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Old 04-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
c.hegge
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Exclamation Always clean the dust!!

This afternoon, I staged an experiment using a popular low end PSU made by Sun Pro (a 420W Thermal Master). I found this one in a PC which had come from a dusty environment, and probably hadn't been cleaned for some time, and was packed with dust (see the before shot)

I loaded it up to 350W on my load tester, a load which is safe for this PSU under normal circumstances. After less than a minute, both switching transistors blew themselves in half, and flames shot out the back, and the power supply stayed on fire for several seconds after the explosion.

After opening the PSU, the fan's airflow baffle had been melted, as had some of the wires and some of the plastic insulation around the coils. Thankfully, the fire did eventually self-extinguish, but that certainly doesn't mean that's what will happen every time. This experiment proves that dust can be set on fire from a transistor exploding, and why it's important not to let the dust build up.
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No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards!

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
Gabriel Torres
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Thanks for sharing, great pictures.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:00 AM   #3
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Agreed great images. Any after the fire images???
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merman View Post
Agreed great images. Any after the fire images???
Did you pay attention on how the plastic shield that was in front of the fan melted?
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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4 of the 5 shots are after. I may actually repeat this experiment in the near future, as I have another junk PSU (a Hairong 430W, similar to this) which might be a good candidate. I will be sure to video it then.
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No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards!

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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Yes I noticed but supposed I expected much more damage after a parts explosion and fire. Seems the parts held up well to a fire as they are suppose to.


I remember this image and there was no fire.






http://forums.hardwaresecrets.com/al...ked-delta/8698
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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I have a Bestec 250 12Z and, it wasn't packed with dust as bad as what you've shown, but it would shut down, out in my hot workshop (90F+ out there, in the summer). Well, I decided to open it up, hose it out, and let it dry... and now it runs solid, out in that same heat! So, that proves that dust makes heat "stick" and overheat components, period!
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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I got my hands on another identical Thermal master 420W, and decided to repeat this experiment. This time around, I added the dust. It came mostly from the lint filter of our clothes dryer. The amount i added was a lot - but I've seen one extreme case (pun intended), where the dust was at least this bad.

Unlike last time, the flames took hold after the unit exploded - completely destroying the back of the fan and part of the wiring and input filtering before I stepped in and put the fire out. There is no doubt in my mind that it could have caused a major disaster had this not been in a controlled environment with me watching it.

Youtube video coming soon...
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No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards!

Main PC: Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz, Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP, 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600, 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, 750GB WD HDD, Sony Optiarc DVD RW, Palit nVidia GTX660 Ti, CoolerMaster N200 Case, Delta DPS-600MB 600W PSU, Hauppauge TV Tuner, Windows 7 Home Premium.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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How much heat does it take to ignite lint? I think your example is flawed. The dust buildup in a PSU is going to be room dust. Not lint (fabric fibers). I believe what happened was an overheating issue and subsequent ignition of the lint fibers. Room dust does not burn, like lint, to my knowledge, but could cause an issue of overheating, which can cause components to fail catastrophically (fire).

Lint is not a fair test... you just unfairly overheated the PSU, which ignited the lint, causing a PSU fire that destroyed it.

You could have likely accomplished the exact same thing with cotton balls packed in the PSU.

Now, try that test with fiberglass and see what happens. fiberglass doesn't burn... it will melt, as it's spun glass:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...5084739AAMbqQZ

Let's see a video of the effect. Pack fiberglass wool (no paper backing; just the pink/yellow stuff all by itself) into a PSU and crank that puppy... let's see what happens. I'm curious...

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Old 08-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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I do agree that this would be a very extreme case (and probably a rare event).

BUT

The worst cases of dust I've found are from carpet (because the end user has their PC placed directly on the carpet floor) and often contain lint and carpet fluff (which also burns). My experiment from the other PSU proved that dust -can- be ignited from an exploding transistor (that one had normal dust, which still ignited when the switchers blew). I realise that not all dust is as flammable as lint, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that no PSU could ever ingest flammable dust.

Here's a video of the experiment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTKCPMgn8J4
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No wonder it doesn't work! You installed the coils backwards!

Main PC: Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz, Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP, 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600, 240GB Intel 335 Series SSD, 750GB WD HDD, Sony Optiarc DVD RW, Palit nVidia GTX660 Ti, CoolerMaster N200 Case, Delta DPS-600MB 600W PSU, Hauppauge TV Tuner, Windows 7 Home Premium.
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