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All About Emission Control

Due to the emergence of the new European emission control guidelines

(Euro I, II, III and the recent Euro IV) which came into force in January 2005,
the exhaust system and all its elements have now become more important
than ever owing to its direct impact on engine consumption and tuning.

As from 1993 with all petrol engines, and from 1997 with all diesel
engines, it became mandatory within European Community countries to
equip all new vehicles with catalytic injection systems.

This measure, contrary to the belief of most people, makes the exhaust
system one of the most sophisticated parts of the 4-stroke engine, because
the performance of this engine depends directly on the accuracy of
the back pressure levels produced from the exhaust system.

Using the correct exhaust system will ensure that the engine always works
with the right air-fuel mixture, always providing the maximum power while
maintaining minimum fuel consumption. It will also help to extend the working
life of other important parts of the engine – valving system, silencers, catalytic
converters, lambda sensors, etc.

Walker ®, a worldwide leader in emission control systems and one of

today’s most important manufacturers of Original Equipment, with more
than 80 % of its total production invested in this business, has prepared this
report with the aim of clearly explaining the importance that our exhaust
system has with regard to the working life of an engine, and its performance
and consumption levels. We would also like to bring to the attention of all
installers, and end users of these systems, the critical, and sometimes unknown
aspects of exhaust manufacturing qualities, and the direct relationship
between the real working life and the final price of the product. We will
also explain in detail everything you need to know about the European
homologation process of these products and their direct impact on
the consumption and performance of the engine.

Oscar F. Oskarsson
Training Manager
Tenneco Europe, Africa & Middle East

  All About Emission Control 3


Introduction 2

1 - Main Functions of the Exhaust System 6

•Emission Control 6
Catalytic converters, DPF, SCR, etc
•Sound Reduction 6
What is “sound” and how we can control it
•Correct Canalisation of the Exhaust Gases Towards the Outside 6
Effects of some of the exhaust gases in human health
To Optimise the Engine Efficiency in a 4-Stroke Engine
• 6

How a 4-stroke engine works  7

What is the overlap time and why is it used 8

Relation between overlap time and engine performance 8

Effects of wrong backpressure 8
- Problems due to a positive backpressure
- Problems due to a negative backpressure

2- Possible Causes of Exhaust System Failures 10

• Causes of Muffler Replacement 10
• Exhaust Problems Due to Material Failure 10
• Common Causes of Catalytic Converter Failures 12

3 - Manufacturing a Quality Modern Exhaust System 13

• What Is Aluminized Steel 13
• Are All Types of Aluminized Steel the Same Quality 13
• Working Life vs. Manufacturing Quality 13
• Original Equipment Quality Compared to Aftermarket Quality 14

4 - The Homologation Process (European guidelines) 15

• Approval Tests 15
• Homologation Marks on Exhausts and Catalytic Converters 17
• Differences Between Homologated, and Universal Exhaust Systems 18

5 - Main Components of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System 21

• Acoustic Absorption Materials 21
• E-Glass fibre

• Biosil wool

4 All About Emission Control  Table Of Content

• Types of Mufflers 21
• Absorption Muffler 21
• Reflection Muffler 22
• Mixed Muffler 22
• Semi-Active Muffler (S.A.M.) 22
• Spun Shape Muffler and Clam Shell Muffler 22
• Catalytic Converter 23
• Ceramic Monolith vs. Metallic Monolith 23
• Advantages of Metallic Monolith 24
• Advantages of Ceramic Monolith 25
• The Chemical Reactions 25
• Types of Catalytic Converter 26
• Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) 27
• Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) 28
• Lambda Sensor 29
• Types of Lambda Sensors 29
• Zirconium Dioxide Lambda Sensor
• Titanium Oxide Lambda Sensor
• Broadband and Wideband Lambda Sensor

6 - W
 alker ® is a Leader in Emission Technologies
for Original Equipment 32
• Emission Technologies for Environmental Mandates 32
• More Original Equipment Products for Emission Control 33
• Our  Original Equipment Customers 33
• Research 33

7 - W
 alker ® Product Range  34
• Mufflers 34
• Catalytic Converter 34
• Complementary Products 34

8 - 4G AGAR 35

9 - 4T Program 35

Table Of Content  All About Emission Control 5

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the most important factors required for the correct performance
of a modern vehicles engine is the exhaust system. It is a fact that the key function of the exhaust
system is virtually unknown to the majority of the population. The purpose of this section is to clarify,
one by one, the main functions of the exhaust system and its relationship to the engines performance,
(power and fuel consumption).

Emission Control Correct Canalization of the Exhaust Gases

One of the most important functions of the exhaust system towards the Outside
nowadays is the emission control. All exhaust systems now In all combustion processes, where the fuel (diesel or petrol)
need to be designed, and manufactured, with a requirement to is burnt, some dangerous components are produced which
reduce as much as possible the pollutants included in exhaust should be released from the vehicle’s engine to the atmosphere
gases coming out from the combustion chamber before those via the exhaust system. Those dangerous elements include
gases are released from the exhaust system into the atmosphere. carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen
To accomplish this task with success, the exhaust system oxides (NOx), particulate matter and others. Some of these
needs to have a precise amount of backpressure and should components are highly carcinogenic like the MTBE contained
include other active elements, e.g. catalytic converters, lambda in the unleaded fuel as an antiknock additive, and compounds
sensors, particulate filters, etc, making the exhaust gases like 3-nitrobentrazone and 1.8-dinitropirene, contained in
cleaner, before leaving the exhaust system and passing into diesel emissions. We need to deal separately with the diesel
the atmosphere. carcinogenic components, 3-nitrobentrazone showed the
highest result known so far in the AMES test, the test more
accepted to determine the carcinogenic potential of a compound.
Sound Reduction  In addition, the 1.8-Dinitropirene compound, also present in the
Sound is defined as any pressure variation within an air or fluid diesel emissions was until the discovery of 3-nitrobentrazone,
medium, which may be detected by the human ear. The two the most carcinogenic compound ever discovered by mankind.
most important characteristics that must be known in order to
evaluate the sound/noise are its amplitude and frequency.
The amplitude, which is the height of the sound wave from peak To Optimise Engine Efficiency in
to trough, determines the loudness or intensity. The wavelength a 4-stroke Engine
determines the frequency, pitch or tone of the sound. Explained The key factor when building an exhaust system is the effort
in a more simplified way, sound is a wave of air in movement, which must be made by the exhaust gases to pass through the
the faster it moves the louder it will sound to us. All conventional system and then out into the atmosphere. This effort is what we
exhausts are designed and manufactured in order to decrease call backpressure of the exhaust system. The vehicle manufacturing
the speed of the exhaust gases (and by this the noise level) companies invest hundreds of thousands of euros in the design
before these gases are released into the atmosphere. of engines that can provide us with maximum performance,
but with minimum consumption, and the whole of this investment
can be completely wasted if the backpressure levels are not
the correct ones for this specific engine. On the other hand, it is
almost impossible to pass the European environmental guidelines
(Euro IV) if the backpressure level of the exhaust system is not
exactly correct.
DO -Ca
C t

DPF Muffler

6 All About Emission Control  Main Functions of the Exhaust System

Summary of Euro Guidelines

EU Emission Standards for Passenger Cars (category M1*), g/km.

Date CO HC HC+Nox Nox PM

EURO 1† 1992.07 2.72 (3.16) - 0.97 (1.13) - 0.14 (0.18)
EURO 2, IDI 1996.01 1.00 - 0.7 - 0.08
EURO 2, DI 1996.01 A 1.00 - 0.9 - 0.10

EURO 3 2000.01 0.64 - 0.56 0.50 0.05

EURO 4 2005.01 0.50 - 0.30 0.25 0.025
EURO 5 2009.09 B 0.50 - 0.23 0.18 0.005 E
EURO 6 2014.09 0.50 - 0.17 0.08 0.005 E
EURO 1† 1992.07 2.72 (3.16) - 0.97 (1.13) - -
EURO 2, IDI 1996.01 2.2 - 0.5 - -

EURO 3 2000.01 2.30 0.20 - 0.15 -

EURO 4 2005.01 1.0 0.10 - 0.08
EURO 5 2009.09 B 1.0 0.10  C - 0.06 0.005 D,E
EURO 6 2014.09 1.0 0.10  C - 0.06 0.005 D,E

* At the Euro1...4 stages, passenger vehicle > 2,500 kg were type approved as catagory n1 vehicles  † Values in brackets are conformity of
production (COP)  A Until 1999.09.30 (after that date DI engines must meet the IDI limits)  B 2011.01 for all models  C and NMCH = 0.068 g/km  
D applicable only to vehicles using DI Engines  E Proposed to be changed to 0.003 g/m using the PMP measurement procedure

The backpressure of the exhaust system varies depending on Compression Stroke : Once the piston reaches the lowest
the revolutions of the engine. Because of this, the manufacturers point of the stroke, the intake valve closes and the piston begins
have designed the exhaust system to maintain the ideal its compression stroke, so compressing the air-fuel mixture.
backpressure within the range of revolutions in which the engine
will normally run. Power Stroke : Once the piston reaches its highest point,
the air-fuel mixture is completely compressed and an explosion
The 4-stroke engine takes place (by means of a spark coming from a spark plug
Nowadays most cars and other transport vehicles seen on our in petrol engines, or by the high compression of the fuel in
roads (diesel or petrol) are equipped with 4-stroke engines. Due diesel engines). This will produce the stroke power.
to the particular way a 4-stroke engine works, the backpressure
becomes critical. Let’s see how a 4-stroke engine works to better Exhaust Stroke : Once all the air-fuel mixture is completely
understand why the backpressure is so important. burnt, the piston will be at the lowest part of the stroke,
the exhaust valve opens and the piston begins to rise pushing
The strokes of a 4-stroke engine are explained as follows: the burnt gases into the exhaust system via the exhaust valve,
with the sole purpose of completely emptying the combustion
Intake Stroke : The intake valve opens and the piston begins chamber, the exhaust valve will then close in order to begin
the downward stroke in order to let in the air-fuel mixture into the same process again.
the cylinders.

