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Technical Paper

Durable Packaging Design for Cordierite Ceramic Catalysts for Motorcycle Application

The motorcycle emissions regulations for both two-stroke and four-stroke engines, which are receiving worldwide attention, will go into effect in the very near future. To meet these regulations, the motorcycles will require a catalyst in conjunction with the muffler due to space limitations. The combination of high engine speeds, high vibrational acceleration, high HC and CO emissions, high oxidation exotherms, and stringent durability requirements, points to cordierite ceramic substrate as an ideal catalyst support. However, as an integral unit within the muffler, its packaging design must be capable of withstanding isothermal operating conditions which may exceed the upper intumescent temperature limit of the ceramic mat. This paper describes a durable packaging design for the ceramic catalyst which employs a hybrid ceramic mat, special end rings and gaskets, and high strength stainless steel can.
Technical Paper

Size Effect on the Strength of Ceramic Catalyst Supports

The typical ceramic catalyst support for automotive application has a total volume of 1640 cm3. Approximately 10% of this volume is subjected to tensile thermal stresses due to a radial temperature gradient in service [1]*. These stresses are kept below 50% of the substrate strength to minimize fatigue degradation and to ensure long-term durability [2]. However, the tensile strength measurements are carried out in 4-point bending using 2.5 cm wide x 1.2 cm thick x 10 cm long modulus of rupture bars in which the specimen volume subjected to tensile stress is merely 3.2 cm3 or 0.2% of the total substrate volume [3]. Thus, a large specimen population is often necessary (50 specimens or more) to obtain the strength distribution representative of full substrate. This is particularly true for large frontal area substrates for diesel catalyst supports with an order of magnitude larger stressed volume. In this paper, the modulus of rupture data are obtained as function of specimen size.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Biaxial Compressive Strength of Cordierite Ceramic Honeycombs

The stringent durability requirements approaching 100,000 vehicle miles for automotive substrates and 290,000 vehicle miles for large frontal area diesel substrates for 1994+ model year vehicles call for advanced packaging designs with thick ceramic mats and high mount densities. The latter result in high mounting pressure on the substrate and enhance its mechanical integrity against engine vibrations, road shocks and back pressure forces. A novel measurement technique which applies a uniform biaxial compressive load on the lateral surface of ceramic substrates, thereby simulating canning loads, is described. The biaxial compressive strength data obtained in this manner help determine the maximum mounting pressure and mat density for a durable packaging design. The biaxial compressive strength data for both round and non round substrates with small and large frontal area are presented.
Technical Paper

A New Converter Concept Providing Improved Flow Distribution and Space Utilization

A new converter concept is introduced, which utilizes the additional space in the inlet cone of the converter. An optimized design is obtained by the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and flow distribution measurements, resulting in up to 20% improved flow distribution through the substrate. In addition, the volume of the converter can be increased by approximately 15% using the same space envelope. Durability tests of the converter system have been performed using a thermal cycling test on an engine test bench for 135 hours. No deterioration of the substrate or mounting system occurred. The emissions performance was evaluated on a stationary dynamometer. The impact of the flow distribution on the temperature field and the conversion behavior during light-off and steady state operation were investigated. Under the current testing conditions, no differences in light-off behavior were determined, despite significant differences in the temperature field.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Biaxial Strength of New vs. Used Windshields

This paper presents the strength data for conventional automotive windshields in both the new and used conditions. More specifically, the biaxial strength of outer surface of curved and symmetrically laminated windshield, measured in biaxial flexure, is reported. The relative contributions of inplane membrane stress, which can be significant for new windshields, and bending stress are quantified with the aid of strain gauge rosettes mounted on both the outer and inner surfaces of windshield. The strength distribution for new and used windshields, based on Weibull distribution function, is found to be multimodal indicating more than one family of surface flaws. Depending on handling damage during manufacturing, assembly and installation processes, the low strength region of new windshields can approach that of used windshields with 50,000+ road miles!
Technical Paper

Shear Strength of Cordierite Ceramic Catalyst Supports

An analytical model for estimating shear and bending stresses during canning of cordierite ceramic catalyst supports is presented. These stresses arise when the radial pressure distribution is nonuniform due, primarily, to variations in gap bulk density (GBD ) of intumescent mat around the perimeter of the substrate. Variations in GBD can occur during canning, regardless of the canning technique, due to anisotropic can stiffness or component tolerances or mat overlap. The model helps relate shear and bending stresses to substrate size and orientation, elastic modulii, cell size and wall porosity. If these stresses approach the corresponding strength of substrate, a shear crack may develop during or after the canning process depending on the magnitude of stress. A special test fixture was developed to measure the shear strength of ceramic catalyst supports, with different cell sizes, before and after the application of washcoat.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of SoftMountSM Technology for Use in Packaging UltraThinwall Ceramic Substrates

Quantitative in-use pressure measurements were taken from packaging ceramic substrates with the SoftMountSM technology and two more traditional technologies, stuffing and tourniquet. Each technology was assessed using four separate mat materials. Mat selection enhanced the application of the SoftMountSM technology through the reduced pressures applied to the substrate during packaging. High temperature and low temperature thermal cycling studies were performed on the canned converters for the three packaging technologies so that an evaluation could be made of converter durability. The SoftMountSM packaging technology yielded the lowest pressures of all the processes studied, regardless of mat type. The laminar hybrid mat evaluated yielded the best combination of pressure and durability performance. Low temperature residual shear strengths following thermal cycling of the converters showed good correlation between the SoftMountSM technology and the stuffing method.
Technical Paper

Durability of Extruded Electrically Heated Catalysts

Extruded metal honeycombs are used as electrically heated catalysts (EHCs). The durability requirements of this application make demands on high surface area, thin cross-section metal honeycombs. Significant durability improvements over previous extruded metal honeycomb EHCs have been achieved by material and package design changes. The product redesign was supported by finite element models and extensive testing. The redesigned EHC has passed severe laboratory and field testing. The tests include electrical cycling to 1000°C/1600 cycles, hot vibration to 60g/900°C and demanding on-vehicle exposure. Excellent durability of the extruded metal honeycomb has been demonstrated.