Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 6053–6065 | Cite as

3D pore analysis of gasoline particulate filters using X-ray tomography: impact of coating and ash loading

  • Heeje SeongEmail author
  • Seungmok Choi
  • Katarzyna E. Matusik
  • Alan L. Kastengren
  • Christopher F. Powell


Since particulate emissions control technologies are dependent on filtration technologies, development of porous materials with optimized pore structures is crucial to improve filtration efficiency and pressure drop across filters. Despite increasing attention to 3D measurements of porous materials, there are few reports of pore structure investigations of diesel/gasoline particulate filters (D/GPFs) using 3D visualization techniques. In this work, GPF 3D pore structures were examined using X-ray tomography (XRT) to identify the impacts of catalyst coating or ash loading. Voxel resolution of 2.93 µm made it impossible to distinguish coating or ash materials from the cordierite substrate or to recognize smaller pores than the voxel resolution. However, pores up to 200 µm, which are responsible for the most pore volume, were successfully analyzed. Coating and ash loading resulted in lowering average pore diameter, total porosity, and open porosity, as the peak density of pore diameter at 60 µm decreased, while pores below 20 µm increased. Also, the visualized closed pores, which were homogeneously distributed throughout the bare filter, tended to get larger from inlet to outlet sides and more likely to be on the surface inlet due to coating and ash loading, indicating gas pathways originally existing in open pores were blocked due to coating and ash loading, leading to increased pressure drop. The ash impact was found to be more noticeable on mid and back positions than on front position. In addition, the investigation of areal porosity along the direction of gas flow suggested that while ash penetration could reach the outlet side as noted from increased closed pore population, most ash particles would be contained up to 150 µm. The 2D crosscut microscopic analysis that requires destructive procedures with the limited examination area could provide underestimation of ash penetration, whereas the 3D XRT analysis seems to provide more accurate information of pore structure changes due to ash loading at different locations.



The authors thank the Advanced Engine Combustion Program at the US Department of Energy Office of Vehicle Technologies for sponsorship of this work. Also, the authors are grateful to Dr. Jimmie Williams from Corning Inc. for MIP results and to Drs. Jinwoo Choung and Chibum In from Hyundai Motor Company for valuable discussions. The XRT measurements were taken at the 7BM beamline at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The APS is supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Transportation ResearchArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  2. 2.X-ray Science DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  3. 3.Power Train R&D CenterHyundai Motor CompanyHwaseong-siKorea

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