Running Wet: Silencer Ablative Media Non-Scientific Testing

    Let’s take a little trip into the world of qualitative testing – non-scientific, non-peer reviewed, completely subjective “testing”. In this segment we are going to talk about ablative media options and their characteristics in preparation for a quest to find the “best” overall substance to improve silencer performance.

    A few months ago we did a brief review of the dBFoam from Inland Manufacturing that is used as an ablative material in silencers to reduce “first round pop” (FRP). Although it was effective in providing additional noise reduction, it is a bit pricey and cannot be applied when the silencer is hot.

    One selling point advertised by the makers of dBFoam is that it is stable as a non-drippy/runny foam for extended periods of time. As an update to the review, I filled a silencer up with foam and left it in the back of the safe for about four weeks. Although the foam was gone, there was some residue that was fairly effective in reducing FRP.

    One of the most interesting parts of the review was not the review itself, but the comments from our readers suggesting other types of media that can be used as an abalative. So with your help, I’d like to do undertake a more exhaustive test. I will test 10 materials in two different silencers:

    1. SilencerCo Sparrow
    2. Liberty Mistic

    Ablative media:

    1. Water
    2. Soda
    3. Wire pulling gel
    4. Synthetic grease
    5. Peanut butter
    6. dBFoam
    7. Silencer Juice
    8. ?
    9. ?
    10. ?

    Help me out with the last three – what other liquids/gels should I test? (No, not that, or that, or even a little of that.)

    Remember, I won’t be using meters or other scientific testing methods to record results. You’ll have to rely solely upon my keen discriminating abilites in comparing quick, loud bursts of sound.

    With any luck, we will all be packing our cans with creamy peanut butter in a few weeks.

    Ablation – Ablative Media:

    In rockets:

    In a basic sense, ablative material is designed to slowly burn away in a controlled manner, so that heat can be carried away from the spacecraft by the gases generated by the ablative process while the remaining solid material insulates the craft from superheated gases. There is an entire branch of spaceflight research involving the search for new fireproofing materials to achieve the best ablative performance; this function is critical to protect the spacecraft occupants and payload from otherwise excessive heat loading.

    Ablative armor is armor which prevents damage through the process of ablation, the removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes. I

    In fire suppression:

    Fire suppression and fireproofing products can be ablative in nature. This can mean endothermic materials, or merely materials that are sacrificial and become “spent” over time while exposed to fire, such as silicone firestop products. Given sufficient time under fire or heat conditions, these products char away, crumble, and disappear.


    Editor In Chief- TFB
    LE – Silencers – Science
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