The Use of Radioisotopic Methods to Characterize Metal Foil Monolith Catalytic Converters 860567

Radioisotopic methods have been applied to nondestructive measurements on experimental automotive catalytic converters. These converters consist of thin corrugated metal foil which supports an alumina coating impregnated with noble metals. A radiogauging system, using γ radiation from a gadolinium-153 source, was developed to determine the total quantity and distribution of alumina coating applied to the foil substrate. The radiogauging apparatus was also used to provide axial and radial profiles of lead deposited in the catalytic converter when leaded fuel was used. During dynamometer aging, iron-59 was used as a radiotracer in the alumina to monitor the coating attrition as a function of operating time. These studies demonstrate the capability of radiotracer and radiogauging techniques for rapid, nondestructive measurements on prototype catalytic converters during performance testing.


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