Not only is fitting a turbo cover a “peace of mind” investment, but it could actually increase horsepower!
According to studies conducted in 2014 by Steffen Bickle at the University of Texas, making use of a high efficiency turbo cover can lead to an increase in turbo speed and reduced turbo lag. This is achieved by retaining more energy in the pressurisation circuit of the turbo charger which results in higher boost pressures throughout the rpm range while at the same time maintaining optimum turbo temperatures.
Further to the safety conversation, we need to discuss personal injury risks while conducting maintenance when quick turnaround times are of the essence. When you are on the clock and production needs to GO! – thermal Insulation might just prevent that eminent personal injury. It is therefore recommended that all hot components be covered.
The matter surrounding temperature fluctuations is often disregarded despite every maintenance crew recognising its devastating impact on metals during a welding or similar process. Although the cast iron that most large turbo chargers are manufactured from survived quite well at high temperatures, it is not immune to stress fractures or metal fatigue when subjected to rapid temperature drops and the related heat expansion of this material will cause increased component wear when placed under stress at below optimal temperatures.
An extract from the Australian Mines Inspectorate Safety Bulletin #83 from 2008
The Mines Inspectorate has noticed an increase in the occurrence of these fires and has analysed the last 18 months’ incident data supplied by the coal industry. The analysis shows excavators recorded 30% of all turbocharger fires, followed by track dozers (15%) and rear dump trucks (12.5%). Sixty per cent of the fires resulted from hydraulic or engine oil spraying on the turbocharger. Eleven per cent of the fires were caused by engine fuel contacting the turbocharger and 13% from turbocharger failure.
The primary motivation for fitting Thermal Covers across all industries is the fire preventative advantages they offer when insulating the hot parts of any process. In a recent report by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) it was found that the fire caused by oil spilling on the exhaust manifold after a hydraulic hose chafed through, was sufficiently contained by the Thermal Cover to cause no secondary damage or set off the automatic fire suppression system. The machine could be made safe and put back in production within hours after installing a new hydraulic hose. Now that is a win-win scenario.
The multi layered construction of the covers lend thermal characteristics to withstand the extreme heat conditions of being mounted directly to a 600deg Celsius Turbo charger. Layers that prevent soaking and vibration damage are added to the non-toxic insulating layers that engine compartment temperatures are reduced by up to 60%.
Ok, now that components which require internal insulation have the protection of quality insulative covers, what about components which require protection from external sources? We've got you covered there as well (pun most definitely intended!). The second stage of the thermal solution involves wrapping of all flexible hoses in the engine compartment to protect the hoses against external temperature and harsh environments. These fire-retardant sleeves benefit greatly in the event of hose leakages as these leaks can lead to a secondary source of fire causing engine loss or even complete machine loss.
Both insulative covers and fire sleeves come with variety as covers are not only available for turbos, but can also be custom made to cater for entire exhaust systems from manifold to silencer while sleeves are able to cater for hoses of different types to ensure your insulation is the best fit for your type of machinery.
First step to fire protection – don’t rely on the suppression system, rather avoid the fire - ensure longevity of machinery and equipment while at the same time supporting compliance of mining regulations.