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Penn Lenson
February 10, 2023
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EHP Ceramic Insulation

"Engine Heat Protection" is a spin-off from a long-time manufacturer and adver­tiser in Bus Conversion Magazine, formerly known as "Concours West, Inc. After 30 plus years" Concours has split into several diversified companies each special­izing in their own facet of business and marketing. One such enterprise is "Engine Heat Protection"(EHP), which markets a high-tech ceramic-based insulation material.

Engine Heat Protection materials have been utilized in industrial furnaces, kilns, refractories, atomic energy plants, and heavy equipment, and were introduced to the public about 15 years ago. Most EHP insulations are either pure ceramic or ceramic-based materials that may be mated with other materials for specific properties.

Above is a photo of the bays below the living room area of a 1989 MCI l02A3, owned by Marvin Zepede of Murrieta, CA. The generator compartment is on the left with the exhaust system for it to run through the A/C compart­ment. After the A/C compartment, the exhaust runs further to the rear, where it can go vertically up through the side of the coach, and exit at the roof. The muffler was insulated with a covering of " EHP Wet Blanket", covered with "EHP Stainless Steel" foil for abrasion resistance. The pipes are covered with "EHPWoven Cloth". Normally, the exhaust from the generator could only be run from that compartment to outside at that bay, and onto the ground. However, in this installation, through other bays including the heat-sensitive A/C compartment, and further rear­ ward to where the insulated pipe goes vertically to the roof for an exit. Because the insulation works so effectively, little or no additional heat is generated from the exhaust and into these bays or the coach. It also allows you to design the exhaust system to be campground-friendly by exiting through the roof. The exhaust pipes are hidden in the walls and are so well insulated that no heat is able to migrate into the coach.

Although Ceramic materials are very delicate, by mating with other types of materials that can be used as substrates and binders, a new material can be created that has the desired integrity and properties required to do a specific job.

Depending upon how these ceramic fibers are blended, also determines the materi­als' characteristics and physical properties. The purer the materials, the more efficient and effective the insulation will be in blocking heat. As other ingredi­ents are mated, the effi­ciency to block heat may be reduced some­ what, but other desired physical characteristics, such as strength and flexibility are more prevalent.

Engine Heat Protection has a variety of products that suit most if not all of the needs of those wanting to insulate unwanted heat and noise in their coaches.

A website catalog of many of the EHP materials is available at https://engineheatprotection.com/products/. This site shows and de­scribes each material's characteristics, and suggested uses.

Other than ambient cold weather that would make your coaches like a Frigidaire on wheels and dread­fully cold inside, all other situations dictate minimizing heat from getting into your coach. A well insu­lated coach will keep you comfortable despite ambient temper­ature, and heat migration from your engine bay, or generator compartment.

Insulated muffler.
Close-up of an insulated muffler.

Insulating your coach is most effective when it is first being built. You can place the insulation where you want it. And where you want it should be where it needs to be.

You won't have to compromise by working around already-placed utilities and other structures. Insulation should be used as a barrier, and it works best when placed as close to the heat source as can be. Not all insula­tions can be placed this way, because of their physical properties, or lack of them.

Styrofoam for example, while a good insu­lation, can't be placed too close to even a moderate heat source because it will melt or become flammable. EHP materials are capable of protecting to over 3250 degrees F... far greater than you'll ever need in your coach. But this great margin of overkill will give you a very efficient and effective heat barrier insulation.

Some types of insulation work well, at least up to a point. Many coaches have used lead sheet linings as insulation. The trouble with this type and many foam insula­tions is that they have "heat storage". What this means, is that after a point in time, the insulation absorbs and retains the heat, much like a sponge holding water. Long after the heat-generating source is gone, unwanted heat will still be coming into your coach, from the insulation! EHP ceramic-based materials have little to nothing in the way of heat storage.

For those completed coaches needing some insulation help after the fact, such as in generator compartments and other areas where there is excessive heat migration, you'll need the best type of insulation you can get to resolve your problem. It is not always practical to tear the coach apart to add insu­lation. So, you have to work around what you already have in place. EHP has a variety of materials that can be adapted easily in these situations.

