Buying the Right Universal Exhaust Silencer
A universal exhaust silencer is a device used to reduce the noise produced by exhaust systems. It is also known as a muffler and is usually installed within the exhaust system of a vehicle’s internal combustion engine. It has an acoustic build that minimises the noise of the sound pressure generated by the engine through a process known as acoustic quieting. The method makes machinery sound quieter by damping vibrations to avoid reaching an observer. Normally, when machinery vibrates, a sound is produced in the air, which generates mechanical stress in the form of solid matter. Quieting can be achieved by minimising the source of the vibration (in this case installing universal exhaust silencers) or absorbing the vibrational energy. Initially, acoustic quieting technology was developed as a technique for making it difficult to detect submarines. Other industries later adopted this military technology and integrated it into the production of computers, sporting items (like golf clubs) and automobile parts (like motor mounts and the universal exhaust silencer), among other products.
Types of Universal Exhaust Silencers
There are different types of universal mufflers based on their construction and performance. Here’s a breakdown of three types:
The Multi-chamber Silencer
Most engine systems use this kind as it offers adequate noise reduction within acceptable limits of back pressure. Turbocharged engines and supercharged engines work best with multi-chamber silencers.
Spark Arresting Silencer
The use of exhaust systems that produce sparks is highly discouraged in fire hazard regions. A spark arresting silencer is ideal for such situations as it performs the dual function of spark removal and noise reduction for all types of internal combustion engines.
Specific engines operate optimally when there is little or no back pressure. However, since most universal mufflers use the same path to remove exhaust gases and reduce noise, back pressure is investable. Straight-through silencers mitigate this problem by providing adequate silencing and restricting the flow of exhaust gases without creating back pressure.
Choosing the Right Silencer for a Vehicle
While universal silencers are designed for all kinds of exhaust systems, a few factors come in handy when shopping for one. Apart from the extent of noise reduction, you need to consider the following.
The Need for Modifications
The beauty of using universal mufflers is that they can be modified to fit any car model. You may need to cut the length of the inlet pipe, fabricate new support hangers if the hooks are not aligned with those on the vehicles or resize the pipe inlet or outlet through adapters, welding and clamps to eliminate gaps. It is essentials to engage professionals as they have the appropriate tools for making such modifications and installing the item.
The open flow area of the exhaust silencer should be large enough to accommodate the maximum exhaust flow without surpassing the manufacturer’s allowable back pressure limit. Consider purchasing the exhaust muffler from sellers who can estimate the exact measurements of the vehicle’s exhaust system. For example, if your car’s exhaust system measures 300 mm, the Jetex Decibel Insert is the perfect silencer as it is designed for this fit. Fitting improperly sized mufflers leads to loss of power and can sometimes, damage the engine. The length, width and diameter of the pipe are essential measurements when buying the silencer. Also, if the inlet or outlet is described as offset or centred, the placement of the pipe relative to the silencer plays a vital role when it comes to clearance. The diameter of the outlet and inlet pipes is essential; it should match with that of the existing pipes on the truck or car. If the diameters don’t match, adapters are used to allow the pipes to be joined seamlessly.
Most exhaust silencers and components are made of aluminised steel or pure steel like the Jetex Decibel Insert. Those made of aluminised steel comprise traditional steel parts layered with aluminum-silicon alloy on all the surfaces. This combination of different metals forms a metallurgical bond that improves resistance to corrosion and the ability to dissipate heat. While the aluminium layer prevents corrosion from weather elements, it is prone to rapid wear caused by scrapes, rock hits and other impacts.
They come in handy when installing, cleaning or removing the silencer in place. Look for mounting attachments, which are usually welded in place to facilitate installation. The system should also have removable inspection openings that offer access to the internals for easy cleaning and inspection. In addition, check for an explosion relief cover that protects the silencer cover from exploding in the event of a backfire. A unit in the first chamber should be adequate.
How Exhaust Silencers Improve Car Performance
Typically, the silencer abates noise of the gas from the engine using a series of chambers and passages. Apart from the acoustic build, the chambers are fine-tuned to create destructive interference that ensures the sound waves cancel out each other. However, this advantage is often associated with unavoidable side effects like restricted exhaust flow of gas that creates back pressure and reduces engine efficiency. It occurs as a result of the engine exhaust sharing the same exit path as the muffler when reducing the sound pressure. This feature has been mitigated by the introduction of aftermarket mufflers that have been modified to reduce back pressure.