Main Functions of the Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 7

Valve Overlap : Due to the special shape of the combustion What Would Happen when the
chamber where the air-fuel mixture is burnt, the engineers Backpressure of the Exhaust System Is
realized that, in order to completely empty the combustion Higher than the Backpressure Needed ?
chamber of burnt gases on the exhaust stroke, they needed to When the exhaust has higher backpressure than the one
open the intake valve just before the exhaust valve closes, specified by the manufacturer (the gases need more time to
maintaining both valves (intake and exhaust) open together for escape from the exhaust system towards the outside) a certain
a specific amount of time (miliseconds) allowing clean air-fuel quantity of the burnt gases will remain inside the combustion
mixture into the combustion chamber, forcing all of the burnt chamber after the valve overlap time, mixing with the fresh
gases into the exhaust, so beginning the four stroke cycle again, air-fuel mixture during the intake stroke. Because of that, this
with a perfectly clean air-fuel mixture, ensuring maximum new mixture of fresh and burnt gases will give a slower
engine performance during this cycle. explosion during the power stroke, and therefore at the end of
this stroke, part of the mixture will still be burning (Less fuel
Intake Opens burnt per time unit) resulting in a loss of engine power, and
Exhaust Closes
the characteristic red colour of the exhaust manifold, which is
Exhaust Stroke caused when gases which are still burning escape from the
Power Stroke
cylinder towards the exhaust system during the exhaust stroke.
Under these extreme working conditions the exhaust valves
Intake Stroke
Stroke will be quickly damaged (melting) loosing their sealing function,
which will allow part of the mixture to escape from the combustion
chamber to the exhaust system through the bad valve sealing
during the compression strokes, causing an even greater loss of
engine power. On the other hand when the burning gases reach
the catalytic converter, the monolith of the catalytic converter
will begin to melt. The speed of the melting process will
depend on how great the backpressure problem is: it can vary
Intake Closes Exhaust Opens
widely from a couple of minutes, to a few months. The melting
process of a catalytic converter’s monolith takes place due to
the high temperature of these burning gases, in some cases
the temperature can reach over 1,800 ºC. It is important to
remember that a ceramic monolith will melt at 1,400 ºC while
the metallic monolith will melt at 1,600 ºC.

The camshaft is the part of the engine which controls movement

Exhaust valve Intake valve
of the exhaust and intake valves. This is a solid part made of
cast iron and cannot be adjusted manually. The backpressure
Gases on fire
we need to implement into the exhaust system directly depends
on the valve overlap time, which is preset and controlled by
the shape of the camshaft. As we have seen previously, the
system is designed to completely empty the combustion chamber
of burnt gases in order to obtain maximum performance in
all the cycles. Cooling Cooling
circuit circuit

The effect of using a non-homologated catalytic converter or a

muffler that generates greater backpressure than the original one.

Picture of a 3 Catalytic Converter

Modern Exhaust System

8 All About Emission Control  Main Functions of the Exhaust System

This problem normally appears when : Exhaust valve Intake valve
I Installing an exhaust or catalytic converter that has not
been specifically designed for that specific engine Unburnt fuel
with exhaus mixed
(applications for other cars). t gases

II Installing non-homologated products (universal silencers or

catalytic converters) in the system.
III When assembling a full, or part system by welding
the pipes, mufflers or catalytic converters, this will result in
the reduction of the internal diameter of the pipes Cooling Cooling
circuit circuit
during welding.
IV With the internal rusting of pipes and mufflers. This process
will produce a variation in the diameter of the internal
dimensions, and as a result giving a variation in the The effect of using a non-homologated catalytic converter or a
muffler that generates greater backpressure than the original one.
backpressure within the system.

What Happens if the Backpressure Is This problem normally appears when :

Lower than that Needed for this Engine ? I Installing non-homologated silencers, catalytic converters or
When the exhaust system has a lower backpressure than pipes to the vehicle (especially sport silencers which are
the one designed by the engine manufacturer, the gases will noisier than the OE ones).
escape faster from the combustion chamber during the exhaust II Due to an air leakage in the exhaust system, caused by rust
stroke. During the overlap time the burnt gases will flow easily or violent vibration.
and faster through the exhaust system, because of this, a small III Making a hole in the exhaust housing or side cover to “take
part of the new air-fuel mixture entering the chamber via the intake out the water”. It is very important to remember that the
valve, will have time to escape through the exhaust valve during material used for manufacturing the silencers and pipes is
the process of forcing out the burnt gases from the combustion aluminized steel, and once it is perforated, the protective
chamber. It is therefore easy to understand that if we have lost a layers of aluminium are destroyed, allowing the acids
small quantity of air-fuel mixture from the combustion chamber created inside the silencers to come into direct contact
due to lower backpressure, we will lose engine power, with the laminated steel layer, which will accelerate the
because there will be less fuel burnt per time unit than in a rusting process, making the hole larger within a very short
correct backpressure situation. Also because the gases will period of time, greatly increasing the backpressure problem.
flow faster through the exhaust system towards the atmosphere, IV This problem also appears when deliberately removing the
the noise level will be higher in comparison with the noise contents of a catalytic converter by destroying the monolith
produced in the correct situation (exhaust system with correct or installing an empty catalytic converter onto a vehicle.

This kind of failure also causes the monolith of the catalytic

converter to melt and this is due to the unburnt air-fuel mixture,
which escapes from the compression chamber during the valve
overlap as it reaches the monolith surface, where the normal
working temperature is between 500 ºC and 900 ºC. When
the fuel reaches the monolith surface of the catalytic converter it
will automatically begin to burn (at 1,800 ºC) producing micro
melting areas over the surface. If the problem continues, the
catalytic converter will be completely destroyed. The length and
time of this process will depend on how great the backpressure
problem is.

View of a Low
Backpressure exhaust

Main Functions of the Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 9

Causes of Muffler Replacement (pipes and walls) will appear either severely damaged or
The exhaust system can be damaged completely destroyed. This situation can produce important
because of a multitude of problems; variations to the backpressure levels of the whole exhaust system.
nearly all of them can be grouped
into three different categories: rust, Vibrations 
vibrations and incorrect use. All Muffler substitution, which is due to failure related to vibrations
these three categories of problems in the system, has nowadays become one of the most common
generate the same type of failure reasons why installers change a muffler. We can be sure that
 by creating backpressure problems. the vast majority of all the mufflers changed due to vibration
As we have seen in previous chapters problems in the system, can be eliminated by just understanding
backpressure problems in catalyzed cars why the muffler, or pipe breakages, are produced and avoiding
(petrol or diesel) affect the performance, the consumption, the causes that generate them. In the following paragraphs,
and more importantly produces fusion of the catalytic we will try to throw some light onto all those common problems,
converters monolith, failure of which generally ends in an explaining how to detect each one of them, and providing you
expensive engine repair at a garage. The good news is with some useful information in order to avoid them.
that all these problems are very easy to prevent, by using
homologated exhaust parts and following the advice outlined Vibration due to old or damaged exhaust rubber supports 
in the following paragraphs. is the most common of all the exhaust
problems due to vibrations and the
most easily avoided. As you all know
Exhaust Problems due to Material Failure  
the exhaust supports are mainly
Rust made of rubber, this material has
Rust is the most obvious and easy a life span that depends on the
to detect. There are two types of external environmental conditions.
rust processes, the external rust The environmental factor that affects
(from outside to inside) due to the most rubber supports is the working
external elements. A good example temperature. When we expose the rubber
of this is the rust produced on the to a high temperature for some time, the chemical composition of
unprotected metallic parts (including  rubber gradually changes becoming harder and less elastic.
the exhaust system) of the car, this occurs These chemical changes cause the exhaust’s rubber supports to
when they are in contact with salt and water transmit any impacts to the exhaust system instead of absorbing
found on the roads of areas with colder climates. When there is a them, resulting in severe damage to the system. The way to see
risk of very low temperatures, local authorities put salt on the roads if the problem is due to the rubber supports is to check the area
in order to decrease the freezing point of the water. The other type where the pipes are welded to the mufflers. If the problem is
of rust is the internal rust (from inside to outside), which is produced caused by the rubber supports becoming hardened or brittle, the
in the mufflers due to the contact with the internal water and other pipe will be loose at the muffler cover, and you will see a perfect
chemical substances and deposits generated by condensation of circle or semicircle, as if you had cut the cover with a pair of
the exhaust gases when the exhaust system is cold. This problem scissors (this is caused by the enormous amount of vibrations
affects the majority of cars that are normally used only for short produced in this connection area in all possible directions.)
distances, and for that reason, the exhaust system never reaches Good advice to avoid this type of problem is to always change
the proper temperature to evaporate completely the water that has the old rubber supports of the exhaust system with new ones
accumulated inside due to the condensation process. It is a good when you change a broken muffler.
rule to have in mind that an average petrol car needs to run
continuously for approximately 40 km at normal revolution level
(between 2,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm) to
completely dry the exhaust system.
Internal rust is a very significant
problem, when it appears at the
 surface of the muffler the inside parts

10 All About Emission Control  Possible Causes Of Exhaust System Failures

Vibration due to old or damaged engine rubber supports Problems due to wrong application or
and / or elastic joining of the transmission : The main function non-homologated exhaust parts 
of engine rubber supports is to absorb the The problems we face when we install the wrong muffler
vibrations (lateral movements) generated by (non-homologated for this car) are that we always get a different
the engine while it is running. These elements backpressure level than the one specifically designed by
are also submitted to a faster chemical the manufacturer’s engineers for the optimum performance of
deterioration process due to the high this car. This situation independently of the level (higher
temperatures and pressures existing in backpressure or lower backpressure) generates a list of
those areas. In some rear-wheel drive important engine problems. As explained in previous chapters,

cars, vibration problems become even an engine with the wrong backpressure will always lose during
worse because the elastic joining of the the overlap time, a small amount of petrol (liquid or burning)
transmission can become damaged or worn and air. With high backpressure giving a reading greater than
out. This situation will generate more side movements of the 1.03 on the lambda factor of the four gases analyzed, the car
exhaust that will increase dramatically, the lateral tensions of the will fail the government emission test (MOT). At the same
exhaust system parts located closer to the engine. Nowadays, time, all the fuel lost during the overlap time will end up at
all the cars that need this type of care have it included in the the catalytic converter monolith, melting it slowly but constantly.
service book which states when the engine rubber supports, At the same time this wasted petrol increases the consumption
and the elastic joining of the transmission should be changed level and the car driver experiences a loss of power at the
(generally between 40,000 km to 80,000 km). In order to normal range of revolutions. The best and the only advice in
find out if we are facing this type of problem, we should look order to avoid this problem, is always to replace the worn out
to see the way the pipe has broken. or faulty exhaust system parts with homologated ones.

