New Developments in Catalytic Converter Technology as Demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and 300 CE
The new Mercedes-Benz sportscars typify European catalytic converter design trends. Maximum frontal-area for minimum back-pressure and maximum power of the 4-valve engine was the target for the new 300 SL. This was achieved by moving away from conventional design and using a shape of substrate and housing equidistant to the contour of the transmission-tunnel. Great efforts had to be done to give necessary mechanical strength to the system, but as a result there is a big improvement in engine power and catalytic longterm stability. New canning technology, based upon mat, has been utilised for the 300 CE. A lot of engineering ideas were necessary to develop a so-called “high-tech” variant of the mat-canning system, which fulfills all the demands without any defects, especially under European driving conditions. Apart from economy of space, additional advantages of the new converter, compared with wire-mesh systems, include lower external surface temperature and less noise.