It’s a generally known fact that water cooling in personal computers is used both to increase cooling performance and to reduce the level of noise, which is achieved due to it’s higher efficiency. Not everything is so good and straightforward though, since an operating pump (a vital component in most water cooling systems) usually produces significant levels of vibration that can generate a considerable amount of annoying noise.
Since the problem of excessive pump vibration isn’t anything new, water cooling enthusiasts have eventually found a solution for it. Water cooling enthusiasts have experimented with a variety of vibration dampening hangers and pump decoupling stands of different designs, eventually coming up with one of the most successful variants — a pump stand made from several layers of different vibration damping materials. In the world of PC water cooling such a vibration damping pump stand is often called a Shoggy Sandwich.
The first part of the name, Shoggy is derived from the nickname of the water cooling enthusiast that found and made popular this very successful and effective design, while the second (“Sandwich”) part is a reference to the multilayered structure of the stand. This type of a pump decoupling pad became so popular among water cooling enthusiasts, that currently Shoggy Sandwiches are mass-produced and can be bought in specialized water cooling stores.
Nevertheless, sometimes the production version of the Shoggy Sandwich may be not available for purchase or just not well enough suited for using in some particular case. That’s why I decided to write this guide, which will tell you how to make a custom DIY vibration damping stand for your pump, spending a minimum amount of time and money. It’s also necessary to specify that our hand made Shoggy Sandwich will have the same (or even better) performance as the mass-produced versions.
Materials needed for a DIY pump decoupling pad
To make a vibration damping stand for your pump you will need: a 10 – 15 mm thick piece of soft polyurethane foam, a 2 mm thick piece of dense polyethylene foam, a 1 – 2 mm thick sheet of metal (aluminum in my case), some double-sided adhesive tape and your pump’s mounts.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s possible to utilize more layers of vibration damping materials, which will further improve vibration isolation, since as vibration passes through layers with different densities more vibration will be absorbed and damped. Also, using any specified materials it’s mandatory — you’re free to experiment with different types of vibration damping materials.
It is also worth considering that in my case the pump won’t stand on bare metal, since I already applied a 4 mm thick layer of vibration damping material called izolon (a brand of dense polyethylene foam) on the inside of my Cooler Master Elite 330 case.
As you can clearly see, we won’t use any unique or hard to find stuff — all the materials are widely available commercially, and many of you probably already have some of them, since stuff like foam can be often found in computer hardware packagingю
Assembling the pump stand
The whole process of assembling our vibration damping pump stand is quite simple — just remember how to make a sandwich 😉 Bond the layers of this “sandwich” with double-sided adhesive tape and top it off with a layer of metal. You may ask why the metal? It’s simple — we use it to provide a more even distribution of vibration, that will increase it’s efficiency. Also, the use of metal will make the process of mounting the pump more convenient, especially if you want to fix the pump in place with screws. Just remember that if you use screws, that they must be short, since if they reach the bottom of the case it will significantly lower the efficiency of our pump decoupling pad.
Having tested this DIY Shoggy Sandwich with Thermaltake P400 pump-reservoir combo, which is an impressive source of vibration, I can safely say that I’m more than satisfied with it’s performance. There is no longer any trace of vibration on my computer’s chassis!