Generally, due to the transversal torsion movements which

are trying to twist the pipe firstly to one side, and then to the
other side, the pipe will be broken close to the curves, and
never with a perfect circle shape (as in the previous case). This
type of problem generates an irregular dented surface because
of the constant transverse torsion forces. The best way of
avoiding this problem is by just following the service interval for
changing the engine rubber supports and the elastic joining
of the transmission.

 Exhaust broken due to vibrations due to worn out engine rubber supports.
 Exhaust broken due to vibrations due to worn out exhaust rubber supports.
 Exhaust damaged due to material fatigue in the housing area.
 Exhaust broken due to vibrations of worn out exhaust rubber supports.
 Exhaust manifold broken due to vibrations produced due to worn out engine rubber supports or elastic joining of the transmission.

Possible Causes Of Exhaust System Failures  All About Emission Control 11

Common Causes of Catalytic Converter Failures  with time will produce a malfunction of the catalytic converters
In general, we can confirm that in a properly serviced car chemical reactions, and increases in the backpressure level.
(petrol or diesel), the average working life of the catalytic This problem appears often when the engine is running with an
converter varies between 100,000 km and 150,000 km air/fuel rich mode activated for long periods of time (probably
depending on the model, and on the way it is driven by due to a broken lambda sensor, broken temperature sensor, etc.).
the owner. That does not mean that you cannot find cars
over 150,000 km that are still able to pass the MOT emission Melted monolith due to a defective spark
control test with good results, but it is much more unlikely. (ignition system).
Apart from normal wear, the catalytic converter can be One of the fastest and most destructive problems that a catalytic
damaged in many different ways, let us now look at all converter can experience is running with a hot engine that has
of them: a defective spark. This problem will produce large amounts
of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) that will literally melt the surface
Poisoning by lead of the catalytic converter of a catalytic converter monolith. The time that this process
monolith  lead, coming from leaded petrol, and additives can take varies widely from a few minutes to a few weeks
designed to increase the compression rate of petrol (octane depending on the number of revolutions, the temperature of
index), also after combustion in the cars combustion chamber the monolith, and the amount of unburnt hydrocarbons left in
it produces lead oxides that cover the surface of the catalytic the exhaust gases. This problem normally appears due to poor
converter monolith. This process stops the precious metals maintenance of the ignition system (defective spark plugs,
coming in contact with the exhaust gases, stopping the rusted wires, rusted or damaged connectors, wrong adjustment
catalytic chemical reactions. It has been demonstrated that in the spark timing, etc.)
only three tanks of leaded petrol are required to destroy the
catalytic converter function. This problem is very simple to Impact by stones or other road obstacles .
identify either in the lambda sensor or in the monolith. In this The ceramic catalytic converter monolith is a fragile element,
specific case, the surface of the monolith or the cover of the which breaks easily when receiving a direct impact. We need
lambda sensor, which has been in contact with the gases, to remember that the vast majority of the catalytic converters
appears covered by lead, which gives those areas a have a ceramic monolith. Once the monolith breaks, the cells
characteristic dark grey colour (lead colour). of the different parts of the monolith move one from the other
generating noise and a big increase in backpressure within
Poisoning by phosphorous deposits of the oil. the exhaust system.
Every time we burn oil, a specific amount of phosphorous is
generated in the process. If the vehicle engine burns more than Backpressure problems of the exhaust system .
one litre of oil (from the sump) per 1,000 km, then the amount As we have seen in previous chapters, backpressure problems
of phosphorous becomes so high that it generates white hard are one of the most common and important problems that petrol
(like white cement) deposits over the surface of the monolith, which or diesel catalyzed injection cars are facing nowadays. These
will cover the precious metals avoiding any catalytic reaction. type of problems generally appear when we have within the
If the situation persists, in time those deposits will end up blocking system, a non-homologated exhaust system, rusted exhausts,
drastically the flow of gases through the monolith cells, also broken catalytic converter monoliths (due to impacts or melting
generating the problem of high backpressure levels with all the process), blocked mufflers (due to rust processes, or loose parts
consequences to the engines integrity, and performance. of a catalytic converter monolith), air leakage in the exhaust
system, etc. The importance of this problem lies in the fact that
Poisoning due to wrong air/fuel mixtures. the result of all the backpressure problems are a faster worn out
Every time an engine is run with the wrong air/fuel mixtures process of the catalytic converter and a constant melting process
(rich or lean), the exhaust gases contain a certain amount of of the monolith surface. On top of this, because the engine is
soot and/or unburnt fuel. Soot generates black colour (like coil losing small amounts of petrol in each power stroke, the car
particles) deposits over the catalytic converter surface, which loses power increasing the level of consumption.

12 All About Emission Control  Possible Causes Of Exhaust System Failures

Nowadays all manufacturers of exhaust components within the European Community area mainly use
aluminized steel in their manufacturing process. All Aftermarket manufacturers and nearly all Original Equipment
manufacturers, that manufacture spare parts for the retail market, use aluminized steel for these units.

What Is Aluminized Steel ? Example of single-layer aluminized steel

The aluminized steel is composed of two materials, a layer of
Laminated Steel
laminated steel and a protective cover of aluminium. If we add
aluminium to only one of the sides of the steel layer, we call it
single-layer aluminized steel, but if we add one layer of Aluminium
aluminium on each side of the steel layer we call it 2-layer
aluminized steel. With this type of material the laminated steel
provides resistance to impacts and internal stresses while the What Are the Most Commonly Used
aluminium protective cover gives protection against corrosion. Aluminized Steels in the Manufacturing
Process of Exhaust Systems, and What Is
Aluminium Laminated Steel the Relation between the Materials Used
and the Working Life of the Exhaust?
The picture below shows the different qualities of the aluminized
Aluminium steel used in the manufacturing of after market exhaust pipes,
and spare parts, from the lowest quality and price, up to those
It is not possible to determine just by “looking” what quantity of used in the highest performing products which includes as in
aluminium is contained in a silencer manufactured in aluminized the last example of the chart two sheets of 2-layer aluminised
steel, because in all types of aluminized steel the external steel (0.7 mm thickness of 120 gr/m2 aluminized steel +
colour will be the same (aluminium colour). 0.5 mm of 150 gr/m2 aluminized steel).

The price of the aluminium is much higher than the cost of the
Are all Types of Aluminized Steel laminated steel, the lower the quality of aluminized steel (lower
the Same Quality ? quantity of aluminium) the cheaper it would be and the quicker it
The answer to this question is no, the level of resistance to would rust, putting other systems of the car in danger, and
corrosion depends on the thickness of the aluminium cover which decreasing the overall performance of the engine.
protects the laminated steel. To help us determine the quality
of the aluminized steel we have purchased, the manufacturers
describe it with a number, this tells us how many grams of Manufacturing Qualities of Aluminized Steel
aluminium there is covering each of the laminated steel layers
Aluminized Steel 80/m2
per square meter, followed by the word single-layer or 2-layer 6-12
one leaf 1.2 mm
indicating whether it is protected on one or both sides with
Aluminized Steel 120/m2
aluminium. As we said previously, on 120 gr/m2 2-layer, this 12-18
one leaf 1.2 mm
means that the aluminized steel is covered with 120 grams of
aluminium for each square meter on each of its sides, (This kind 18-24 Aluminized Steel 120/m2
two leafs (0.5 mm + 0.7 mm)
of steel is a high quality aluminized steel used by Original
Equipment manufacturers for their retail products as well as 30-36 Aluminized Steel 120/m2
the Aftermarket manufacturers for homologated production). two leafs (0,5 mm 150 gr/m2
+ 0.7 mm 150 gr/m2)
On the other hand, if the aluminized steel was 120 gr/m2
single-layer, this would tell us that it is covered with a 120 gr/m2 Working life in months
but only on one side (that means it would have half the
aluminium of the previous example.) It would leave one of the
sides of the laminated steel layer without any extra protection
against corrosion.

Manufacturing a Quality Modern Exhaust System   All About Emission Control 13

The manufacturers of the cheaper silencers, apart from not Original Equipment (OE) Quality
following any homologation guidelines, generally use a very Compared to Aftermarket Quality.
poor quality aluminized steel, with a much lower level of In order to talk about OE quality we would need to talk
aluminium, and in some cases they are using mild steel in the about three different levels depending on two factors: when it
internal pipes of the silencers. Because of this, in a very short will be installed on the vehicle? And for whom this product will
period of time the internal corrosion significantly varies the be available?
backpressure levels of the system, and therefore the power and
consumption is affected, also putting other engine parts such The levels available are :
as the catalytic converters, lambda sensors, etc, at high risk
of damage. OE (Original Equipment for manufacturing quality) : This quality
is only produced for car manufacturers’ assembly lines.
It is important to note that the thickness of the aluminised steel This is the quality that you will find installed in the car when
layer (its aluminium content) is a key factor that determines it is new, and due to the long warranty periods given by
the working life of the silencer and guarantees the optimum the OE manufacturers when they sell the car (3 to 8 years)
performance of the engine during its complete working life. these products are usually made of stainless steel 0.8 mm to
1.2 mm. These exhausts are produced solely for assembly
In the example shown above we have selected a standard lines, and because of this are not generally sold to end
1.2 mm thick sheet commonly used in Original Equipment (OE) consumers or OE dealer.
and Aftermarket (AM) retail manufacturing.
OES (Original Equipment First Supply) : If some part of the OE
It is important to note that the installation of double sheets in car exhaust system experiences a warranty problem inside
the silencer housings contain double the amounts of aluminium the first months of the vehicles working life, and the aluminized
than those with a single sheet housing, increasing the silencer’s steel exhaust is not enough to support the rest of the warranty
overall working life, as well as making the exhaust quieter. period, then the OE dealer will replace the OE problem part
with another of exactly the same quality (stainless steel) in order
to ensure that this part will support the rest of the warranty
period. In this case, the quality selected would be the same
Three simple questions regarding as the OE explained in the previous point, but if the warranty
aluminized steel : period remaining is inferior to two years (which makes it
1. What is aluminized steel ? suitable to use an exhaust made of aluminized steel instead of
2. Is all aluminized steel of the same quality ? stainless steel) then the manufacturer will replace the part with
3. W
 hat are the most commonly used aluminized one made of aluminized steel. It is important to know that OES
steels in the manufacture of exhaust systems, parts (stainless steel) are only for OE dealer internal use
and what is the relation between the materials (warranty problems) and are never sold to the end consumer.
used and the working life of the exhaust?
OESS (Original Equipment
Second Supply) : The quality used
in all the OESS exhaust systems is
aluminized steel (generally double
layer, one leaf layer 120 gr Al/m2)
and this is the quality that is
produced to be sold in the OE
dealers as Original Equipment
quality for end users.

