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Design and Performance of a Ceramic Monolithic Converter System for Motorcycles
Published December 01, 1993 by Associazione Tecnica Dell'Automobile in Italy
The converter system for small engines must meet the following requirements: i) it must be compact due to space limitations, ii) it must offer adequate surface area to meet conversion requirements, iii) it must exert minimum back pressure to conserve engine power, iv) it must be durable under various operating conditions, and v) it must be affordable. These requirements can be met by a cordierite ceramic monolithic converter system with a robust packaging design capable of surviving high engine speeds, high vibrational accelerations, and high oxidation exotherms approaching 1000°C.
This paper describes an integral muffler/converter system which is not only durable, dependable and cost effective but also preserves engine power and fuel efficiency by minimizing back pressure. Furthermore, it offers a higher operating temperature capability which is critical for two-stroke engines.
The durability data for the ceramic converter system obtained in three different tests, namely axial retention test, high frequency/high acceleration vibration test, and engine dynamometer test are presented. Indeed, the converter system survived all of the tests with no signs of component failure. Similarly, the engine emissions and back pressure data for muffler/converter system during engine dynamometer tests, using a 125 cc, four-stroke engine, are also presented. The results show that the ceramic converter not only meets the performance and durability requirements, it can be cost effective as a system for motorcycle emissions control.