Steady-State and Transient Motor Vehicle Exhaust System Temperatures 2009-01-0013
One of the known causes of motor vehicle fires is hot surface ignition of combustible material that contacts engine exhaust system components. While ignition is a complicated phenomenon, the temperature of the surface is known to be an important parameter. However, little data is available in the literature concerning exhaust system temperatures, and much of this data is confounded by thermocouple attachment techniques and undocumented variations in driving conditions. In the present study, engine exhaust system temperature measurements were conducted using six test vehicles on a level, 2-mile oval test track at constant vehicle speeds ranging from 0 (idle) to 70 mph. By normalizing transient temperature curves with these steady-state temperatures along with ambient temperature, the rates at which the exhaust system components warm up and cool down are also compared. The effect of thermocouple mounting technique was evaluated by conducting identical testing with the thermocouples located at identical locations on the exhaust system but with two different mounting techniques, namely hose clamps and welding.