Sound Architect™ is used to describe any QuickSilver System that has some variation in how the sound is controlled.
1. Electronic Valves inc. Sound Architect™ Module - uses QS APP (Android and iOS)
Our Sound Architect App hands control of the valves back to the driver for the ultimate experience. When you select ‘Open’ they’ll stay open and when you select ‘Closed’ they’ll stay closed – this choice will be remembered even after the car’s been turned off and on.
The electronic module included only requires a 12v feed, usually a cigarette-lighter socket. It’s Bluetooth controlled on the driver’s smart device, and pairing takes just a minute.
The electronics are designed in-house and manufactured for us here in the UK, using local British factories.
Our active valve sport exhaust systems contain two separate gas paths, and an electronic or pneumatic flap-valve that decides which path is taken. Both have two distinct levels of sound and are slightly louder than stock. With the valves closed, the system takes on a more civilised note and when they’re open, you’re given a sporty note throughout the rev range.
These valves are integrated into the car’s existing controls and function depending on the ECU mapping. This can then be further manipulated either with the dedicated exhaust button or by switching the driving modes.
3. Pneumatic Valves - Key Fob kit
Our pneumatic valve kit includes the installation wiring, replacement tubing and 2 key fobs. The fobs allow you to open and close the valves at will when the car’s ignition is on.
4. Sound Generator and exhaust, Ai Module with wiring inc.
On cars that do not possess a ‘voice’ to work with, we offer a sound generator that sync’s realistic noises with the car’s natural sounds. This produces a muscle-rich note that adds to the realism. For example, a turbo diesel which is otherwise almost silent can be given a proper V8 rumble at the push of a button.
This type of electronic Sound Architect™ is straightforward to install by any auto electrician. It comprises of a small module that connects to the car’s CAN-BUS network and reads parameters like throttle position, engine rpm, gear changes and road speed to calculate and generate a sound that perfectly matches the drive.
Additional wiring feeds into the exhaust generator built into our sport system that replaces the factory exhaust. The sound then emits from the tail pipes for an authentic note.
This application can also be easily switched on or off to suit your environment, either by double tapping the Auto Start-Stop button or the drive select knob.
We use this type of Sound Architect™ on vehicles such as the 2020 on Land Rover Defender Diesel shown below and Volkswagen Transporter T6 Diesel.
Cerakote is the industry leader in thin film coatings, this ceramic based paint is able to withstand temperatures up 980°c. With its thermal resistance and durability it is suitable for a whole range of applications, and can be applied to almost any substrate.
We use this coating on some high performance systems for several reasons. Firstly it reduces engine bay temperatures and heat stress on surrounding components, decreasing the risk of failure. Secondly to aid the flow of exiting exhaust gases by keeping a more constant higher temp within the tubing as hotter gases move faster thus improving performance.
Our ‘straight through’ silencers contain a perforated tube surrounded by a finely-woven metal sock. Made from semi-continuous (Type 434) stainless steel filaments this sock outperforms conventional glass and basalt alternatives at high temperature and is used to insulate and retain the acoustic stuffing. This is an essential component for most high temperature applications.
For sound absorption we still employ long strand Basalt filament that offers excellent acoustic performance up to 1500 Hz. It's thermal properties are comparable with continuous high temperature glass but more stable at temperatures over 600° C. This material requires rigid handling procedures in the factory.
So, for environmental reasons we are moving over to use Advantex and Acousta-Fil stuffing, these have similar temperature and acoustic properties as the Basalt .
Advantex is manufactured by Owens Corning Corp. Says Heinz Otto, President, Composites Systems Business. "The glass fiber remains in place, even under the harshest conditions, meeting manufacturer’s extended warranty requirements. This has been proven at Toyota, Volvo, DaimlerChrysler and GM Opel”.
In our conventional chambered silencers we employ various techniques to fabricate all the internal components. Stricter emissions regulations are demanding ever-more complex silencer designs. 'Sports' Exhaust Development
After identifying a car that we should be manufacturing a QuickSilver exhaust for, we review the car’s performance, see how the manufacturer has designed the original exhaust and then decide how, and if, we can improve it.
What combination of improvements or advantages can we provide?
And what will the customers for this model demand?
After answering these questions we manufacture a prototype and obtain a car for testing.
We often develop new systems in partnership with a specialist in that make, where we can combine his experience of the model with our exhaust skills.
The next stage is to quantify the improvements by measuring the sound volumes, weights and performance gains.
Is the fitting process manageable? Are the expected benefits present? Is the cost sensible? Is the appearance correct? Is the sound quality right?
Sometimes this process must be repeated but eventually, when the answer to these is positive, the newest QuickSilver ‘Sports’ exhaust can proceed to production.
We employ various techniques for tube manipulation, most commonly:
Our volume systems are mandrel bent on our Addison DB76 Databend machines. This CNC machine pulls the tube around formers whilst a ‘snake’ of articulated balls (the Mandrels) are simultaneously pulled through the tube to maintain it’s section and produce the highest quality bends.
Our single or low-volume ‘classic’ systems are usually press bent on Ben Pearson Tubemaster machinery. The tube is first cut to the appropriate length, one end has a plug welded, it is completely filled with dry silver sand, the other end is welded up and then this solid tube is bent cold. The sand fill ensures that the tube maintains it’s section during bending in this simple but laborious process.
