Phenomenological Investigations of Mid-Channel Ash Deposit Formation and Characteristics in Diesel Particulate Filters
Accumulation of lubricant and fuel derived ash in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) during vehicle operation results in a significant increase of pressure drop across the after-treatment system leading to loss of fuel economy and reduced soot storage capacity over time. Under certain operating conditions, the accumulated ash and/or soot cake layer can collapse resulting in ash deposits upstream from the typical ash plug section, henceforth termed mid-channel ash deposits. In addition, ash particles can bond (either physically or chemically) with neighboring particles resulting in formation of bridges across the channels that effectively block access to the remainder of the channel for the incoming exhaust gas stream. This phenomenon creates serious long-term durability issues for the DPF, which often must be replaced. Mid-channel deposits and ash bridges are extremely difficult to remove from the channels as they often sinter to the substrate.