Diesel particulate filters (DPF) have seen widespread use in on- and off-road applications as an effective means for meeting increasingly stringent particle emissions regulations. Over time, incombustible material or ash, primarily derived from metallic additives in the engine lubricant, accumulates in the DPF. Ash accumulation leads to increased flow restriction and an associated increase in pressure drop across the particulate filter, negatively impacting engine performance and fuel economy, and eventually requiring periodic filter service or replacement. While the adverse effects of ash accumulation on DPF performance are well known, the underlying mechanisms controlling these effects are not. The results of this work show ash accumulation and distribution in the DPF as a dynamic process with each stage of ash accumulation altering the filter’s pressure drop response. Through a combined approach employing targeted experiments and comparison with the existing knowledge base, this work further demonstrates the significant effect ash deposits have on DPF pressure drop sensitivity to soot accumulation. Ash deposits reduce the available filtration area, resulting in locally elevated soot loads and higher exhaust gas velocities through the filter, altering the conditions under which the soot is deposited and ultimately control the filter’s pressure drop characteristics. In this study, a novel accelerated ash loading system was employed to generate the ash and load the DPFs under carefully-controlled exhaust conditions. The ash loading system was coupled to the exhaust of a Cummins ISB diesel engine, allowing for accelerated ash loading and DPF performance evaluation with realistic exhaust conditions. Following DPF performance evaluation, the filters were subjected to a detailed post-mortem analysis in which key ash properties were measured and quantified. The experimental results, coupled with the ash property measurements, provide additional insight into the underlying physical mechanisms controlling ash properties, ash/soot interactions, and their effects on DPF performance.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.