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Vacuum Insulated Exhaust Systems

Advanced vacuum insulation for exhaust system hot ends

Automotive exhaust systems present some of the most extraordinary and space-constrained challenges for thermal insulation and thermal management. Conventional insulation materials just aren’t sufficient for today’s high-temperature, compact vehicle exhaust systems. In addition, regulators and consumers alike are putting pressure on car manufacturers to improve exhaust systems and reduce harmful emissions.

High-Temperature Vacuum Insulation

Insulon® advanced vacuum insulation can be engineered for high-temperature applications up to 1000°C. Insulon® can be applied to exhaust system components including exhaust pipes, catalytic converters, manifolds, turbochargers, finishers, and motorcycle exhausts. Enhanced thermal insulation performance can help automotive exhaust systems:

  • meet packaging requirements
  • increase internal temperatures
  • reduce external temperatures
  • improve efficiency
  • decrease warm-up times
  • reduce cold-start emissions
  • protect sensitive components
  • improve aesthetics

Thermal Insulation Performance

The chart below details the thermal insulation performance of a 2-foot Insulon® vacuum insulated pipe transporting high-temperature gas.

Chart detailing the thermal insulation performance of a 2-foot Insulon vacuum insulated pipe trasnporting high temperature gas
Thermal insulation performance of a 2-foot Insulon® vacuum insulated pipe transporting high-temperature gas.

In this video, Tracy Lewis Performance calls Insulon® vacuum insulation a “revolutionary new process for creating insulating properties in any pipe or tubing.” He’s demonstrating the thermal performance of an Insulon® tube that can provide high-performance insulation for automotive exhaust systems.

Cold Start Emission Reduction

One area of focus is on reducing emissions from the cold start period. The term “cold start” refers to starting a vehicle when the catalytic converter is at ambient temperature. During this period, the catalytic converter has not yet reached “light-off” temperature, which means significant levels of harmful emissions (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides) are being released into the environment.

High-performance vacuum insulation offers a low-footprint, rugged, and passive insulation solution for automotive exhaust systems. By retaining heat in the exhaust hot end, vacuum insulation can help reduce the time to light-off temperature. One study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that vacuum insulation could reduce cold-start carbon monoxide emissions from a standard three-way converter up to 91%.

Download our technical data sheet to learn more about how vacuum insulation can help improve vehicle exhaust systems and reduce harmful emissions:

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