Alphacool has announced a line-up of HardTubes for PC liquid-cooling loops made from (CFRP) carbon, which makes them unique but expensive at the same time.
As their name implies, Alphacool’s carbon HardTubes are made of CFRP (Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced Polymers). Also known as carbon fibres, they are extremely strong and light fibre-reinforced plastics. They can be expensive to produce and are commonly used in aerospace, ship, and automotive industries.
Rigid tubing is very popular amongst liquid-cooling enthusiasts for the clean aesthetic. They are very hard to work with because each bend needs to be done precisely, otherwise the tube becomes useless. Some even take it to the next level, using glass tubes that can’t be bent, thus 90-degree fittings need to be used.
Alphacool’s carbon HardTubes arrive in either 13mm or 16mm outer diameters, while the inner diameters are 10mm and 13mm, respectively. According to the manufacturer, the 3mm tube thickness supports 0.8-bar of maximum operating pressure and can handle temperatures ranging from -20°C up to 60°C. All tubes are 800mm long.
Because of their stiff characteristic, tubes must be sawed to the correct length with care using a pit-saw suitable for carbon. Afterwards, the cut edges must be smoothened with a fine file or sandpaper because sharp edges can damage the O-rings of fittings, then the tube needs to be rinsed in water to avoid leftover particles that can clog the pump. A saw jig is advisable to ensure straight edges.
Remember, when sawing carbon, it is important to wear protective equipment such as safety glasses, FFP2 masks, and gloves.
Regarding pricing, the four-tube pack of 13mm is set at €44.98, against €49.98 for four 16mm.
If you like carbon-made PC components, you may also want this carbon mouse from Zaunkoenig.