There are around 120 different alloys of stainless steel, with various properties, those mainly used for car exhausts are:
Austenitic is generally regarded as the best grade for automotive use and this is the alloy that we use, in plain and annealed form, for 98% of our exhaust systems because of it’s combination of availability, formability, durability and cost. Chromium (10%) and Nickel (19%) are added to the base steel. As a non-magnetic material it is particularly specified for armoured vehicles. It has excellent corrosion resistance.
Is probably the most popular grade for original equipment exhaust components and especially catalytic converter casings and pipes. Chromium (11%) is the main addition to the base steel. Ultimate corrosion resistance is not as good as type 304 but the cost is lower and availability excellent.
Types 316 and 321
Similar to 304 and occasionally used for automotive exhausts. They have particular chemical and heat resistance virtues.
Types 309 and 441
Are two examples of specialist alloys with particularly high resistance to heat and stress. We were recently asked by a major Sports Car manufacturer to employ these grades in an exhaust manifold for a special model that was subject to extraordinary conditions – ‘US market Federal Certification requires original-equipment emission-critical components to have a life of 10 years’.
Titanium - and its alloys
Relatively new engineering metals since they have been in use only since about 1952. Titanium is not an 'exotic' metal, it is the fourth most abundant structural metal in the earth's crust. It is an extremely attractive material for engineers because of it’s high strength to weight ratio, high elevated temperature properties and excellent corrosion resistance.
We presently use Titanium in some of our Lotus exhausts and, as the availability of appropriate tube and sheet improves, we are looking forward to finding more applications for this material.
A nickel-chromium-based superalloy often utilised in extreme environments where components are subjected to high temperature, pressure or mechanical loads. Ideal for extreme applications in the Automotive and Motorsport industries. Due its high cost we only use this material for some of our very 'QSP' QuickSilver Special Projects. These have included The 2017 on Ford GT and Ferrari F430. Both had issues with their factory systems so a better solution was needed. Due to its strength Inconel can also be used in much thinner applications which is why it also so lightweight.
Above: Ford GT LM tail pipes with 3D printed Inconel fanned, asymmetrical inserts. A new process which allows for more bespoke design.
A very atheistically pleasing material which is strong and light though very heat sensitive so can only be used with exhaust systems in appropriate ways. often used as double skinned silencer casings (motorbikes do this very well) and shrouded tail pipes both are exposed to the outside of the vehicle where temperature guild up is less. We have used carbon silencers on Lotus and Porsche track day cars when the exhaust was almost exposed and many of our systems now come with QuickSilver branded carbon tips which always give that aggressive, sporty look to any equipped vehicle.
Stainless Steel and the Environment
The main source of Raw Material for making stainless steel is re-cycled metal.
This re-cycling route has been established for many years and the economics of the stainless steel-making industry depend on re-cycling.
Worldwide, over 90% of new stainless steel is produced from re-cycled material.
The steel is melted electrically and in most cases refined by using inert air-distilled gases, such as argon. Great care is taken to minimise fume and dust emissions, some plants are equipped to re-cycle dust into the steel making process.
Most of the materials consumed during the steel-making process, including cooling water, lubricating oils, pickling acids and "inter-leaving" paper are re-cycled in the plant or by specialist contractors.
It is economically advantageous for stainless steel fabricators and processors to ensure their scrap and in-process consumables are returned for re-cycling. Our waste materials are collected weekly.
As stainless steels are corrosion resistant their life expectancy is unusually long. A minimum of maintenance is needed and so, although more expensive initially, they offer attractive "life-cycle cost" benefits over alternatives such as mild steels.
There are no proven health risks from the normal use of stainless steels.
'Sports' Catalytic Converters
Most car exhausts have been fitted with a catalytic converter containing a Ceramic core or ‘brick’ (which it resembles).
These ceramic catalysts have cores with the equivalent of about 800 cells per square inch (cpsi) giving a flow area of approx 45%.
The ceramic cores work over a relatively short temperature range, can be subject to overheating damage and are vulnerable to impact damage due to their lack of flexibility.
The modern Metallic ‘Sports’ Cat has a microscopically thin Fecralloy honeycomb metallic core of (usually about) 200 cpsi to which the essential Platinum and Rhodium are applied at a much greater density (25 grams per cubic foot compared to 10 grams on a typical ceramic product). This all results in a flow area of approx 85% whilst remaining clean enough to meet emissions requirements.
Their greater efficiency allows these metallic cats to be smaller, lighter and their durability is superior. Most modern ‘Prestige’ cars now have metallic cats as original equipment.
Superior Materials, more efficient flow, less weight, smaller size, better sound, longer life - through the use of Titanium and Composite materials as well as different stainless alloys & innovative internal designs > to produce the result the customer wants.
3D Printing using metal alloys will allow for much smaller runs of finely detailed components allowing for more customisation and design.
Of particular interest at present is the development of a sintered stainless tubing. This is composed of compressed stainless fibres of variable densities which have the potential to offer acoustic properties within the tubing of an exhaust system - offering the reduction and perhaps even the elimination of the silencers.