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 Post subject: cardboard computer case...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:37 am 
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http://www.sustainable-computer.com/
i'm surprised this hasn't been posted yet... this might be a good idea... if it didn't seem like a fire hazard...

discuss...

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 Post subject: Re: cardboard computer case...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:21 am 
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mr. poopyhead wrote:
http://www.sustainable-computer.com/
i'm surprised this hasn't been posted yet... this might be a good idea... if it didn't seem like a fire hazard...

discuss...


I think is a fire hazard. If you want sustainably then reuse the million of old computer case that are already existing.
Almost any computer case from the last 25 maybe 30 years can be reused and are much better they can last for hundred of years. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:33 am 
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Fire shouldn't be an issue, the flash point of cardboard is about 200 degrees C (if anything in your PC gets this hot then you're in trouble anyway), and over 400 degrees is required for continuous burn. I have used card for the ducts in my cases for years with no problems (so far...).
Saying this, apparently stacked corrugated cardboard has a tendency to heat-induced spontaneous combustion at around 100 degrees, not sure if the method used in that case counts as stacking or if more volume and mass is required. I assume they have tested for this though.
I would think warping due to heat will be an issue over time though, even with the multi-ply method they have used.
As electrodacus says, it is clearly not a very sustainable or environmentally friendly solution, whereas reusing old ATX cases is.
This is just another example of people using the "Green" bandwagon to sell their crap. I admit it looks quite cool (to me anyway), and will no doubt elevate the Green credentials of anyone using one and raise their Smug levels exponentially.
Anyone who is impressed by this deserves to be liberated of the 700-800USD asking price for the "2.3 ghz AMD triple core processor, Nvida GeForce 6100/nForce 430 graphics processing, 3 gigs of Kingston gaming RAM, 8 usb ports, 500 gig Hard Drive" spec.

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 Post subject: Re: cardboard computer case...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:46 am 
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electrodacus wrote:
...If you want sustainably then reuse the million of old computer case that are already existing...

The trouble is it's really hard to get people to reuse stuff at all, and this is compounded by the fact that most people have no idea how to rebuild a computer. A cardboard case may not be ideal, but it doesn't rely on people behaving in an ideal way.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:45 am 
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The case can't possibly account for more than 10% of the embodied energy in a complete desktop computer. It is also easily reused and easily recycled, which the rest of the components are not.

Making the case out of cardboard does not make the computer "sustainable."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Big Pimp Daddy wrote:
Fire shouldn't be an issue, the flash point of cardboard is about 200 degrees C


Unless, they are impregnating the cardboard with FR treatments, which doesn't make it all that environmentally-friendly, then there still is a spark hazard.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:02 pm 
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Big Pimp Daddy wrote:
Fire shouldn't be an issue, the flash point of cardboard is about 200 degrees C (if anything in your PC gets this hot then you're in trouble anyway), and over 400 degrees is required for continuous burn. I have used card for the ducts in my cases for years with no problems (so far...).


I remember couple of years ago at work (in Europe 230V) one electrician made a mistake and we got 380V on all computers (a bit more than 100 computers and monitors). :)
Most of them did not survived and we got a lot of smoke from some including mine but nothing could burn inside so it was fine. I was hoping for a new computer but they just replaced the power supply :( .
I imagine the need for fire extinguisher with this case :) and a lightning on the power line can do the same not to mention the quality of some power supply, cables or contacts.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:12 am 
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electrodacus:
"If you want sustainably then reuse the million of old computer case that are already existing.
Almost any computer case from the last 25 maybe 30 years can be reused and are much better they can last for hundred of years."


Indeed. Metal is perfectly recyclable. It takes some energy to recycle but with the life-span metal-produced they do last as long as they are compatible with available motherboards, PSUs and stuff. And can be modded to be, if they aren't. It's not like ATX design is going to go extinct... unfortunately. (Or fortunately for recyclability of computer cases.)

