Container Deformation Procedure for Ceramic Monolith Catalytic Converters 2000-01-0217
A typical automotive catalytic converter is constructed with a ceramic substrate and a steel shell. Due to a mismatch in coefficients of thermal expansion, the steel shell will expand away from the ceramic substrate at high temperatures. The gap between the substrate and shell is usually filled with a fiber composite material referred to as “mat.” Mat materials are compressed during assembly and must maintain an adequate pressure around the substrate under extreme temperature conditions.
The container deformation measurement procedure is used to determine catalytic converter shell expansion during and after a period of hot catalytic converter operation. This procedure is useful in determining the potential physical durability of a catalytic converter system, and involves measuring converter shell expansion as a function of inlet temperature. A post-test dimensional measurement is used to determine permanent container deformation. Excessive expansion increases the gap between the converter shell and the substrate, and causes the mat to lose substrate holding pressure. A loss of holding pressure can lead to substrate slippage and accelerated mat degradation.