There are a lot of options for header wrap on the market today from every thermal insulation manufacturer you can think of, but they aren’t all equal in terms of quality or performance, and they aren’t all the right solution for every application. So how do you know which header wrap to choose? To help, the product experts here at Titan Electronics have put together a buyer’s guide. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when deciding on the best header wrap for your specific needs, ensuring improved performance, reduced under-hood temperatures, and increased horsepower and fuel efficiency.
Header Wrap Specs to Compare
It’s important to compare these key specifications to ensure you’re selecting the best header wrap for your application.
Wrap for headers can be made from a variety of materials including fiberglass, titanium, ceramic, and basalt. Some header wrap products also feature an additional coating, like vermiculite, for added insulation. The choice of material affects performance, durability, and price.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass header wrap is the most common and affordable option. It offers good thermal insulation, reducing the heat transfer from the exhaust system. Fiberglass wrap is lightweight and easy to install. However, it tends to deteriorate over time due to exposure to heat and moisture, and it may become brittle and start to unravel. It can also cause skin irritation during installation.
Titanium: Titanium header wrap is a premium option that provides excellent heat resistance and durability. It can withstand higher temperatures than fiberglass wrap and is more resistant to degradation. Titanium wrap also has a distinctive metallic appearance, which some people find appealing. However, it is more expensive than other options.
Ceramic: Ceramic header wrap is designed to offer superior thermal insulation and heat retention. It can withstand extremely high temperatures and is highly resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and moisture. Ceramic wrap is often more expensive than fiberglass, but it provides better longevity and performance.
Basalt: Basalt header wrap is made from basalt fibers, which are derived from volcanic rock. It offers similar benefits to fiberglass wrap in terms of thermal insulation and cost-effectiveness. Basalt wrap has better resistance to chemicals and moisture compared to fiberglass, making it more durable.
Silica: Silica header wrap is derived from silicone and offers excellent heat resistance, durability, and thermal insulation. It is typically higher in cost than some of the other material options and may require more care during installation because it is limited in terms of its flexibility.
Maximum Continuous Temperature
When selecting a header wrap, it is essential to choose a product that can withstand the extreme temperatures generated by the exhaust system. High-quality wraps, like Insultherm SI Header Wrap, offer exceptional maximum continuous temperature resistance up to 2000°F.
Be sure to compare maximum continuous temperature specifications rather than maximum temperature specifications which refers to the highest temperature a material can tolerate for only a short duration. Maximum continuous temperature represents the temperature limit for prolonged or continuous use without significant degradation and is a much more important spec to consider.
Thicker wraps generally offer better insulation and durability, but excessively thick wraps can be more challenging to work with, especially in tight spaces or when wrapping complex header shapes. Consider the application, temperature requirements,and installation constraints, to determine the appropriate wall thickness of the header wrap you will purchase.
It's crucial to consider the specific dimensions of your headers or exhaust pipes, as well as the level of coverage and insulation you require. When applying the wrap, it is recommended to overlap it by 1/4". This overlap allows a controlled release of heat, preventing potential damage to the exhaust system while still maintaining performance. We recommend selecting a wrap width that adequately covers the surface area while still allowing for easy and secure installation.
What Else Should You Consider Before Purchasing Header Wrap?
By considering factors such as material, maximum continuous temperature resistance, wall thickness, and exhaust wrap width, you can make an informed decision on the best product for your application. Whichever header wrap product you choose, you’ll want to partner with a reputable retailer to support all of your ongoing needs. At Titan Electronics, you’ll find knowledgeable product specialists, industry-leading products, and a huge in-stock selection for all of your automotive needs.
Need us to source a product or have a custom cut-to-lenght order? Contact us today to request a quote.