, manufacturer of Ceramique and AS5 (arguably the finest thermal compounds available), in cooperation with ESG Associates, also known as Nanotherm
, have come together to release a unique thermal surface cleaning, preparation formula. It also dissolves those annoying thermal pads, and the pink paste used by manufacturers on many North Bridge heatsinks.
ArctiClean is a non-toxic, non-flammable, surfactant based on a citrus/soy formula. Stage-1, described as Thermal Material Remover, effectively dissolves any type of thermal paste, or thermal pad, most likely using a process known as chelation
. A chelate is a chemical made up of metal ion, and chelating agent. A chelating agent can form several bonds to a single metal ion. This is also known as a multidentate ligand. The bonding process, and ion “control” makes for a truly effective, all natural cleaning solution, which rivals the often flammable and highly toxic products usually reserved for this purpose. On the other hand, biochemical chelating
agents play important roles in such natural processes as oxygen transport, and photosynthesis, and are perfectly suited for this purpose.
What's pertinent in so far as ArctiClean is concerned (and our money) is that Arctic Silver didn't simply re-package a cleaning solution, but in fact put significant research and development into this product. Unlike most products used for this purpose, Stage-1 emits no dangerous fumes, is non-flammable, and can be safely used in enclosed areas. In fact Stage-1 has a very pleasant citrus aroma, the only possible adverse effect of which seems to prompt redundant usage. All kidding aside, its aroma is a result of the citrates included in the formula.
Step-2 Thermal Surface Purifier, must be used after the initial step, as it's designed to remove any residual elements. Most importantly Thermal Surface Purifier acts to protect surfaces as a flash corrosion inhibitor, and prep for fresh thermal paste application. To Arctic Silver, and Nanotherm's credit, such biochemical agents play important roles in such natural processes as oxygen transport, and photosynthesis, and are perfectly suited for this purpose. Pertinent to our investment (albeit inexpensive) is the fact Arctic Silver and Nanotherm, didn't simply repackage a cleaning solution but combined resources placing significant research and development into this product. The added benefit of Thermal Surface Purifier will be its use with any other cleaning products such as isopropyl alcohol to protect against oxidation, and prepare surfaces for thermal paste application. For this reason it will be sold separately from the ArctiClean as a two stage kit. Arctic Silver is adamant that Step-1 be followed by Step-2, which is why it will not be sold separately, but the versatility of Step-2 justifies its separate packaging. I've used Thermal Surface Purifier to clean my camera lenses, PC-monitor, sunglasses, and several blocks I'd freshly lapped. In the photo's below my Cool-Cases CF-1 Rev.2 base has was lapped previously and stored in an airtight bag. I removed the block, and gave it a quick wipe with alcohol. The photo on the left is before applying Step-2, and on the left afetr applying Step-2 Thermal Surface Purifier. The difference is immediately noticeable, as the film left from the original lap, and recent wipe with 90% alcohol has been eliminated on the right.