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taglerocktech
1 Copper

PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

We have an old 2850 we are going to setup for a small client of ours, but this morning we noticed there is some kind of black goop on the motherboard (picture attached), its sticky and takes a good scrubbing to get it off your fingers.  I did some searching online and compared the area where the black substance is to pictures of 2850 motherboards online and I it looks like this little black pyramid/tower thing in front of the RAM slots turned to goop (I circled the black thing i'm talking about in the second picture attached).  Can anyone tell me what that thing is for, what its made out of, why it might turn to goop all of the sudden, and if it poses any threat to continued reliable operation of the server?  Thanks in advance for any help.

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6 Replies
pcmeiners
4 Tellurium

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

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taglerocktech
1 Copper

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

erm..... not sure what your reply is.

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taglerocktech
1 Copper

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

I think the forum is freaked out in Chrome, I can read your reply in the notification to my email but its not showing up in the web browser.  Either way picture #1 (the first one that shows a close up of the blob) is the same as the last two pictures, i just took it at a wider angle to show the entire board.  The second picture, with the mobo sitting out of the server on a table, is a picture from a listing on ebay that i found when googling for a picture of the motherboard from that server without the black goop to try and figure out what failed.  When i compare the pictures i find to that all of them have that little pyramid/tower thing that is circled in red in the picture.  The components are slightly different in that picture than the one in this server but all the primary components are the same (PSU terminals, CPU sockets, RAM slots, etc...)  I have put a picture of a motherboard that appears to be the same one as we  have below, you'll notice the same little black pyramid/tower thing.  I've circled it in the below picture as well.  I am going to research butyl rubber and see if its something that was put into the server at one point.  I do know that this is the only model of server i have been able to find with that thing.

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Tim_MGC
1 Nickel

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

I recognize the item as a 3M Bumpon product which is made of a polyurethane compound.  Looks like 3M part SJ5514.  I can't speak as to it's purpose on the Dell board except that maybe it provides physical protection to the surrounding components.

Scratching my head as to it's current condition as it is a thermoset and does not melt at any reasonably low temperature.  It would just become hard.  The actual melting point is high enough that it would have destroyed a lot of other things there.

Chemically, it's pretty resilient, would take something like acetone or similarly nasty solvent to do that I would think.  I'll try acetone on some I have laying around.  I think it will probably just craze though and get brittle.

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skylarking
3 Silver

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

I recognize the item as a 3M Bumpon product which is made of a polyurethane compound... Scratching my head as to it's current condition as it is a thermoset and does not melt at any reasonably low temperature...

Good pick emoticon.Stickouttongue.title

I'm not an expert but polyurethan can be constructed to be either a thermosetting or thermoplastic, either rigid or flexible or any number of variations in between.

As such only Dell would know what parameters it required for the Bumpon as used on their motherboard and sadly i doubt they would tell us...

Maybe the bumpon can indeed melt at lower than expected temps, or maybe Dell had a faulty batch of Bumpons used on some of their boards. But who knows, again Dell wont tell.

Anyway, in my very limited exposure, i haven't seen such goop on a mobo,  All i know is i hate touching unknown goop without knowing something about its composition and any potential adverse effects by getting it on ones skin, etc. Putting other chemicals onto an unknown would also be concerning.

I'd directly talk to Dell support on such issues that could impact health... but i guess they'd say buy a new mobo emoticon.Embarrassed.title

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taglerocktech
1 Copper

RE: PE 2850 - Black Goopy Substance Where Little Black Pyramid Thing Used to Be

Thanks for everyone's replies.  That probably means we'll never know why it melted or otherwise turned to goop.  We threw esxi an spun up a VM on it and it has been on for the last 4 days with no issues, so we'll just go ahead and put it into production, its not going to have much of a load on it and if dies we'll just throw the image onto another server.  My guesses as to why its there are that ya'll are right and its used to support some component.  But I went through the installation and hardware guide for this server and could find no components that appeared to be support by this bumper.  My other guess is that this was something that was originally intended to support something or serve a purpose but its purpose was redesigned or re-positioned in the chassis and the design team just never took it off before it hit final production.  Either way I appreciate ya'll taking the time to reply to this.  Thanks!

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