The Thermal Protection System used on the Space Shuttle Orbiter is perhaps the most extreme example of the importance of heat shields. During re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the Orbiter’s external surface temperatures reached up to 3000°F/1648°C, making the performance of the system critical to the mission’s success. The heat shields also had to withstand pyrotechnic shock loads as the Orbiter separated from the rocket’s external tank.
Back here on Planet Earth, a typical use for heat shields is to manage the sustained exhaust gas temperatures in car and truck engines. In heavy
McAllister Mills, a global leader and single-source provider of engineered thermal fabrics and extreme temperature insulation solutions, combines expert engineering and mixed media of high-temperature materials fabricated into both flexible sewn and metal encapsulated heat shielding.
For most medium and heavy-duty truck applications, thermal fabrics are used for firewall insulation as well as the shielding of exhaust systems, manifolds,
The reduction of diesel gas emissions is an application that is heavily reliant on high-temperature materials and heat shielding. Insulating the exhaust outlet and piping leading from the engine and into the after-treatment system contains the exhaust heat and helps maintain the necessary elevated temperatures required by any emission system. This elevated temperature is required to burn off particulate matter in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) during the regeneration cycle.
In addition to managing extreme temperatures, heat shields must also be durable enough to withstand vibration and abuse, along with potential damage from road debris and rocks found in rough off-road conditions associated with the construction, lumber, and mining industries.
In addition to stainless steel shields, McAllister Mills also offers metal encapsulated heat shields made with durable aluminum sheeting
Total sales of Class 6-8 trucks in the U.S. are projected to be 404,000 units in 2021, which is an increase of approximately 118,000 units compared to 2020. While internal combustion engines will drive demand for heat shields for the foreseeable future, McAllister Mills is also working on the development of heat shields suitable for alternative power sources besides diesel, such as hydrogen fuel cells. Heat shields for electric engines—especially those being developed for on-highway trucks—is another area in which McAllister Mills is researching and developing new temperature insulation solutions.
Over the past two years, McAllister Mills has been adding capital equipment to become a vertically integrated supplier of finished heat shields. The company has added capabilities to make metal 3-D heat shields that work with their textile-based engineered solutions. From fiber production to fabrication, every aspect of the manufacturing process takes place in the company’s Virginia-based facilities, which expedites speed-to-market for both development work and deliveries.