After this, it is clear that buying a homologated exhaust from

an AM, or buying it from an OE dealer is the same in terms of
material and rust resistance because both are made of
aluminised steel.

14 All About Emission Control  Manufacturing a Quality Modern Exhaust System

The Homologation of the different exhaust system parts Despite these homologation
(silencers and catalytic converters) is a process of comparison tests being done by external
between the Original Equipment part, and the part that we test laboratories such as TÜV
want to homologate for the Aftermarket. This process will in Germany or INTA in
guarantee to the end consumer, and the installer, that the unit to Spain, the Department of
be installed is equal in backpressure and noise levels to the Trade and Industry in each
Original Equipment designed by the vehicle manufacturer. European country is the only
This fact will guarantee that installing a homologated exhaust Department that can grant
system, (silencer or catalytic converter) means that the engine a homologation certificate.
will always maintain its performance level and its performance When comparing an
level is equivalent to being equipped with an original system. homologation document, we
It is important to note that the installation of non-homologated always need to be sure that
silencers or catalytic converters is prohibited, and is considered the format used for homologation is the
an illegal activity within the European Community area, the correct one (it is standard for all European Community
same as selling non-homologated tyres or laminated glass for countries and is included in the European guidelines), and
car windows. The local authorities will penalize non-fulfilment should be signed and stamped by the appropriate person from
of these guidelines. the Department of Trade and Industry. If the document does not
conform to these regulations the product will not be homologated
To better understand the importance that homologation has and therefore not be validated by the authorities.
for the end user or installer, and to avoid the possibility of being
cheated by illegal companies which work outside of the Tests for silencers and catalytic converters in order to obtain
European Community law, we need to know which homologation the homologation code and certificate are:
tests are necessary and mandatory for all silencers and catalytic
converters to be granted the homologation code and certificate. Static Noise test : In an anechoic chamber, with the vehicle
in neutral gear and the original exhaust system fitted, the
inspector measures the noise level produced while the engine
is accelerated up to 2/3 of the revolutions shown on the vehicle’s
Homologation tests are :
technical specification when the car is providing maximum
Static noise test power. Then we replace the original part of the exhaust with
Dynamic noise test the Aftermarket part that we want to homologate, and the test
Back pressure test is repeated three times, taking as a valid value the medium
Adaptability test rate of the three tests made to the part we want to homologate.
Precious metals content (only for catalytic converters) To pass the test, the noise level of the Aftermarket part must
always be lower than the one registered for the original. It is
important to understand that due to this test no exhaust system
These tests are always done by government representatives from or catalytic converter can be homologated if, when installed
the Department of Trade and Industry of the country where in the car, the noise levels are higher than those registered by
the tests are taking place. These tests are standard for every the car’s Original Equipment.
European country, and in order to receive the homologation
code and certificate, all these tests need to be passed
successfully. If, during the tests of a silencer or catalytic converter,
the unit fails any of these tests the complete process will be
finished without obtaining the homologation for this unit.

Example of Static Noise Test in an Anechoic Chamber

The Homologation Process   All About Emission Control 15

Dynamic Noise test : This test is similar to the previous one but it decrease the speed of the gases escaping from the exhaust
is carried out on a circuit while the car is moving. The noise is system, and therefore decreasing the noise levels in respect
measured using two microphones located as shown in the of the Original Equipment levels. On the other hand, small
picture. To do this test we must measure the noise level while structural variations inside the silencer can cause greater
the car is moving three times in each direction (A to B and after variation in backpressure levels, and because of that, the exhaust
B to A) in second gear and in third gear (6 times in total), taking or catalytic converter should be almost an exact copy internally
as valid value the medium rate of the two worse values of the of the Original Equipment unit.
three obtained in each direction. To make the test correctly the
car should cross the measurement area in second and third Noise measurement points - Exhaust gasses backpressure
gear as well as maintaining engine revolution of up to 2/3 of
the revolutions shown on the vehicle’s technical specification Figure 1 Single Pipe
when the car is providing maximum power or cross the
max 450 mm
measurement area in second and third gear with a constant
min 150 mm
speed of 50 km/h. The first test is made with the Original
Equipment exhaust, then we substitute the part of the exhaust
system (silencer or catalytic converter), which we want to Figure 2 Partially
homologate, and repeat the previous test. To pass this test the Double Pipe
noise level of the Aftermarket part must always be lower than max 450 mm
the one registered for the Original Equipment part, and always min 150 mm
lower than 74 dB. In this test we can also see that any silencer
or catalytic converter that has a higher noise level than the one
originally installed in the car, cannot be homologated in
Figure 3 Double Pipe
European Community countries.
max 450 mm

min 150 mm
Two single measurement points link
B B’ together to give only one value

10 m This test helps us to understand that any universal silencer, or

Microphone Microphone catalytic converter, cannot be homologated because these two
7.5 m 7.5 m
concepts are actually opposites. The homologated silencer or
P P’
catalytic converter has been developed for only one specific
10 m type of engine, and is almost an exact copy of the Original
Equipment one. Contrary to this, universal units are sold for a
A A’
certain range of vehicles depending on the size of their engines
and the diameter of connection pipes, (e.g. a silencer or
catalytic converter for all cars between 1,100 cc and 2,500 cc
with 45 mm diameter pipes) because of this, the universal units
Backpressure test : This test is also carried out by comparing will never ever have the proper backpressure levels necessary
the values of tests done on the Original Equipment product, for the optimum performance of this engine, this in fact causes
and on the Aftermarket product. further damage to other parts of the engine, like the catalytic
converter units, lambda sensors, valve seats, etc...
To do this test, first we measure the backpressure on the exhaust
manifold while the engine is running at a specific revolution
range with the complete Original Equipment exhaust. Then the
part we want to test is replaced in the system, and we repeat
exactly the same test. In order to pass this test the percentage
difference between the backpressure levels in both tests need to
be less than +25 %, this means that the part that we are trying
to homologate for the Aftermarket, needs to have a maximum
difference of the 25 % backpressure registered with the Original
Equipment part. This is the most difficult test to pass for the
exhaust manufacturers, because to pass the two previous noise
tests we need to have a little more backpressure in order to

16 All About Emission Control  The Homologation Process

Adaptability test : This test checks that the part we are trying to homologated ones), which results in a very poor performance
homologate has exactly the same fittings and similar shape as of these units. In addition, the backpressure of these units is
that of the Original Equipment part. This means that we usually wrong, because they are not designed for any specific
should be able to fit the unit into the system without any engine model, and as we have seen before, this causes a loss
adjustments such as bending pipes, or adding other external of power in the engine, and an increase of fuel consumption,
elements that were not in the original specification putting other engine parts at risk of further damage.

It is important to note that in this test it is prohibited to weld over the

exhaust system, because if we need to weld it, then it is because How Can We Recognize if a Silencer, or
this part of the system is different from the original one, and it the Catalytic Converter Is Homologated?
would be impossible for this part to pass the adaptability test. To know if a catalytic converter or silencer is homologated,
following the European Community guidelines, you must check
This test demonstrates that any universal silencer, or catalytic to see if the right homologation code is marked on the lower
converter, cannot be homologated because these products part of the unit housing. This code must always be placed in
usually have universal fittings (just the pipes without connections) the lower part of the housing, because it will be checked at
and they are normally different from the fittings used in the the government’s vehicle technical inspection centre.
original system equipment.
We must always be certain that every silencer or catalytic
Precious metals content test : This test is only done to catalytic converter has the right homologation certificates. These
converters, and it determines the content of precious metals documents can be requested at any time by staff from vehicle
(platinum, rhodium and palladium) in the monolith of the inspection centres, as well as by the end user of the car.
catalytic converter. This test guarantees to the end user that the We need to note that the homologation codes are standard,
catalytic converter contains the required amounts of precious which means that its configuration, position and size,
metals, as stipulated in the European Environmental guidelines always follows specific criteria
in order to be successful in its function of transforming harmful established in the European guidelines,
exhaust gases into non pollutant ones. and cannot be changed by anybody.
This fact helps us to quickly differentiate
between the silencers and catalytic
converters which are homologated, and
those which are not, and for this we need
to remember that there are only three valid
homologation codes for exhaust systems
and catalytic converters, which can be
Platinum Rhodium Palladium recognized as follows.

For the end user of the vehicle, it is a guarantee that he will

receive exactly what he has paid for, because the cost of some of
these precious metals is very high.
Picture of a Modern Exhaust System

To do this test, the monolith of the catalytic converter (where

the precious metals are contained) needs to be submerged in
an acid solution and left there for the particular amount of time
specified for this test. This acid solution will make the precious
metals separate from the monolith, after which the metals are
weighed separately to determine the percentage of those in
relation to the volume of the monolith.

