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Author Topic: Fire proof engine bay/ceramic insulation  (Read 3937 times)
JohnEd
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« on: July 05, 2010, 10:21:31 AM »

For a long while I have pondered "making" exhaust pipe and turbo insulation like "Wet Wrap".  Apparently the makers of the original WW got a bad court ruling on registered trade marks and there are oodles of companies selling stuff under that name and it makes searching difficult.  With me and confusers, what is difficult for the average is out of the question flat impossible for me.  Wet wrap is that ceramic blanket stuff that you wet and wrap on your ex. pipes and manifold and turbo.  It is nothing short of miraculous how it keeps the heat out of the engine bay and from under the bedroom.  It is very expensive that it is out of the question for almost all bus Knuts to install.  High line Pre's come with it standard.

Recent threads have pointed out that a tire fire will burn thru to the interior in a short period of time and completely engulf the entire bus.  Knuts are replacing the aluminum well lining with steel due to aluminum alloy burning.  Also, most line the interior with foam for heat proofing.  There is a better idea for the fire proofing and heat insulation.......ceramic blankets and "board".  They even have the stuff with foil but that is not a wise investment regardless unless there is no metal between the ceramic and the engine compartment and in that case nothing will stop the fire.

My modest research has turned up the fact that the WW characteristic of being wetted and then being allowed to simply dry on the part you want insulated is no great secret.  It doesn't bind to the metal but closely forms and turns rigid.  A substance called "binding agent", sold by the ceramic source, is water soluble, organic and simple to apply to the ceramic.  Slop that puppy on you ex header and in a few hours it is set firm. Of course it is to fragile to allow it to live any period of time unprotected so you need  fiberglass cloth protector sewn up and attached over it.

To insulate and fire proof the engine bay you can add a layer of ceramic board or blanket with binding agent all over you interior surface of the engine bay.  They use this stuff to line KILNS and most of it is good for 2,800 degrees and the cheap stuff goes to 1,800 degrees (that's F not C or K, Sean).  I think spray foaming that would resolve any and all issues except sound.   Think lead.

I would like any that are interested in gathering info in using the insulation for engine ex to contact me here or by PM.  Don Fairchild sells the Wet Wrap kits for engines and it is spendy.  I don't think any that want to go to the trouble of homegrown systems are liable to plunk down the kind of cash he has talked about.  On he contrary to hurting him, this may spark interest in those that can afford it to pursue it with him.  He doesn't seem to advertise much.  He also isn't idle much to allow marketing.

John
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 01:03:59 PM »

John
just a quick reply from phone   On the run

pick up a BCM and you will see a long time advertiser engine heat protection.

Best product.  They have a wet blanket that works great on manifolds.

Think price is a bit less than a c note and you need two for a 6V92.

Check my project pages to see how I applied

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 09:16:12 PM »

And E.H.P. has been doing it since 1976 and are OEM manufacturers of it.  Customers are welcome to call and discuss what they will need for a given installation.

www.EngineHeatProtection.com
(949) 661-8482

(be sure to mention that you are calling because you saw/heard about their ad in BCM)
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JohnEd
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 09:42:15 PM »

Your's is a difficult position.

John
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 09:51:51 PM »

John, sorry to give such a short reply, but I am not good at typing on my phone.  Back home now with a real computer Cheesy

I used to be a distributor for EHP and I can't say enough good things about their products, or the people involved.

There are really two issues here.  The first is wrapping the exhaust to keep heat down and minimize fire danger (think fluids hitting the turbo or exhaust).  There, you have two choices.  There are a couple of companies that manufacture custom made "blankets" that fit the turbo and exhaust manifold.  I think that is what Don sells.  They are great, but costly.  I have them on my Series 60.   The other approach is to use what EHP calls a wet blanket.  It comes in a plastic bag and is moist and pliable.  You apply it to the manifold and/or turbo and form it much like you would a cast for your leg.  I hardens fairly quickly.  I found the material to be a bit fragile, so I wrapped it in foil tape and it did well on my 6V92 (photos on my project page).

On the Series 60 I used the blankets for the manifold and turbo and some of the sheet form of the same material (with the foil tape) for the exhaust pipe for the first few feet after the turbo.  It lasted over 50K miles and looked great when I removed the failing engine.  When I Installed the replacement engine, I put the same type material back in place for the first foot or so and then went with the fiberglass wrap that some race engines use.  I don't like the fiberglass (hard to keep in place).  This week, I am going back to the EHP sheet material and foil tape.