Either way, starting from scratch or retrofitting for insulation, first starts by determining what kind of heal intrusion you have. Heat in coaches usually comes from a heat-generating source such as the engine bay, generator, exhaust system, air condi­tioner, and water heater. These types of heat can be conductive and convective for the most part. Radiant heat, is usually external, from the sun. It heats the coach through windows and other openings and the coach's body. Ultimately, radiant heat from the sun will conduct through the metal, and into the coach making the ther­mometer rise. By having a sufficient insula­tion barrier, you'll be able to minimize heat intrusion.

EHP ceramic materials are not rated as lower temperature materials are, such as fiberglass batting. The "R" rating doesn't apply. A more complicated "K" rated ther­mal system is used. "Models" that figure how much insulation is needed to drop a specific amount of temperature are only calculated in laboratory type: environments.

Many customers have asked, "How many degrees will my temperature drop if I insulate with 1/8 inch of your Rollhoard material?" Given specifics, such as ambi­ent temperature, square inches of surface area; area of windows and other openings radiant heat intrusion; type and amount of insulation, etc....only then can a realistic "model" be developed. Since all coaches are different, as are many determin­ing factors, it is impractical to formulate a "model". Extensive experience over the years, with a variety of applications, gives us the ability to approximate how well each EHP insulation will perform. A 1/8 inch layer of ''Rollboard" placed on the underside skin of an aluminum body shell will reduce tempera­tures by one-half to two-thirds. A 1/4 inch layer of "Wet Blanket" placed on an exhaust pipe will cut temperatures by two-thirds to three quarters!

Perhaps the greatest heat source in the coach is from the exhaust systems and engine bays. insulating exhaust pipes keep the heat in the pipe and make it exit out the tail pipe away from the coach.

Generator bays showing exhaust system.

Contrary to some, insulating exhaust pipes does NOT raise or increase the temperature in the exhaust. The temperature cannot be any more than what the engine generates. It minimizes heat migration from the pipes to other areas where it isn't wanted. A plus for turbo-charged powered coaches is that an insulated exhaust and turbo spins the turbo more, thereby providing more power with less effort. Customer feedback tells us that as much as 10% more power may be devel­oped. With additional power, many inclines may be reached with less pedal to the metal and increased fuel economy.

We suggest insulating your generator compartment by lining the bay with our "Rollboard" material. The generator exhaust system can also be wrapped as needed with the "Wet Blanket" material. The addition of these two types of EHP insulations will help keep your coach cooler and quieter.

Many of the same physical properties that make for good insulation, also help minimize noise intrusion. So, if done correctly, you'll achieve two things for the price of one. On the other hand, if done incorrectly, you may only achieve partial results that are successful, and the cost of fixing the problem will be greater yet. Many coaches, for example, utilize a "sound deadener" type of insulation. This may work well for noise, but these are usually rubber or composite-based mater­ial that actually have a very high heat stor­ age or soak, and they do not help very well as a heat intrusion barrier. They may muffle noise, but not heat.

Ceramic-based materials used for insu­lating have added attributes that conven­tional materials do not. Unlike most foams, no special tools, equipment, or skills are needed to apply it. It does not have formaldehyde and is not flammable. It does not have heat storage like most foams or fiberglass. It takes up less space, thereby leaving room for utilities and other struc­tures. And because of its ability to work effectively at very high temperatures, it outperforms other types of materials.

The "Wet Blanket" insulation material was applied to a 3500 series Cat. 16-cylinder diesel engine, with 4 turbos. This engine is one of two used in a 655 Demag piece of equipment. The equipment is one of 150 pieces used by the Ekati Diamond Mine near the Arctic Circle, in northern Canada. They use our Wet Blanket material to wrap the exhaust and Turbochargers on their equipment. The Wet Blanket insulation keeps the heal down for operator comfort, and for safety reasons. Should a hydraulic hose burst and the fluid hit the hot exhaust, a fire would develop. By insulating the exhaust, it keeps the temperature low enough so any combustible fluid hitting that area will not cause a fire.
Article written by Penn Lenson

Ace Industrial Manufacturing, and their “E.H.P.” spin-off, is a southern California based company.

Anyone wishing to reach them may call them at (951) 302-2212, and by visiting their website

www.EngineHeatProtection.com

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