Chat With PolarFLO
Back toward the end of February, Daniel (Nicao) and I took an overnight trip to Montanna and stopped in at PolarFLO, where we were able to spend an hour or so with Steve, his wife and little Steve - their son. Steve was kind enough to show us around PolarFLO, and give us the lowdown on what's been going on as well as what's coming down the pipe from these guys.
If you haven't seen the quality of products that PolarFLO delivers, please stop reading now, head on over to their site, and then come back so you can appreciate the craftsmanship that is PolarFLO. These guys spend a bunch of time and resources on R&D and it shows.
I recorded the conversation with Steve, buy unfortunately the quality of the recording is quite poor due to the fact that we used a little integrated mic in the recorder, and the shop was large and empty which led to sound degradation. We've decided to still make the audio available, although you will have to turn it up to hear what Steve is saying.
Download the complete audio right here. If you are having trouble making out what's being said, below are the highlights.
- PolarFLO farms out the sheet metal for the mounting brackets. They are laser cut so they are treated more carefully, and are much truer than stamped brackets.
- PolarFLO does 100% of the machining in-house.
- The original PolarFLO CPU block was manufactured in about 6 minutes. . . now it takes 2-3 minutes to make their new TT series block.
- The parts are made in two stages so that every cycle complete blocks are made.
- The CNC machine code for some of the copper blocks from PolarFLO is almost 35 pages long.
- PolarFLO has two CNC machines. The larger machine manufacturers blocks, and the smaller machine just handles the cool pump housings.
- PolarFLO may be releasing a product review platform (mini-rack) in the future.
- Copper is hell to cut with a bandsaw.
- Steve is a neat freak much like Paul Sr. of Orange County Choppers fame.
- Fluid Dynamics and determinism through software is becoming a bigger part of PolarFLO in the future. Software will never replace "real-world" testing.
- The block is designed for fast assembly. A person can completely assemble a block in about a minute and a half.
- Blocks are assembled on demand from inventory. Major orders are manufactured, and not assembled from existing inventory.
- The GPU block is designed so there is essentially 3 points of contact with the "O" ring. The block design has been tested up to 150psi.
- The barbs take a 9/16" or 14mm wrench so that people overseas or can assemble the block. SAE or Metric is supported.
- PolarFLO now includes instructions with their blocks. They recommend that you know what you're doing before you start.
- They design parts from the standpoint of asthetics, performance, can it be made, can it be assembled easily, and can it be sold.
- Delphi is eager to get involved with PolarFLO and their line of cooling equipment.
- GPU blocks are assembled hand tight (top & bottom).
- CPU blocks are tightened using a pneumatic vise, and a CNC'd wrench. They are polished using a mild abrasive.
- Whether you're running the block in a two-barb or three-bard design, the center should always remain the inlet.
- Bill Adams from Swiftech helped do some testing of PolarFLO's first block before he went to Swiftech.
- PolarFLO takes a lot of trade-ins and sells them on E-Bay.
- I don't stop by PolarFLO for free schwag. . . really.
- PolarFLO buys pumps (motor and rotor) from Lang, and has improved the housing and lengthened the fluid engagement curve. They are working on a future revision that will be even better as it reduces the fluid sheer even more.
- In a clean system, PolarFLO recommends pure de-ionized water in a system as it is non-conductive and non-corrosive.
- They do all their own packaging and shipping in house.
- They are working on a killer design for the PolarFLO TT Series 350 Pump.
- They have a "no cameras" policy so we couldn't take a single bloody picture.
Again, many thanks to Steve for letting us take a look around his shop . . . and for the free schwag. If you have any questions or comments regarding this chat with Steve, please click the link below and get your comment in the forum.