Now to the second issue and what your subject really asks, and that is the compartment itself.  My strong opinion is that you simply can't make the compartment "fire proof".  Fire proof ratings include a time factor.  I lined mine with the EHP sheet material and steel where possible (close to 100%).  I think I have maybe a 3-4 minute fire proof compartment.  That may be optimistic if it were a petroleum fueled fire with the radiator fan still going.  The same would be true with the wheel wells - perhaps a bit longer, but FAR LESS than full protection (whatever that might be).

That is why I have my fire suppression system on board along with BIG ***EFFICIENT*** fire extinguishers.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 10:16:42 PM »

Your's is a difficult position.

John

If you mean regarding the fact that they are advertisers, not difficult at all.  While I haven't used their products myself yet, several folks I respect have and they speak very highly of them (including Jim Shepherd and Dave Galey).  And I have gotten to know both of the partners that own E.H.P. and feel that they are really good people who really know their field.

I have no doubt that a person could DIY a wet blanket ceramic insulation.  But considering the technology and development that E.H.P. put into developing their product, I'm not so sure anyone could duplicate the effectiveness with a home brew.  As Dave Galey said it, at full temperature you can still put your hand on it and not get burned.  That's pretty impressive.  And at about $200 for the E.H.P. version, I wonder about how much cost advantage one would end up with when it was all done.
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JohnEd
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 06:26:41 AM »

Mike,

Thanks for the info.  Isn't Don a distributor for them?

I did look up EHP and they seem to be selling "kits" or blankets treated with wet wrap solution.  The cost was 96 dollars for a 2' by 36" blanket that is 1/4 inch thick.  The installs on Pre's look to be 1.5 inches thick and have a fiberglass cloth tailored covering. It didn't look like the EHP product I saw in their site catalog.  I mentioned this subject to Don in passing and he said I better be sitting down when he finished his quote.  I passed on running him through his hoops for nada.  Just to take a super guess at this I think the total length of the manifolds is 30"(60 total) and the collector pipes would be 60" (120 total) and the ex run from the turbo to the muffler would be 6' or more

As I said, if I were to tinker with this and get something on my future bus I would NOT be competing with EHP as I couldn't afford them anyway. I am sure many others are in my boat. All the effort might do is stimulate demand for their product. I sure hope this hasn't caused you any grief with EHP as an advertiser.  They are the only game in town as far as I can see for engine kits.  If they aren't secure in their current market I don't know what would do that.  Everything I know is just conjecture and hunch and I will give them a call and hear what it really costs to insulate a 6V92 and 8.

Hope Dick Wright isn't upset with the threads about the air cooled, single cylinder, Chinese gen sets. Wink Grin

John  

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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 06:53:30 AM »

John, as I said to you in my reply to your PM, I am very confused here.

We are talking about TWO separate technologies here.  The first is commercial fabricated blankets that are custom fit to the manifolds and turbo.  One supplier is:  http://atpwrap.com/html/motorcoach.html.  I used their manifold and turbo blankets on the Series 60 and I paid over $600 as I recall.  I think that is the type of product Don sells.  Works great and looks nice.  I think many Prevost buses used a product like that.

My low cost solution on the 6V92 was to use the wet blanket from EHP.  It was easy to do and I don't recall having more that $200 in it plus the foil tape.  It seemed to work great.

On my Series 60, I use the thin sheet version of the same material and wrap it around the exhaust pipe after the turbo.  I then wrap that with the foil tape.  The foil tape was rated to 325* and it never gave me a problem.  Works great.  When I redo the exhaust this week, I will be using 3M foil tape that is rated to 600*

You seem to think there is some sort of conflict of interest here.  I can only tell you that EHP is a great supplier.  Not sure how that conflicts.  I am sure there are other folks out there, but I don't need to research them, as I have found something I am very comfortable with and have first hand experience.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 06:55:24 AM »

I sure hope this hasn't caused you any grief with EHP as an advertiser.  They are the only game in town as far as I can see for engine kits.  If they aren't secure in their current market I don't know what would do that.  Everything I know is just conjecture and hunch and I will give them a call and hear what it really costs to insulate a 6V92 and 8.

I am not aware of any concern or even that they know it is being discussed and I think they are pretty secure in their market position.

My posting was more to reinforce that there is a commercially available solution that although not "cheap", solves the heat problem without breaking the bank and that they are a good supplier.

Dave Galey's installation didn't cover the system start to finish, you can see in the photos below from his article just what was covered.  And as you can see, he didn't dress it up pretty.  But he reported in his article that it accomplished the objective with 2 of the 2x3 sheets of the wet blanket material and cost him around $200.  He said:

Quote
Our experience is the wet blanket as installed, is as effective as the fiberglass wrap, less labor intensive, less money and may be done by a rank amateur, (well almost rank.)  I highly recommend it.

