Why Choose Silicone Couplers Over Other Materials?
Posted on 25 April 2016
Silicone is the most popular turbo coupler material, but why?
Many builders consider charge pipe couplers as a very important part in the turbocharger system because it carries the compressed air from the turbo to the throttle body. It's job is simple: to contain the boosted air within the pipe as it makes it's journey to the throttle body so you get the most power possible. On cars utlizing factory couplers, it's important to keep an eye on them since the hard plastic material they're typically made of does not resist heat and other contaminants very well. Some manufacturers use rubber couplers which are just as susceptible to dry rot and cracking as plastic. By far, silicone couplers are the best to use on any turbocharger or supercharged system. Here's why:
- Silicone couplers are more resistant to oil and fuel contamination.
- Silicone couplers have a higher temperature tolerance, from -50F and 400°F.
- Silicone couplers are thicker, making them more durable and less likely to suffer blowout or tearing.
An improperly vented crankcase will produce oil contamination in the intercooler system, effectively ruining plastic and rubber hoses over time. Silicone couplers resist this oil mixture. While we recommend running an Oil Catch can to remedy this, replacing the charge pipe couplers with Silicone is still recommended thanks to the temperature and strength advantages.
While most engine bays dont see extreme temperatures of -50F or 400F, the temperature resistance is important given the drastic fluctuations in hot and cold climates. Your engine bay heats up quite a bit in the summer, then cools off during the cooler nights. Same applies in the winter, where you might see 0F and 200F when the engine bay heats up. Charged air also controls the temperatures your silicone coupler will experience.
Rubber and plastic couplers are generally cast or manufactured in a single layer. Silicone couplers designed for the automotive world are thicker, manufactured in multiple layers to increase their strength and durability. Common silicone couplers are 3-ply, reinforced for high pressure applications. These extra layers increase strength, and have been proven the reduce the chances of blowout and tearing.
We have a large quantity of 2.5" Silicone Couplers, 3" Silicone Couplers, and 4" Silicone Couplers in stock and ready to ship. If you have any questions about which couplers are best for your turbo parts list, feel free to contact us! Our knowledgeable sales staff are happy to assist! Keep an eye on the MAPerformance blog for more information posts in the future.