod Member

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    *waits for diagram*

    i've had fan blades fall off some old amd cpu fans when using abit too much compressed air near them when de-dusting, then fans end up been quite unbalanced then :(
     
  10. Hive

    Hive Member

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    I wa playing around inside my poweredge 1750 and accidentally touched one of the dual blade 40MM fans running at 8000RPM...

    One of the blades came off

    And so did my finger nail
     
  11. MyDixiesNormous

    MyDixiesNormous Member

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    Some of them are a glassfiber plastic composite.
     
  12. Hive

    Hive Member

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    This is what they are generally made out of
     
  13. OP
    OP
    MEX

    MEX Member

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    this would be my best guess as well :)


    Thanks for all the input
    Luke
     
  14. Vladimir_Putin

    Vladimir_Putin Member

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    I had a Delta 250cfm fan and a zippy tie got sucked into it, broke 3 fins then I tried to super glue then back on but they just snapped off again also taking off another fin was quite a sad moment.
     
  15. juscal

    juscal Member

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    Coolermaster LED silent fans are bulletproof as all fuck. They run at 2000rpm and hurt when you stick your finger in at the sharpest point of the blade. <_< And yet they still dont break.
     
  16. Life_Essence

    Life_Essence Member

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    I can second that notion, as well as the fans that are used in the Zalman CNPS8700NT.
     
  17. Smiley__24

    Smiley__24 Member

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    You'll find that most fans are made from a similar plastic, it's the % of "glass fill" that determines how flexible/brittle the plastic is. Glass fill is basically very fine strands of glass, similar to fiberglass, just much finer. The higher the glass fill % the less flexible/more brittle the plastic is.
     
  18. Jarwedy

    Jarwedy Member

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    Agreed, though they are really flexible aswell.

    You also tend to find high-rpm fans have brittle/non flexible fins. I remember sticking my finger into a 3500RPM 80mm Sunon fan, no fins broke but my finger copped a nice gash.
     
  19. AMLagonda

    AMLagonda Member

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    Nylon is flexible but glass fill nylon is not, fans that flex in a PC would vibrate as a guess. Its probably 5% glass fill.

    They could use high density polyurethane but it could flex as well.

    ABS is impossible to work with on such small thin item like a fan blade.
     
  20. bonox

    bonox Member

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    everything vibrates - changing the stiffness only changes the frequency at which the vibration occurs.

    The stronger the material you use (the higher speed units where the blade acceleration goes up with square of rotation speed) and the bigger units (inverse relationship with radius) use stronger materials - ie they tend to use chopped (glass) fibre reinforcement. The stiffer or stronger a material is, the more brittle it is (or the lower its fracture toughness).

    There is another factor as well for long life and that is creep - plastics under constant load tend to permanently stretch over time. You cope by making high blade tip clearances to the casing (which increases noise and reduces efficiency), or you use a stronger but more brittle material.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010

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