Automatic Transmission Blankets & Shields
Transmission blankets, and shields, are designed to keep race car drivers safe from any shrapnel, or hot oil, in the event that the race car's transmission explodes. There are many causes for a race car's transmission to explode, however,the primary cause, is too much exuberance placed on the transmission by the race car driver. Race car driver's who "drill", and become aggressive, with lightening internal transmission drums, and hubs, may cause the transmission to explode. Typically, a hub or drum, which has been drilled, will have hairline fractures in the area of the drilled hole. In addition, when these components are drilled, or incorrectly lightened, the pieces can become out-of-balance, which can cause the transmission to explode.
Blankets are constructed from fabric and high tinsel steel cables. The downside to these blankets, are that they encircle the transmission, which contains heat closely around the transmission case, and they often become soaked in oil from leaks and vented transmission vapors.
Shields provide a safe level of defense against a transmission explosion and are designed to attach to the transmission pan; in many cases a separate certified flex plate shield is used. Most shields are manufactured from aluminum and steel and offer airflow to pass under and around the transmission, which allows for better cooling. Unfortunately the shields add weight, and bulk to a race car.
Modern shields are constructed using carbon fiber, and these shields act as both a flex plate-explosion and transmission-explosion protection device, The shield has the ability to conform to the shape of the transmission. Carbon fiber shields are popular because they are light weight and not as bulky as some of the first shields made.
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