I guess the most notable thing that has improved over time is airflow. But even 20yo cases can be superior to some cases 5 years back. Pentium-era (1st to 4th generation) was horrible in how computer cases were designed. Early Pentium era: many cases were ridiculously obstructed and some had fan grilles with 10% hole to steel ratio. Why? Wouldn't a huge hole be better, even WITHOUT a fan, than using (small) fans to blow air through holes the size of a needle? Before Pentium era, they didn't really need active cooling so cases weren't ridiculously obstructed, and were designed quite properly (for the low wattage they needed to cope with).

Big Pimp Daddy:
"Fire shouldn't be an issue, the flash point of cardboard is about 200 degrees C (if anything in your PC gets this hot then you're in trouble anyway)"

Yeah. But that trouble limits only to the contents of your computer case. You'll fry one or several of the following: motherboard, CPU, PSU, HDDs, memory sticks, PCI addon cards... but most importantly, at least you get to keep your house.

"and over 400 degrees is required for continuous burn."

Once it is ignited, there's no question whether over 400 deg C is sustained until cardboard has burned away. And like you said, it could combust at lower temperatures. The only way to prevent it is to make energy required to burn it greater than energy released by burning. This is, treat it like you treat a PCB to make it unburnable (even though it's made of combustible plastic). This requires highly toxic chemicals and disposing the case later on cannot be done by burning, decomposing or even trashing it (and even if the chemicals were non-toxic, trashing is far from ecological).

"I have used card for the ducts in my cases for years with no problems (so far...)."

That isn't such a big problem. Sure, if it sets in fire, the fire will damage more components inside the case but a typical metal case will prevent open flames from coming out and igniting your desk, then your room, then the rest of the house.

So instead of having a closed furnace you would have 5-feet bonfire under or on your table for something as common as PSU failure. Sure, at least 9 out of 10 PSU deaths are nothing spectacular. Even the ones that go with a loud shotgun like bang typically die at once without any after-death overheating and burning. But it's not a possibility that should be ruled out.

Also modern computer cases with low air restriction exhaust grilles and, even worse, top exhaust fan slot would equally allow open flames to exit the case if cardboard ducting is used. But... with computer cases that have top exhaust port, don't they usually have adequate air-circulation to begin with and not require ducting? Sure, ducting is for silencing but computer cases with top fan slot allow noise to escape the case more freely, thus might not be optimal for the absolute silencers anyway.

"This is just another example of people using the "Green" bandwagon to sell their crap."

Indeed. I perfectly agree. I also remember those "wooden" "green" cases... which need steel innards to keep it within legal specs in electromagnetic interference. With metallic innards, the computer case could have consisted of this metallic inner case only. What the wood is, is just decoration. And decoration is fine, yeah, but marketing decorated case as greener than the case that lacks the bling, that's just typical marketing bullshit.

EDIT: typos and missing words. Typed in red.

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Last edited by whiic on Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: cardboard computer case...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am
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Location: maine
electrodacus wrote:

I think is a fire hazard. If you want sustainably then reuse the million of old computer case that are already existing.
Almost any computer case from the last 25 maybe 30 years can be reused and are much better they can last for hundred of years. :)


I agree there..and if there is a design that steps away from normal, like an aluminum that is not crazy..it gets buried, and has to be sought out, like an extinction. :roll:

I thought of a use for single layer cardboard, real thin, like holds soda and beer, to make a duct, then when pattern easily established, smother it in 2 part automotive urethane. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:27 am 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=30608

Mine never burst into flames. I ran it for a year before I upgraded it to wood. It's also environmentally neutral: Instead of recycling the cardboard right away, I used it for a case for a year, then threw it in the recycle bin.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:50 pm 
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"Mine never burst into flames."

I've never had any computer component burst into flames. This means that I could have had each of my computer (half a dozen so far, including retired ones) in a cardboard box, and NONE of them would have burst into flames. True story.

Yet, when the first one does burst into flames, goodbye house. Also getting money from insurance is probably futile with fire-hazardous cellulose-based computer as the source of the fire. So, the biggest question is: do you feel lucky, punk?

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