Engine bay insulation for military vehicles keeps noise and heat in the engine bay from reaching the passenger compartment. The diesel engines that power military land systems run loud and hot, raising concerns about solider health and safety. Warfighters need to be able to hear each other above engine sounds, and a vehicle where the air conditioning runs full-blast is less fuel-efficient. Hotter vehicles also have stronger heat signatures, making them more susceptible to thermal detection by hostile forces.
Thermal-acoustic insulation is important, but manufacturers of military vehicles also need to protect on-board electronics and instruments from sound-induced vibrations. Otherwise, these noise disturbances can shorten equipment life through component failure. Resistance to flash and fire supports the mission, too. Engine bay insulation must also resist oil and automotive chemicals, withstand washdowns with water and detergents, and support cost-effective fabrication.
Engine Bay Insulation and Custom Fabrication
For a complete engine bay solution, makers of military land systems choose custom insulation from Elasto Proxy. For over 25 years, we’ve been an important part of the defense supply chain. By layering thermal and acoustic materials together, we build sandwich-like structures that attach to engine firewalls and meet specific thermal-acoustic requirements.
At Elasto Proxy, we use water jet equipment to cut smooth, straight lines and chamfers with 30° or 45° angles. With water jet cutting, there are no tooling charges or waiting for tooling. So if you change your design, just send us your new drawings or CAD files. Water jet cutting complements our lamination and taping capabilities, and supports quick-turn prototypes with multiple iterations.
ZMT: Engine Bay Insulation Example
ZMT insulation from Elasto Proxy consists of silicone foam, a neoprene facing, aluminum foil, and a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape. This type of engine bay insulation has a temperature range of -60° F to +400° F and a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.3.
The silicone foam in ZMT insulation combines high-temperature resistance with a compression set that’s comparable to natural rubber even at elevated temperatures. Silicone also repels water, resists weathering, won’t dry out, and is difficult to ignite. The neoprene facing that’s used with ZMT insulation has a relatively high burn point. The aluminum foil reflects radiant heat from the engine.
The PSA that’s used with ZMT insulation resists heat, humidity, and some solvents. As a “best of both worlds” solution, this double-sided PSA tape features a silicone adhesive on the foam bonding side and an acrylic adhesive on the end-use side. Silicone adhesives resist higher temperatures. Acrylic PSAs provide reliable adhesion to metal surfaces.
Firewall Insulation: Coated Fabrics and Barrier Materials
Elasto Proxy also supplies engine bay insulation that uses coated fabric as the facing material or as an inner layer. Examples include silicone-coated fiberglass, a high-temperature textile that provides increased tear and abrasion resistance. For increased toughness and abrasion resistance, nylon materials can be coated with urethanes.
Engine bay insulation can also include barrier materials (such as vinyl) that attenuate sounds over a broad frequency range, or a particular range of frequencies. Barrier materials that serve as low-frequency de-couplers are especially helpful in preventing the low rumble of a diesel engine from penetrating the acoustical foams used in engine bay insulation.
Meet Elasto Proxy at CANSEC 2017
For more information about Elasto Proxy’s custom insulation capabilities, please contact us. If you plan to attend CANSEC 2017, visit us in Booth 1010. From May 31 to June 1, we’ll be showcasing samples of our engine bay insulation and other military products at the EY Centre in Ottawa.