Heat Insulation 101 - The basics of exhaust insulation
Heat insulators retain heat in what they are placed upon. The most efficient way to fix a hot firewall, interior, or fuel cell is to stop heat at the source with an insulator to protect car from heat. Most insulators are exhaust wraps, but there are other options. Typical insulators (wraps) available on the market are comprised of fiberglass, which is good for 1000F of continuous direct heat. Fiberglass exhaust wraps can have special coatings applied to them such as “Vermiculite,” graphite, etc., which allow the fiberglass to take 1200F of continuous direct contact. Heatshield Products has even developed a proprietary HPTC coating which allows the glass to sustain 1350F of continuous heat. In addition, the wrap will remain flexible, strong, and abrasion-resistant even at those temperatures to provide car heat protection.
Be cautious of any fiberglass wrap advertising or labeled as 2000F as this number is the maximum temperature a fiberglass exhaust heat wrap can withstand for less than 30 seconds. Anything above 2000F for an extended period of time will cook fiberglass exhaust wrap, causing it to get brittle and fall apart. That is because it exceeded the 1200F degree continual operating temperature, and the chemical make-up has actually changed and crystallized.
Have you ever had a basalt (volcanic rock) wrap get brittle and fall apart? Much like the fiberglass exhaust wraps, the volcanic rock (basalt) exhaust wraps cannot sustain 1800F continuous, instead they are designed to sustain operating temperatures of 1200F and take brief intervals of 2000F for 30 seconds or less. So if yours has become brittle you need to upgrade to a higher temperature wrap such as Inferno Wrap or Heatshield Armor.
Please keep in mind, all the fiberglass, basalt (lava rock), and silica fibers used in these wraps are water resistant - not water proof. They will not cause pipes to rust because they "hold" water. If the pipes get soaked, the best way to prevent rust is t heat cycle the motor long enough so the water evaporates. Any rust is usually cause by a flaw in the metal, using an exhaust wrap may accelerate the process. However a high quality exhaust system, using good metal should not see an adverse side effects or premature wear.
Okay, so you have heard the horror stories about rust, warranties being voided, even though exhaust wraps are water resistant and you are too afraid to wrap up the heat? Well welcome to the new world of keeping cool. You have hope. Using a heat shield on your headers like our Header Armor instead of a wrap will be water resistant, thank you armor layer and only cover one side of the pipes, thus allowing the pipes to breath and making the header manufacturer happy. The same can be said for an exhaust heat shield, our Heatshield Armor. Same principle applies, outer armor layer rejects water, you leave a 3-4" gap on the bottom of the pipe, and the manufacture of the exhaust is happy and you stay cool
Exhaust pipes, mufflers, DPF's and catalytic converters are typical sources of radiant heat. Exhaust heat shields, such as Heatshield Armor, are ideal insulators to manage this heat.