We need to be especially careful when buying these units, we

must ask for sufficient guarantees in order to confirm that these
catalytic converters are homologated (read the homologation
codes carefully and ask for the homologation documents.) In
general, the universal catalytic converters will have a much
lower content of precious metals (around 5 times less than

The Homologation Process   All About Emission Control 17

Homologation codes for silencers (two possibilities):

A. Guideline 70/157/ EEC it is important that all the numbers are in a straight line one after the other. The “e” must be
small (not capital letter) and always appear inside the box together with a number, which identifies the country, if it is not
like that then the homologation code is false

03 0148
a ≥ 8 mm
2a /3 a /3

Homologation country
“1” Germany “6” Belgium “17” Finland
Homologation guideline Homologation number
“2” France “9” Spain “18” Denmark Guideline 70/157/EEC ‡ Nº 00
“3” Italy “11” UK “21” Portugal Guideline 77/212/EEC ‡ Nº 01
“4” Netherlands “12” Austria “23” Greece Guideline 84/424/EEC ‡ Nº 02
“5” Sweden “13” Luxembourg “Irl” Ireland Guideline 92/97/EEC ‡ Nº 03

B. Regulation 59 of the United Nations. This code is similar to the previous one with all the numbers in a specific position.
The number, which indicates the homologation country, is put in a circle together with the letter “E” which is always written
as a capital letter followed by 59, which means that this unit meets the Regulation 59 of the United Nations. This code is
completely legal but is rarely used nowadays because it is very old.

a ≥ 8 mm Regulation 59 Homologation number

2a/3 a /3
E9 59 03 0148 a /3

Homologation country Homologation guideline

18 All About Emission Control  The Homologation Process

Homologation codes for catalytic converters (two possibilities):

A. Guideline 70/220/EEC : It is important that the numbers are placed in a straight line one after the other. The “e” must be
small (not capital letter) and always appear inside the box together with a number, which identifies the country, otherwise
the homologation code is false. This code is the old homologation code version for catalytic converters, and it is difficult to
find it nowadays.

a ≥ 8 mm
2a /3 a /3

Homologation country
“1” Germany “6” Belgium “17” Finland
Homologation guideline Homologation number
“2” France “9” Spain “18” Denmark Guideline 70/157/EEC ‡ Nº 00
“3” Italy “11” UK “21” Portugal Guideline 77/212/EEC ‡ Nº 01
“4” Netherlands “12” Austria “23” Greece Guideline 84/424/EEC ‡ Nº 02
“5” Sweden “13” Luxembourg “Irl” Ireland Guideline 92/97/EEC ‡ Nº 03

B. Regulation 103 of the United Nations before it was approved for Europe. This code is similar to the second one shown
for the exhaust, with all the numbers in a specific position. The number which indicates the homologation country is put in a
circle together with the letter “E” which is always written as a capital letter followed by 103, which means that this unit
meets the Regulation 103 of the United Nations (the previous version before it was approved by the UN). This code was
used before the European countries approved the Regulation 103. It’s completely legal but is rarely used nowadays

a ≥ 8 mm UN Regulation 103 Homologation number

2a /3 a/3
E1 103 030148 a/3

Homologation country Homologation guideline

C. Regulation 103 of the United Nations (actual version). This code is similar to the last one shown. The number which
indicates the homologation country is put in a circle together with the letter “E” which is always written as a capital letter
followed by 103 which means that this unit meets the Regulation 103 of the United Nations. This code is the most common
one nowadays in all cars manufactured after February 23 1997, and the catalytic converter needs to show the code
related to the Regulation 103 (103R) stamped on the catalytic converter housing.

a ≥ 8 mm UN Regulation 103 Homologation number

2a /3 a /3
E1 103R 030148 a/3

Homologation country Homologation guideline

The Homologation Process   All About Emission Control 19

If Homologation Is Necessary, Manufacturers selling non-homologated units have an unfair
Why Don’t all Manufacturers Homologate price advantage over the manufacturers selling homologated
their Silencers and Catalytic Converters parts in the after market.
for the Retail Market?
The production cost of the homologated products are much higher It is important to note that many of these illegal companies
than the universal parts, due to the fact that homologated parts continue working nowadays because the majority of installers,
need to be designed for each particular engine model following and end users, do not know that full responsibility of any illegal
the backpressure and noise level standards of the Original parts installed in the exhaust system lies only with the installer,
Equipment parts. and not with the manufacturer, or the selling company.

The average development cost for a new silencer or a

catalytic converter is about 5,000 € per reference, (which is
payable for each reference, while the universal manufacturers
use the same design for a huge amount of applications
without taking into account the performance of the vehicles,
their consumption levels and the wear and tear of other
components.) On the other hand, the cost of these technical
tests for the homologation of a silencer is 1,200 € per
reference, and 10,000 € for the same tests of a catalytic
converter due to the higher cost of the precious metals test.

Examples of False Codes

on Products e1 47 0123 E 1 01 1235
Only lowercase e is valid
First 2 digits are allways 00, 01, 02 or 03

e1 00
0123 e1 1 01235 e1 103R 031235
Only appears on one line Number is composed of 2 digits + space + 4 digits Only capital E is valid

Installation of non-homologated mufflers or catalytic converters is prohibited

and is considered an illegal activity within the European Community.
Non-adherence to these guidelines can be penalized by the local authorities.

20 All About Emission Control  The Homologation Process

Acoustic Absorption Materials Biosoluble Mineral Wool (Biosil) or Biodegradable
Acoustic absorption materials are special kinds of elements that Mineral Fibre
are used inside some type of silencers (absorption and mixed The Biosil wool, is an orange coloured mineral compound,
mufflers) in order to absorb the high frequencies of the sound very similar in texture to insulating material used in houses to
produced when the exhaust gases exit the combustion chamber, insulate the house from temperature, and humidity. Due to its
and enter the exhaust system. Today in the manufacturing special texture (it is like a carpet). Biosil can be pre-moulded
process we can find mainly two different elements: and introduced inside the exhaust to make the manufacturing
process easier and precise. On the other hand in those cases
E-Glass Fibre where a pre-moulded shape can not be obtained due to
The E-Glass fibre is a white colour thermoplastic compound, a more complex shape of the internal parts of the exhaust,
very similar in texture to the nylon in the manufacturing of dolls Biosil can be introduced by hand obtaining any shape that
hair. This element is introduced in the mufflers by an injector is needed. The big advantages of this product against
through an automatic process. E-Glass fibre does not absorb the E-Glass fibre are its superior capacity of absorbing noise,
water; this helps the condensed water to evaporate faster and the fact that this product can be used in extremely hot
when the exhaust system is heated. Another great property of conditions (over 500 ºC and up to 1,200 ºC) without any loss
the E-Glass fibre is the fact that this material does not change of performance. But on the other hand, Biosil wool material
its chemical composition in the presence of water. This permits absorbs the water coming from the condensation of exhaust
the E-Glass fibre to maintain the same performance regarding gases, making the evaporation process much longer. Biosil
noise levels during all the working life of the product. E-Glass wool is also sensitive to continuous wet-dry periods, because
fibre can be used in all applications in which the working in the presence of water the material changes its chemical
temperature is below 500 ºC (generally 2nd muffler or in new composition, becoming harder and becoming thinner (compressed)
cars after the catalytic converter) Above this temperature, due to this change the noise as well as the performance of
the E-Glass fibre which as we have said is a plastic compound, the vehicle can be affected. Around year 2003 exhaust
would reduce in size due to the extreme heat changing the manufacturers start to use Biosil wool to replace the Basal wool,
internal backpressure and with it the noise level. product that was used since that time for the same purpose
because it was found carcinogenic. Since that time the use of
Basal wool in exhaust manufacturing processes is prohibited in
European Countries.

Types of Mufflers 

Absorption Muffler
Picture of a Exhaust The name of these mufflers comes from the methodology used
Containing E-Glass Fibre to control the noise level. High frequency sound is attenuated
thanks to the material that covers the straight perforated tube
that crosses from side to side of the interior part of the muffler.

This type of muffler design is especially effective in eliminating

high frequencies, and gives low levels of backpressure. Low
frequency noise is not absorbed by this muffler design.

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 21
Reflection Muffler Semi Active Muffler (S.A.M.)
As the name indicates these mufflers use the reflection principle This is a special type of silencer that includes a revolutionary
to control low frequency noise. This muffler works on the principle valve; this allows the muffler to maintain an optimum
that when two equal and opposite sound waves meet head backpressure level at any phase of the revolutions. The way
on, they destroy each other on impact. this valve works is by controlling the flow of gases through one
of the internal muffler pipes. This action is achieved thanks to
In order to ensure that the reflection effect takes place inside the S.A.M. valve opening or closing the internal pipe section,
the muffler, the design is key. The internal design of a reflection thus controlling the backpressure level of the whole exhaust
muffler includes different chambers separated by baffles that system. Due to this innovative backpressure control, cars
are connected by perforated pipes. Due to the increased equipped with S.A.M. mufflers produces more power over all
resistance to flow of this design, the backpressure is higher the revolution range as well as an excellent noise attenuation
than that of the absorption muffler. at low frequencies. Due to its design, the volume of the exhaust
system can be reduced by approximately 30 %, which impacts
directly in a decrease of the total weight of the exhaust system,
and fuel consumption.

Spun Shape Muffler and Clam Shell Muffler

Depending on the external shape of the exhaust housing
Mixed Muffler and the manufacturing process to build it up, exhaust can be
A mixed muffler design is a combination of the absorption and divided into two different types, The first is called a spun
reflection muffler; as a result, mixed mufflers are able to control shape muffler, with two metal layers pressed to form a
all kinds of audible frequencies (low and high). More than cylinder which houses the perforated pipe work. The second
80 % of all the mufflers produced in the automotive industry are type is called a clam shell muffler. In this design, two metallic
mixed mufflers. layers are pressed to form a “shell” again housing the perforated
pipe work, with two equal shells used together to form the
mixed muffler. Clam shell mufflers are always filled with Biosil
wool to reduce noise levels

Semi Active Muffler


Internal View of a Reflection Muffler Internal View of a Reflection Muffler

22 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
The Catalytic Converter  Ceramic Monolith vs.
Precious Metals
Nowadays, catalytic converters are one of the main parts of Metallic Monolith 
our exhaust systems. These units are installed in all cars sold in The ceramic monolith, as its name
the European Community countries, and their use has been Wash Coat suggests, is made from a ceramic
mandatory since 1993 for petrol cars and 1997 for diesel compound. The most widely used is
cars. The function of these units inside the exhaust system is to a silicate called cordierite (2MgO2
transform the harmful gases (CO, HC, NOx) in the exhaust Monolith Al2 O3 SiO). The monolith has a
gases coming from the combustion chamber into other honeycomb-like structure with square
considered “clean” gases (CO2, H2O, N2), before these gases cells. In order to be shaped properly, the ceramic compound
leave the exhaust system into the atmosphere. This process is heated to over 1,300 ºC until its consistency becomes that of
takes place inside the catalytic converter with the help of a paste, and using an extrusion process the paste is forced
the catalytic metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. These through a mould to produce its honeycomb shape. Usually,
metals are placed over the surface of the monolith (metallic or the monoliths have an oval or cylindrical shape, although the
ceramic) that is always in contact with the exhaust gases. The design is quite flexible since it only depends on the type of
monoliths used for automotive applications have a honeycomb- mould used during the extrusion process.
like shape, with a high number of cells through which the exhaust
gases pass on their way to the atmosphere.