Quote
This material has very little "Heat Storage," so you could put your hand on the treated exhaust pipe shortly after shutting down your engine, and you wouldn't get burned.  This material will reduce the termperature between the hot and cold face of the treated pipes by up to 75%.
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JohnEd
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 06:55:59 AM »

Jim,

Sorry if I insinuated that the engine compartment could ever be made fire proof without a means to extinguish the fire promptly (however long that might be).  Your system seems to take seconds IF it is automatically triggered. I like what you once said about your system not damaging the engine bay of its own accord and minimizing damage is the big $  reason to get into fire suppression.

FAR LESS than full protection (whatever that might be).  I always believed that ceramic insulation was only going to buy you time.  Another point is that the insulation might reduce the damage done to the interior by a fire that was small, localized within the engine bay or extinguished quickly.  The Pre's have that ceramic board layered with a thick foil lining the entire engine bay.  I'll bet that costs a pretty penny on the options list.

Tronics will last a serious longer time if you can reduce the operating temp environment.  That goes for almost everything you might find in an engine bay.  The cost of hoses can be scary and everything else in there is only slightly less frightening.  The DDEC seems to be rather durable but the rule of thumb applies and that is "cooling tronics extends their mean time between failures(MTBF)".  

I think all of these considerations should motivate those that can't afford the custom system to improvise as much as their wallet will allow. Those that an afford the "factory" look custom system have a whole slew of cost effective justification.  All of them, EHT and the custom shops should benefit from discussions such as this.  Your Welcome!

John
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 07:41:47 AM »

. . . . replacing the aluminum well lining with steel due to aluminum alloy burning.  . . .
Tough to burn aluminum - ever try to cut it with an oxyacetylene torch? Seems to me that it would burn easier in an oxygen rich environment than from a tire fire.
Alum will burn with enthusiasm if it is in powdered form tho . . . .

However, alum does melt at a much lower temp than steel & I believe that would be the reason to replace alum with steel in a fire shield situation.

BTW, from what I can gather, fires are very rare in properly maintained vehicles. And, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.   Grin

There is nothing better than never needing the fire department or road side service - except having your own preparations in place if the need ever arises.  Grin  Grin  Grin

Good topic to ponder the pros & cons.
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 08:15:06 AM »

The ATP system Jim made reference too is the one used in the marine world and used on all heavy equipment in the forestry service the ATP system is the only one sold by heavy equipment dealers.
Big bucks for their system the one for my 8v92 was close to 3000 bucks 15 years ago fwiw I never saw the wet wrap on equipment or a boat not saying it is not a good system just that I never saw it or used it.


good luck
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 10:09:10 AM »

In simply looking at the pictures, it would seem the ATP insulation can be removed for servicing the engine & then replaced - could even be moved from the old engine to the new one?

The wet wrap insulation is a one time only & is destroyed if it needs to be removed.

Other than that, I don't think the engine bay will notice what insulation was used to reduce the temperatures.  Cool     So, use the one that suits your situation best.
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 10:45:37 AM »

Kyle,

The EHT site says that the stuff is easily cut with a knife or scissors.  I think you can slit it and take off two shells and reuse it.  There is product that will glue it together and other stuff that will harden the outside to a shell.  They put this stuff on kilns and then paint the shell stuff on it to make it more durable.  I don't think that would be durable enuff for an engine bay though but I have never caressed it.

Thanks for you comments,

John
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The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 11:25:16 AM »

. . .I used to be a distributor for EHP and I can't say enough good things about their products, or the people involved.

. . . .  I found the material to be a bit fragile, so I wrapped it in foil tape and it did well on my 6V92 (photos on my project page).

On the Series 60 I used the blankets for the manifold and turbo and some of the sheet form of the same material (with the foil tape) for the exhaust pipe for the first few feet after the turbo.  It lasted over 50K miles and looked great when I removed the failing engine.  When I Installed the replacement engine, I put the same type material back in place for the first foot or so and then went with the fiberglass wrap that some race engines use.  I don't like the fiberglass (hard to keep in place).  This week, I am going back to the EHP sheet material and foil tape.

John, Jim has used the EHP on his own rig & is pleased enough with the results to use it again, so I'd think it is plenty durable enough in an engine bay to make it worthwhile to consider using it.

What I meant by "is destroyed if it needs to be removed" is that more custom fabrication will be involved before you can reuse it. And due to the fragile nature of it, that custom fabrication may be more trouble than it is worth.
As for me, $200 vs $300 makes the choice lots simpler (especially with Jim's endorsement.)
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