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Before making any purchase it is imperative to educate yourself about the product. The following information on heat protection is broken into two categories: Insulators and Thermal Barriers.
Insulators- Most insulators are comprised of fiberglass, which is good for 1000°F of continuous direct heat. Fiberglass wraps can have special coatings applied to them such as "Vermiculite", which allows the glass to take 1200°F of continuous direct contact. The 2000°F bench mark is the maximum temperature glass products can withstand for less than 3 seconds; anything beyond that temperature or period of time will cook glass products. Other popular types of insulator materials are made from silica or ceramic. These materials are more expensive than fiberglass, but can tolerate a higher degree of heat. Silica is good for 1800°F continuous, and ceramic materials are capable of going up to 2300°F continuous.
Heat Shields & Thermal Barriers- The most widely used heat shields and thermal barriers are comprised mostly of aluminum, but also can include other forms of metal or alloys such as stainless steel (1800°F continuous) and inconell (2200°F continuous). Aluminum materials melt at 1227°F and are designed to be used as shields, not insulators. Moreover, aluminum reflects radiant heat away, often exceeding more than 90% efficiency with 1000°F of continuous radiant heat (radiant heat means it is placed with at least a minimum 1" air gap from heat source). Otherwise, they can withstand up to 500°F of a direct heat source. Cloth, tapes, and other aluminum heat shields all fall within the above mentioned parameters.
First things first, do your homework. Check your temperature ratings for you application(s). If you have access to a temperature gun use it. Shoot the areas you need protected and measure the temperatures. By doing this you will get the solution to your problem. For example, you would not buy a pair of cylinder heads or an intake manifold without finding the correct application. Do not do the same thing with thermal insulation. We at Heatshield do not want you to waste your money buying the wrong product. Therefore we will do everything within our power to help you get the right product, at the right price, with the best service.