Protection Interam Material Heat Shield


Metallic Monolith vs. Ceramic Monolith

Once the body of the monolith is formed, it must then be submitted
to a process known as “wash coating”. During this process the
Light-off Ring
active catalyst material is deposited in the so-called wash coat, the
main components of the wash coat are base metal oxides (BMO),
Internal View of a Ceramic Catalytic Converter
AL2O3, CeO2, and ZrO2, and also precious metals (PM), normally
When the monolith is warmed up (over 300 ºC) and exhaust platinum, palladium and rhodium. This wash coat is placed over
gases come into contact with the precious metals placed over the monolith’s cell walls, by submerging the monolith in a colloidal
the surface of the monoliths cells, chemical reactions, which solution containing the base metal oxides, and the precious
transform the harmful gases takes place. It is easy to see that the metals. This process of “wash coating” is used for ceramic as well
performance of the catalytic converter will be directly related to as for metallic monoliths.
the amount of monolith surface that is in contact with the exhaust
gases in a specific amount of time, as well as the quantity of The minimal quantities of precious metals, platinum, palladium
precious metals placed over the surface of this monolith. It is an and rhodium, which must adhere to the surface of the monolith
interesting fact that the surface of the monolith in contact with the are not random, but should be applied according to present
exhaust gases in a specific amount of time is huge; for example, European guidelines (and should be the same for metallic and
for a standard 1,600 cc car’s monolith, the surface of the monolith for ceramics).
in contact with the exhaust gases will be more or less the same
as the surface of a standard football pitch. The mechanical characteristics of this type of monolith are :
Shape : Usually oval or cylinder.
Thickness of monolith walls : Approximately 100 microns.
Number of cells : Between 400 and 900 cpsi.
Fusion point of the cordierite : At approximately 1,450 ºC
Resistance to impact : Low. (Breaks)
Coef. of Thermal Expansion 0.002 cal/s-cm-oC
(CTE) : (Very low).
Internal View of a Ceramic Catalytic Converter

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 23
On the otherhand we have the metallic catalytic converter, Having checked the mechanical characteristics of both types
which has a monolith constructed from basic metal alloy materials. of monolith, (metallic and ceramic) we are able to sum up a
(for example FeCrAlloy, Kantal, etc.) The most common way of few advantages and inconveniences of these systems, and
making these monoliths for the automotive industry is to combine their usefulness in our petrol and diesel cars.
flat and corrugated layers of this metal alloy in order to make
the spiral-shaped monolith. The channels from where the exhaust It will also help to understand why almost all catalytic
gases subsequently escape are formed between the flat plate converters (more than 90 % of total units), installed in Original
and the undulations of the corrugated one. Equipment, are ceramic catalytic converters.

Advantages of metallic monolith 
Procedure Used to Built The metallic monolith allows the manufacturers to produce
Metallic Monoliths smaller catalytic converters, because these units have thinner
cell walls. It also allows them to design monoliths with a higher
number of cells, allowing greater surface contact of exhaust
gases with precious metals, compared to ceramic monoliths.
Due to the fact that these units have thinner monolith walls,
the backpressure levels are generally lower compared to the
ceramic ones of the same size. It is essential that the backpressure
Once the spiral is formed, it is placed inside a metal cylinder level of a replacement catalytic converter needs to be more or
that serves as a support chassis. These monoliths are almost less equal to the level of the original Equipment unit in order to
always cylindrical due to their special manufacturing process. obtain the European homologation. This homologation process
In the specific case of metal monoliths with a higher quantity of is mandatory for all the after-market exhaust and catalytic
cells per square inch, the “wash coating” process can be converters produced for European Community countries, and
carried out before it is formed into a spiral, because if the ensures that the homologated units will maintain maximum
wash coating takes place once the monolith is formed (as in performance of the vehicle avoiding any other engine damage.
the case of the ceramic catalytic converters), it could create an
obstruction of some cells due to its smaller size. Better impact resistance :
When the catalytic converter receives
The mechanical characteristics of this type of monolith are : a strong impact, the metallic monolith
Shape : Generally cylindrical. does not break as the ceramic one
does, instead, the metallic monolith
Thickness of monolith walls : Approximately 25 Microns. deforms by changing its shape. When
Number of cells : Between 800 cpsi and the monolith is deformed, in most of the
situations the catalytic converter needs to be View of a Damaged
1,250 cpsi. Catalytic Converter
changed urgently because this deformity will Due to an Impact
Fusion point of the alloy : Approximately 1,600 ºC destroy some monolith cells which will produce with an External Object.
Resistance to impact High, it does not fracture. an increase of the backpressure levels in the
exhaust system. This situation could produce a significant loss
Coefficient of Thermal (Very high). of power and cause serious damage to the car engine.
Expansion (CTE) :
Metallic melting point is 150 ºC higher than the ceramic
monolith : As we saw, the melting point of the metallic
Internal View of a Metallic Catalytic monolith occurs at around 1,600 ºC, 150  ºC higher than the
Converter's Monolith melting point of the ceramic one which is approximately at
1,450 ºC. This quality gives the metallic monolith the capacity
to resist the temperature a little bit better, because of that, when
the engine has some problems (wrong backpressure, old spark
plugs, problems with lambda sensor, etc…) the metallic monolith
will remain working for a longer period than the ceramic one
before it melts. On the other hand, if the problems are big
(misfiring, broken spark plug, total failure of one cylinder, important
mixture problems, compression problems) the differences will be
very small, (minute) because the amount of petrol burning

24 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
inside the catalytic converter (over the monolith) is
very high, and the temperature generated when
the fuel burns is 1,800 ºC, which is far away
from the melting point of both monoliths. We
need to remember that the auto-ignition point of
the unleaded petrol is approximately 450 ºC,
and the working temperature rate of a catalytic
converter is around 500 ºC. It means that every unburnt fuel
particle leaving the combustion chamber with the exhaust
gases, will burn automatically as soon as it touch the monolith
surface. This petrol as we know produces temperatures over
1,800 ºC which will melt the monolith surface. The time that the
monolith (metallic or ceramic) will resist once the melting process Lower manufacturing cost : Due to the fact that ceramic
begins is directly related to the quantity of unburnt fuel monoliths are produced by an extrusion process, the
contained in the exhaust gases, and the temperature of manufacturing cost of these units is lower in comparison to the
the monolith. same units manufactured in metallic monoliths. On the other
hand, the quantity of precious metals (platinum, paladium and
Advantages of the ceramic monolith  rhodium), which need to be included in the wash coating
Easy way to create different monolith shapes : Due to the process, is fixed by the European guidelines and is the same
way these monoliths are manufactured (by extrusion) the shape for both types of monolith.
of the monolith can be varied very easily. As we have seen,
the shape of the monolith only depends on the mould used to The Chemical reactions
extrude the material. This shape can be cylindrical, elliptical, When the catalytic converters are working properly, two main
square or even asymmetric. This is one of the most appreciated chemical reactions take place inside:
qualities from the viewpoint of the car manufacturers.
Oxidizing : Is produced by adding oxygen to the chemical
Longer working life of the ceramic compounds. In this reaction, carbon monoxide (CO) and
catalytic converters : This is due to two the unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) are transformed into carbon
main factors; the first one concerns dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Following next reactions:
the roughness level of the monolith.
The roughness level of the ceramic 2 CO + O2  2 CO 2  (1)
monolith walls is significantly
higher than the roughness level CmHn + (m+n/4)O 2  m CO 2 + (n/2) H2O (2)
of the metallic monolith.
This fact makes the wash coating process better, and more
efficient in the ceramic monolith. The second and most critical
factor is the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE). In the Lean Mix CO
ceramic monolith the CTE is very small compared to the Pt H2O
atio n
Pt Oxid
metallic ones, it means that the ceramic monolith size varies
very little with temperature variations. For the metallic monolith CO
the situation is the opposite, the CTE is much bigger, this fact HC
produces significant variations on the monolith size, depending
on the temperature level, increasing its size when it is hot
(remember that the working temperature rate for a catalytic The oxidizing reactions, which take place in the catalytic
converter is approximately 500 ºC) and decreasing when it is converter, are accelerated by the presence of the precious
cool. The explanation of why the CTE is so important is simple, metals platinum and palladium. In order to make the oxidizing
if we have a metallic painted surface, and we change the size reaction possible, the air/fuel ratio must be lean (lambda >1),
of this surface (increasing and decreasing it) several times, over that means that the mixture to be burnt in the cylinders will have
a period of time the surface will lose its paint cover. This is more air than needed to burn it correctly (Ideal mixture =1).
exactly what happens with the wash coat cover when submitted If the mixture is not lean, or the platinum and/or palladium
to high and continuous monolith size variations, and as soon are not in contact in the right amount with the exhaust gases,
as the monolith loses its wash coat cover, this unit completely the oxidizing reactions will not take place in the right way,
loses its functionality, and needs to be replaced. increasing the levels of CO and HC in the exhaust gases.

