Direct Measurement of EGR Cooler Deposit Thermal Properties for Improved Understanding of Cooler Fouling
Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler fouling has become a significant issue for compliance with NOx emissions standards. This paper reports results of a study of fundamental aspects of EGR cooler fouling. An apparatus and procedure were developed to allow surrogate EGR cooler tubes to be exposed to diesel engine exhaust under controlled conditions. The resulting fouled tubes were removed and analyzed. Volatile and non-volatile deposit mass was measured for each tube. Thermal diffusivity of the deposited soot cake was measured by milling a window into the tube and using the Xenon flash lamp method. The heat capacity of the deposit was measured at temperatures up to 430°C and was slightly higher than graphite, presumably due to the presence of hydrocarbons. These measurements were combined to allow calculation of the deposit thermal conductivity, which was determined to be 0.041 W/mK, only ∼1.5 times that of air and much lower than the 304 stainless steel tube (14.7 W/mK).