Carl Kamp1 Shawn Zhang2 Greg Monahan2 Sujay Bagi1 Yujun Wang3

1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
2, DigiM Solution LLC, Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
3, Cummins, Columbus, Indiana, United States

Catalytic diesel engine exhaust aftertreatment components, especially the diesel particulate filter, are subject to degradation due to various reasons over normal component lifetimes. One form of degradation in the catalytic diesel particulate filter (cDPF) is the significant rise in pressure drop due to the accumulation of engine lubricant-derived ash (inorganic, incombustible ionic crystalline solids consisting of Ca, Mg, Zn, S, P and O) which coats the inlet channel walls effectively decreasing the permeability of the wall-flow component architecture. This form of catalyst degradation has been found to reduce vehicle fuel economy by as much as 5%. High-resolution X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) with a transmission X-ray source (voxel size ~600nm) has been used in combination with direct numerical simulation techniques to calculate the permeability and pore structure changes of the combined ash-catalyst substrate system to better understand the effects of ash accumulation on engine aftertreatment component functionality. The current CT resolution allows direct and accurate 3D visualization of the catalyst substrate structure, the individual ash particles (which have an average size of 1-2µm) and the ash which penetrates into the substrate surface pores. This study will discuss the sample preparations necessary for such high CT resolution, the combination of CT and direct numerical simulation (CT dataset segmentation and flow simulations), the comparison between calculated and experimentally measured permeability values and the implications of the ability to calculate permeability in the combined ash-catalyst substrate system.