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 25
Reduction : This type of chemical reaction consists of
Intake System Catalytic Converter
separating the oxygen of a compound, in order to create a
new compound or molecule. The reduction reactions that take
place inside automotive catalytic converters are accelerated by
the presence of rhodium, and require rich air/fuel mixtures to
take place. Reduction reactions are a method of transforming
NOx molecules into nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and
in some cases water (H2O).
3-way catalytic converter with air intake 
2 CO + 2 NO  N2 + 2 CO2 (3) This type of catalytic converter is exclusively used in rich air/fuel
mixture engines. Nowadays its use is effectively restricted to
CmHn + 2(m+n/4) NO  (m+n/4) N2 + the US market. As its name indicates, these types of catalytic
converters are able to transform three different gases (CO, HC
mCO2 + (n/2 ) H2O (4) and NOx). The internal design of these units includes two
monoliths, each one of them with a very specific function in the
H2 + NO (1/2) N2 + H2O (5) transformation process. The first monolith in contact with the flow
of exhaust gases coming from the engine (with rich air/fuel
mixture) is a reduction monolith, and because of that, it is only
equipped with rhodium. Thanks to this monolith, the NOx is
Rich Mix N2 transformed into N2, H2O and CO2. Unfortunately due to the
Rh CO2 type of air/fuel mixture (rich), oxidizing reactions (CO and HC)
ctio n
Rh Redu cannot take place in the same monolith due to the lack of
NOx oxygen. To solve the problem, the engineers add a second
monolith but this time an oxidizing one, equipped with platinum
and/or palladium inside the catalytic converter housing just after
the reduction one. To transform the rich mixture into a lean
Types of Catalytic Converters Depending on mixture before accessing the second monolith, the engineers
the Number of Ways  left a small space between both monoliths where thanks to a
Catalytic converters can be classified in three groups based on hole and a small pump the system receives atmospheric air
the number of gases that each catalytic converter is able to (with 21 % of oxygen) which transforms the mixture present in
transform: 2-way catalytic converters (two gases, CO and HC), this area into lean, allowing the oxidizing reactions (1) and (2)
3-way catalytic converters with air intake (three gases CO, HC to take place.
and NOx used in old US petrol vehicles) and 3-way catalytic
converter with lambda sensor (three gases CO, HC and NOx
used for petrol cars equipped with lambda sensor). CO
Pt N2
2-way catalytic converter 
These units are used in lean mixture engines, like diesel, or
direct injection petrol engines like GDI, FSI. The precious NOX
metals present in the monolith are generally platinum, but can
also be palladium, or even both at the same time. Platinum
and palladium are metals that accelerate the transformation of
the CO and HC by oxidizing reactions, transforming them into
CO2 and H2O (see oxidizing reactions (1) and (2)). The
reduction of NOx in these types of engines cannot take place
in the catalytic converter, because these types of engines run
all the time with lean air/fuel mixture and the reduction process
requires a rich mixture to allow the reduction reactions. The
reduction process in these engines takes place using other
methods, like EGR or selective catalytic reduction systems that
will be explained later. 2-way catalytic converters are also called
oxidizing catalytic converters, or diesel catalytic converters.

26 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
3-way Catalytic Converter with Lambda Sensor  Close Coupled Converter 
Contrary to 3-way catalytic converter with air intake system Under this name we can
that carry out the reduction reactions first and then the include all those catalytic
oxidation reactions in different monoliths, 3-way catalytic converters that are incorporated
converters with lambda sensor carries out the reduction in the exhaust manifold. This
reactions, and oxidation reactions on the same monolith thanks design enables a catalytic
to the lambda sensor and engine management system. That converter to reach the light
means that these types of catalytic converters are able to off point (temperature from which the
transform CO, HC and NOx into CO2, H2O and N2 on the catalytic converter starts to work
same monolith and at the same time. For its correct operation, properly) faster. This design contributes to Picture of a Close
it is necessary that the air/fuel mixture relation should be near optimum use of engine exhaust energy, and Coupled Converter
the Stoichiometric value (1:14,7). In order to allow the improves conversion efficiency
oxidizing reaction to take place, the system makes continuous
changes in the air/fuel ratio of the mixture. First the injection
system makes the mixture a little bit lean (>1) for some Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF)
moments, just after, the system changes the mixture again into A diesel particulate filter, (also called DPF) is a device designed
rich (<1) to allow the reduction reactions. This process of to remove diesel particulate matter, (soot), from the exhaust gas
continually changing the mixture is done very fast (At 2,000 of a diesel engine. The efficiency of these elements is very high,
rpm. Around 3 times per second) being directly proportional to often attaining efficiencies of over 90 %. A diesel-powered
the number of revolutions. vehicle with a DPF installed will emit no visible smoke from its
exhaust pipe. In order to collect the particulate matter, a
ΔUλ Uλ
E.C.U. method must be designed to get rid of it. Nowadays there are
Lambda Sensor three different methods of achieving this. Some filters are single
use (disposable), while others are designed to burn off the
Intake System
accumulated particulate, either through the use of a catalyst
Catalytic Converter (passive), or through an active technology, such as a fuel
burner, which heats the filter to soot combustion temperatures,
or through engine modifications (the engine is set to run a
Tubular Integrated Converter (TIC)  specific way when the filter load reaches a pre-determined
Contrary to the standard manufacturing process of catalytic level, measured with sensors through the back pressure level,
converters, where the housing is made from two shells of and temperature of the unit, either to heat the exhaust gases,
stainless steel or other metal rust resistant, tubular integrated or to produce high amounts of NO2, which will oxidize the
converters are built in a one piece housing made from thin particulates at relatively low temperatures). This procedure is
walled stainless steel tube produced in a hot rolled process. known as “filter regeneration”. Fuel sulphur interferes with many
The manufacturing process controls the thickness of the material “regeneration” strategies, so almost all jurisdictions that are
at each critical point to obtain the maximum mechanical interested in reducing particulate emissions, are also passing
resistance, as well as a better connection to the pipes of the regulations governing fuel sulphur levels.
exhaust system. Due to its special design, these units are lighter,
and the durability is higher compared to the standard ones.

View of the Tubular Integrated

Converter (TIC) Products

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 27
increase low temperature (sub -350  ºC) performance of zeolite
catalysts typically requires the use of an upstream oxidation
catalyst for NO to NO2, which in turn requires the use of fuels
T & Vol that are virtually sulphur-free to allow low-temperature oxidation
of NO to NO2, and to prevent formation of sulphate
particulate matter.
Ammonia or Urea, which is the best ?
pump UREA
While ammonia offers slightly better performance, it is toxic and
is difficult to handle safely. Urea is safer to handle, but not quite
Injector as effective. It has, however, to date been a more popular
choice for engine manufacturers. In both cases, the reductant
NOx & T NOx & T
DOC must be extremely pure, because the impurities can affect
M ixer SCR Slip
negatively the SCR catalytic converters. Typically, SCR catalytic
catalytic catalytic
converter converter converters require frequent cleaning even with pure reductants,
as the reductant can cover the inlet surface of the catalytic
converter monolith, while the exhaust gas stream temperature is
too low for the SCR reaction to take place.
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) 
It is a process where a gaseous or liquid reductant (most Research into reductant technology
commonly ammonia or urea) is added to exhaust gas stream is continuing. A wide variety of
thanks to an injector connected to the exhaust pipe to later on suggestions have been made for
be transformed into the catalyst. The reductant reacts with NOx alternative reductants, In Europe,
contained in the exhaust gases into the selective catalytic SCR is a common choice for NOx
converter to form H2O (water vapour) and N2 (nitrogen gas). control technology by engine
Specialty selective catalytic converters for reduction are manufacturers, and a variety of
required to make an SCR system work, nowadays we can find ammonia and urea brands are
two possible options in the market, vanadium-based catalyst available, such as AdBlue
(for lower temperature applications like ships, power plants, for example.
etc), or a catalyst with iron or copper zeolites in the wash
coat. The performance of Fe- and Cu-exchanged zeolites Ammonia slip
urea-SCR is approximately equal to that of vanadium urea-SCR A common problem with all SCR systems is ammonia slip. The term
if the fraction of the NO2 is 20 % to 50 % of the total NOx. describes exhaust pipe emissions of ammonia that occur when:
Zeolites offer improved durability at high temperatures, 1- E xhaust gas temperatures are too cold for the SCR reaction
including an ability to withstand extended operation above to occur.
650  ºC and brief exposure to temperatures of 750 to 850  ºC. 2 - The injection device feeds too much reductant into the
Thermal durability is particularly important for mobile SCR exhaust gas stream for the amount of NOx.
applications that incorporate the use of a diesel particulate
filter (DPF) with forced regeneration. Vanadium catalysts are A variety of strategies have been developed to deal with
quickly deactivated at temperatures above 600  ºC. The reliance ammonia slip, including the use of extra catalysts after the SCR
on an increased fraction of NO2 within the total NOx to catalyst (also called : Slip Cat).

Technical problems with automotive SCR units

In order to ensure that the SCR unit remains free from contaminants,
correct materials of construction must be used for both storage
and dispensing. Manufacturers of the SCR unit have specified
that, without using compatible materials of construction, ions
can be passed from the dispensing materials into the porous
head on the SCR unit. This can render the SCR unit ineffective,
and reduce its life expectancy by more than 60 %. Equipment
that may prove suitable for urea solution is often not compatible
with AdBlue, and the common assumption that it is compatible
has led to a number of systems failing prematurely.

28 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
To ensure that the A dBlue is not affected by incorrect material Let us see in detail how each one of these units work:
specification, operators should refer to the DIN 70070
standard for production of A dBlue and CEFIC quality control Zirconium Dioxide Lambda Sensors 
document AUS32. In the most widely used sensor, the active element is a ceramic
body made of zirconium dioxide covered internally and
externally by a thin porous platinum layer that works as an
The Lambda Sensor electrode. The internal part of the ceramic body is in contact
Lambda sensor is an oxygen sensor (O2) that measures the with atmospheric air, while the external part is in contact with
oxygen present in the air/fuel mixture leaving the combustion the exhaust gases.
chamber, and passes this information to the Electronic Control Ceramic body
Electrical Zirconium
Unit (ECU) Electrical contact protection dioxide
connection capsule

Types of Lambda Sensors 

Depending on the way of working we can distinguish 3 types
of lambda sensors: Protective
• Zirconium dioxide lambda sensors
• Titanium lambda sensors
• Wideband lambda sensors also called broadband lambda Positive
External Negative platinium
sensor or L.A.F. sensor (lean air fuel sensor) housing platanium electrode

The zirconium dioxide ceramic body has the chemical property

of becoming permeable to the oxygen ions at a temperature of
approximately 300 ºC, this allows the oxygen from the atmosphere,
Zirconium Dioxide Lambda Sensor to cross the zirconium dioxide ceramic body of the sensor
trying to compensate the lack of oxygen of the exhaust gases.
The bigger the difference between the external oxygen
percentage (21 %), and the oxygen present in the exhaust
gases, more oxygen will cross the ceramic element (i.e. the
richer the mixture more oxygen will cross). Oxygen ions are
Wideband Lambda Sensor charged electrically, such that each time an oxygen ion crosses
the zirconium dioxide element it results in a voltage drop,
which is registered by the platinum electrodes, and sent to
the Electronic Control Unit as input to the engine management.
For rich mixtures the amount of electricity generated is around
0.8 V, and for lean mixtures around 0.2 V below 300 ºC the
Titanium Oxide Lambda Sensor sensor does not work, because the zirconium dioxide element
does not allow any oxygen ion to pass through it, working as
an open circuit (infinite resistance). Above the 300 ºC the
zirconium dioxide lambda sensor works as a battery, whose
voltage depends on the difference of oxygen concentration
between the two electrodes (internal and external). In normal
conditions, the life of a lambda sensor is similar to a catalytic
converter (around 120,000 km). All the petrol cars manufactured
after 2005 are equipped with two lambda sensors per catalytic
converter. The zirconium oxide lambda sensor is always placed
after the catalytic converter in order to check constantly the
correct performance of this unit.

