One of the biggest questions, when people consider upgrading a vehicles standard rubber hoses, is will it really make a difference. Considering what the benefits and drawbacks are for both options can make you better informed as to whether you should upgrade.
Below we have answered some of the most common questions regarding silicone superiority, effects on performance and applications that silicone may not be the best for.
Why are silicone hoses better than rubber?
There are a few reasons why silicone hoses are often considered superior to rubber. Below we have given just 5 examples of the benefits of silicone
1. Flexibility and resilience
Silicone hoses benefit from superior flexibility compared to rubber. They maintain this flexibility over their lifespan unlike rubber hoses. This reduces the risk that your hoses will split, harden, or become dry rotted.
Silicone hoses last practically forever and might possibly outlast your car. Because they have such a long lifespan, they can average out to a lower cost per mile compared to rubber hoses, even though their upfront cost is higher. Here at Viper Performance we are so confident in the longevity of silicone hoses that we offer a lifetime warranty for all our branded hoses if used for the correct application.
3. Operating Temperature Range
One of the main reasons people change to silicone is the operating temperature, it’s all about thermodynamics. The idea of a silicone hose is that you replace the standard hose so it doesn’t expand and get hot under pressure. Silicone hoses are capable of carrying fluids at much higher temperatures than rubber. If you’re building a racing vehicle or adding a turbocharger to your engine, silicone is the way to go.
4. Noise and vibration control
Silicone has a good ability to dampen sounds and vibrations, keeping a quiet and stable profile. Rubber has been known to be a source of noise due to the friction between the rubber and the mating surface.
One of the most obvious advantages of upgrading hoses under the bonnet is how they look. The colours available in silicone hose ranges mean they are often a keen favourite with car enthusiasts who like show their engine bays. The vibrant blue and red hoses can really set off an engine. But if you’re not into colourful interiors silicone hoses are also available in black.
Do silicone hoses improve performance?
The reason people started manufacturing silicone hoses for the automotive industry in the first place was because silicone material offers such a valuable performance enhancement. So the simple answer is yes.
As we have mentioned above silicone has superior heat tolerance when compared to rubber, this is the major reason why silicone is the material of choice for performance-enhanced vehicles. If you add a nice turbocharger to your engine, you’ll get some great power, but if you neglect to upgrade your hoses at the same time, you will potentially drive all that extra heat into hoses that aren’t equipped to handle it.
Silicone is a very stable material that acts almost like new, even when it’s not. While rubber hoses are prone to cracking, getting stiff, or becoming dry rotted over time the resilience of silicone means that this is less likely. Anyone who has had a hose leak will know what a headache this is to diagnose and correct so upgrading to silicone will definitely impact your performance for the better.
Are there any applications where silicone is not best?
Of course, there are applications where silicone is simply not the best material to use. Its molecular structure doesn’t play well with oil, fuel, and other oil-based products. Here at Viper Performance we do have the ability to add a specialist fluro lining to our silicone hoses. This makes the hoses ideal for contact with Oils / Oil mists and for the transfer of fuels. This highly specialised product has a working temperature from -50° to +170°C. Alternativeley we also stock braided fuel hoses.
Here at Viper Performance we love helping people get the silicone hose they need and achieving the performance they have always longed for. To take a look at our silicone hose ranges all available from stock please click here.
Ready to make the switch?
Start shopping our silicone hoses now CLICK HERE