1991-02-01

Three-Dimensional Simulations of Automotive Catalytic Converter Internal Flow 910200

The three-dimensional non-reacting flow field inside a typical dual-monolith automotive catalytic converter was simulated using finite difference analysis. The monolithic brick resistance was formulated from the pressure gradient of fully developed laminar duct-flow and corrected for the entrance effect. This correlation was found to agree with experimental pressure drop data, and was introduced as an additional source term into the non-dimensional momentum governing equation within the brick. Flow distribution within the monolith was found to depend strongly on the diffuser performance, which is a complex function of flow Reynolds number, brick resistance, and inlet pipe length and bending angles. A distribution index was formulated to quantify the degree of non-uniformity at selected test cases covering ranges of flow conditions, brick types, and inlet conditions. In general, flow distribution inside the brick is found to be more uniform with smaller Reynolds number, and larger brick resistance, with a straight inlet pipe than a bent one, and with a shorter pipe rather than a longer one.

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