Swiftech CoolSleeves
By: bigben2k

Summary:
For those of us water coolers, one issue that we all have to deal with eventually, is the kinks that end up forming within our tubing. Swiftech has came out of with a solution!
Introduction


For those of us water coolers, one issue that we all have to deal with eventually, is the kinks that end up forming within our tubing.



These are caused by bending our tubing tighter than it was designed to handle. The result is a lower flow rates which impacts performance, and an increased pressure that can reveals leaks. When I was asked to review this product, I have to admit that I thought that these were more decorative than functional. As it turns out, while the Swiftech CoolSleeves do react to UV lighting, and still look attractive without UV lights, I was surprised to see them work so well at preventing kinks.



The sample I was provided is for 1/2" OD (Outer Diameter) tubing. I had to test just how much more of a bend I could get with these sleeves over my tubing. Swiftech reveals the maximum bending radius as follows:

* Minimum bending radius for 1/2" Coolsleeves is 1.25"
* Minimum bending radius for 5/8" Coolsleeves is 2.5"


I was able to achieve a 3/4" bending radius (but wouldn't advise creating such tight bends):



(Max bend radius 2 1/2")



(Max bend radius 3/4")

Swiftech reveals the maximum bending radius as follows:
* Minimum bending radius for 1/2" Coolsleeves is 1.25"
* Minimum bending radius for 5/8" Coolsleeves is 2.5"

It was fairly simple to slip the CoolSleeve over the tubing, but it did take some time; roughly 20 minutes, for the 40" length. My tubing was already curled, from sitting on the spool at the local hardware store, but all I had to do was slip one end under my foot, hold up the tubing, and wrap the coil around the tubing, while standing up.

To my surprise, I was able to bend the tubing to a much smaller radius with this sleeve.

After doing a bit of searching, the only similar product I was able to find is a metal spring that is intended to fit inside of a tube (the Swiftech CoolSleeves fit over standard vinyl tubing). I would not be looking forward to working that inside of my tubing!

Swiftech also states that it is possible to use Coolsleeves over Clearflex or Tygon tubing, but the main purpose of these is to save on the cost of the tubing, by combining it with vinyl tubing.

The only downside that I found to these is that when used in very tight bends, the vinyl tubing will still tend to straighten up, and create what could be a significant force that could unseat a water block; just be on the lookout for it, when building your rig.

The Swiftech CoolSleeves are available in 40" lengths, and are available in "Horizon blue" , "Saturn Green" and "Neon Red", all of which are UV reactive. Coolsleeves are also available in clear transparent (non-UV reactive), and for 3/8" ID (1/2" OD) tubing, as well as 1/2" ID (5/8" OD).

Web prices at time of publishing, is around $3 to $4.

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