Learn why going with silicone hoses can save you money.
Episode 76: Nick Colarusso is the HDT Aftermarket Regional Manager at FLEXFAB. In this episode, we discuss the differences between silicone hoses and “black rubber” a.k.a. EPDM. Also, we talk about if the extra cost is worth it, and the economic impact of going with the cheaper EPDM products.
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Question 1: Paint me a picture of the pain that happens when someone is broken down on the side of the road with a blown engine hose, what happens?
This is a truck drivers’ nightmare. The driver checks the engine, spots a shot hose. He most likely does not have a spare on him, so they must go down to a shop if there is one nearby and go get it repaired, or potentially having to transfer the load. All of this comes at a loss of productivity, and spoiled products, unhappy customers, as well as financial loss.
Question 2: What kind of temperature ranges do commercial engines have to operate in and what can silicone do that EPDM cannot?
Hoses fail mostly from exposure to extreme conditions, such as high temperature or pressure, as well as a tight bend radius. The charge air cooler for example sees internal temperatures of 250f, and the EGR may need to see continuous operating temperatures of 450f. If you live in a climate that can see frigid weather in winter, this can also greatly impact EPDM hoses. Generally, EPDM can last from -40f to 260f, whereas silicone can last from -65f to 500f.
Question 3: When you are clamping these hoses in place, what can go wrong?
The wrong type of clamp can bite into the hose, creating multiple leak paths, damaging the hose which will prevent it from future use. Also, correct positioning can make the difference between a proper seal and a blowoff. Lastly, over-torquing the clamp can lead to leakage.
Question 4: Overall, I am getting the impression that silicone, while costing more to initially purchase, provides better performance but does it increase the service life of the product?
There have been million-mile trucks that have the original Flexfab manufactured OEM hoses still installed. The chemical properties of silicone make it more resistant to a wider range of temperatures while helping it retain its form, which will lead to increased service life. Longer-lasting products and more uptime on the road will save you money.
Question 5: Is there a scenario where silicone isn’t the right choice?
Silicone isn’t a solution for everything. If there’s high abrasion or prolonged oil exposure, you may want to consider other options. However, for the extreme durability of class 8 trucks, silicone is the way to go with your CAC, coolant, heater hose, and EGR applications.
Question 6: If someone has questions about the way that Flexfab’s products interact with certain fluids, what should they do?
For questions about the fluid you using, or technical questions, Flexfab has plenty of engineers who are willing to help. You can also reach out to Nick, and he’ll help you get that process rolling for you.
Question 7: What haven’t we talked about yet, that maybe we need to?
Flexfab publishes videos and flyers that explain the difference between Silicone products vs EPDM. Also, they have an app that shows where their products go on an engine to help train salespeople.
Question 8: If there is one thing you want people to remember from our discussion, what is that one thing?
Flexfab silicone hoses work for the long haul.
Disclaimer: This podcast and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission.
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