SCR-Cat Slip-Cat Muffler

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 29
Common Wire Colour in Zirconium Dioxide Lambda Sensors
1 wire : Output 0.1 to 0.9 Volt
Colour Connection:
Black Signal

2 wires : Output 0.1 to 0.9 Volt

Colour Connection / Alternative Colour:
Black - Signal Black - Signal
White - Earth Grey - Earth

3 wires : Output 0.1 to 0.9 Volt

Colour Connection / Alternative Colour:
Black - Signal Blue - Signal
White - Heater Black - Heater
White - Heater Black - Heater

4 wires : Output 0.1 to 0.9 Volt

Colour Connection / Alternative Colour:
Black - Signal Blue - Signal
White - Heater Black - Heater
White - Heater Black - Heater
Grey - Earth White - Earth

Depending on the number of wires (if they possess or not voltage is due to a variation of the internal resistance of
internal heating), we can differentiate several types of the circuit composed by the wires, the titanium elements, and
zirconium dioxide lambda sensors: the two platinum electrodes of the sensor. The working principle
of this sensor is quite simple; the ECU feeds this type of sensor
Single wire sensor : with levels around 1 Volt (except in some vehicles it is 5 Volts
• Black wire  signal to ECU, Ground in sensor housing by - Nissan and Toyota 4x4), this voltage travels to the titanium
the exhaust system element, where two platinum electrodes are separated by a
very small space through which pass the exhaust gases.
2 wires sensor : The higher the amount of oxygen present in the exhaust gases,
• Black wire  signal wire to ECU more oxygen ions will combine with the titanium ions creating
• Grey wire  Ground through ECU titanium dioxide (TiO2). Resulting in an increase of resistance
between the platinum electrodes in this process, part of the voltage
3 wires sensor : (electrons) will be used to create titanium dioxide molecules (TiO)
• Black wire  Signal to ECU decreasing the voltage, which returns through the circuit to
• 2x White wires  Heating system (12 if goes to battery or the ECU. In lean mixtures, the resistance of the system can be
5 V if they receive the voltage through the ECU) increased up to 100,000 Ω (ohm), on the other hand, in the
• Ground in sensor housing by the exhaust system absence of oxygen (rich mixture) the resistance generated by
this system is lower than 1,000 Ω. The resistance change is
4 wires sensor : greater for values of lambda near 1.
• Black wire  Signal to ECU
View of a Titanium
• 2x White wires  Heating system (12 if goes to battery or
Oxide Lambda Sensor
5 V if they receive the voltage through the ECU)
• Grey wire  Ground through ECU

Titanium Oxide Lambda Sensor 

This type of sensor is built with titanium dioxide put over a
heated ceramic support. Titanium dioxide lambda sensor
produces a voltage signal, which varies according to the
amount of oxygen present in the exhaust gases. This change of

30 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
Common Wire Colour in Titanium Dioxide Lambda Sensors
3 wires : Output 1 to 5 Volt
Colour Connection:
Red - Ref (in) and Heater (+)
Black - Ref (out)
White - Heater (-) 12 mm Thread 18 mm Thread
4 wires : Output 1 to 5 Volt
Colour Connection:
Red - Heater (+)
White - Heater (-)
Black - Ref (out)
Yellow - Ref (in) 12 mm Thread 18 mm Thread

This type of lambda sensor does not generate voltage; it only 450 mV, (lambda = 1). The value and direction of the current
varies its internal resistance. The operating temperature of this type used by the pump cell is directly proportional to the oxygen
of sensor is between 200 ºC and 700 ºC, if the sensor is content in the exhaust gases. Air/fuel ratios from 11/1 up to
submitted to temperatures higher than 850 ºC it may be destroyed. around 20/1 can be detected with great precision by this
instrument. The Wideband sensor generates a variable signal
The normal values we will be able to read in the yellow wire as opposed to the standard rich/lean signal of a zirconium
(signal) of the sensor with a tester are around 1 V for rich oxide oxygen sensor. Because the wideband signal varies both
mixtures, and around 0.2 V for lean mixtures. Titanium dioxide in strength and polarity it is impossible to see the signal with
lambda sensors do not need any reference air, because of anything except an oscilloscope. The wideband sensor its used
that they are smaller compared to the zirconium dioxide ones, always before the catalytic converter, together with a zirconium
also these units reach their operating temperature much faster. oxide sensor placed after the catalytic converter. This second
These types of sensors are always heated, and can be found sensor controls if the catalytic converter is working properly.
in two different wire configurations:
Schematic view of a Wideband Lambda Sensor
4 Wires - Types “A” & “B” Schematic view of
• Red wire (“A”) or Grey wire (B)  Heating element (+) 3 an Oxygen “Pump” Cell

• White wire  Heating element (-) a - Electrode (anode)

4 b - Battery
• Yellow wire  Signal ECU (+) c - Ceramic
1 d - Electrode (cathode)
• Black wire  Ground of signal ECU 2 5

1 - Nemst cell with electrodes Symbol

Broadband Lambda Sensor / Wideband Lambda Sensor 2 - Sensor heater
3 - Conduit of external air

The way of working of the heated wideband sensor can be 4 - Measurement chamber
5 - Diffusion conduit
explained as follows. The sensor works like two zirconium
dioxide sensors, one acting as a measuring cell and the other
like a pump cell (nerst cell). The two cells are mounted in close Schematic view of a Wideband Lambda Sensor way of working
proximity with a small air gap between them (called measurement
Exhaust gases
chamber). One side of the measuring cell is exposed to air as 02 02
in the zirconium oxide sensor, and the other is in contact with
Pump cell
the exhaust gases pumped in the measurement chamber by Exhaust rea of A
the measurement area
the pump cell. Because the measuring chamber is small, by
adjusting the current flow to the pump cell, oxygen ions can be
moved into or out of the measuring chamber to vary the oxygen 02 450
concentrate, which is the principal on which this device works.
Measurement area 0
The control circuit for the pump cell is a closed loop, which is 02 2 02 mV
programmed to adjust the concentration of oxygen ions in
the measuring chamber to Pump tension
maintain the output readings 02 02 02
of the measuring cell at External air 02 02

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 31
Walker is a Leader in Emission ®

Technologies for Original Equipment

Tenneco is working for low emissions for passenger cars, and converters, fabricated manifolds, and related emission control
light commercial vehicles, as well as for heavy-duty vehicles, technologies, Walker® is a major contributor to the achievement
and the motorcycle sector. With our expertise in hydro forming of low-emissions and low-noise vehicles.
technologies, double walled air-gap components, catalytic

Emission Technologies for Environmental Mandates

• Diesel Oxidation Catalyst • NOx Absorber Catalyst Systems

• Removes up to 90 % of carbon monoxide and • Alternative solution to Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and
hydrocarbons. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) : NOx is absorbed into
• High temperature resistance. a chemical storage site where afterwards is transformed
• Provides heat for regeneration of DPF, where applicable. into non-polluting gases.
• Applicable for light and heavy-duty applications. • The collected NOx is converted into non-polluting
nitrogen (N2), Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).
• Good performance at high exhaust temperatures.
• 90 % conversion efficiency.

• Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)

• An after treatment solution for NOx reduction :
A gaseous or liquid reductant (most commonly
ammonia or urea) reacts with NOx on the substrate
to form harmless water and nitrogen.
• Meets 2010 emission regulations for heavy-duty trucks. • Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
• Meets Euro-4, Euro -5, and Euro-6. • Filtration efficiency more than 95 %.
• Indirectly improves fuel economy by allowing an engine • High temperature resistance.
to run hotter and leaner. • Meets Euro-4, Euro-5 and Euro-6.
• ELIM-NOx technology: is the 2nd generation SCR: • With regeneration.
a fully integrated system including injector, pump,
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• Sound Engineering
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“Choosing Walker ® process

• 2006: Low cost low weight muffler.

technology is choosing
to protect the environment now
and for the future!”

32 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
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Tenneco provides full system engineering services for
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“Walker ® is the world’s
n 1 supplier
In the area of emission control, Walker ® research and
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Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 33

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H Full range of mounting components available including
production standards. • Clamps
• 2-layer aluminized steel to protect against corrosion. • Mounting, rubbers
• Stainless steel welding used in the Original Equipment design. • Exhaust gaskets
• Market leader in car part coverage, with constant range • Bolts
development. Over 3,500 references ensure Walker ® covers all your exhaust
mounting needs.


Flex pipes
 alker ® flex pipes are designed to comply with
Aftermarket needs.
 ange consists of different technologies non-lined,
Catalytic Converters
braid-lined and interlock flex.
•  ince 1963 Walker ® have pioneered
S •S
 tainless steel material to provide long-term high
catalytic converter technology. corrosion resistance.
 road range of sizes available now.
•  alker ® products are homologated to
the correct European emission regulations.
• Market leading coverage.

34 All About Emission Control  Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System
4G AGAR (Advanced Gas Analyser Reader)

To counter and accurately diagnose problems with a vehicles

exhaust system, Walker ® have designed and developed 4G “More than 6,000 users
AGAR software. across Europe in the first 6 months.”
Very User Friendly Diagnostic Software

Access Menu  Test Area  Result Area  Encyclopedia

Fast and Accurate Diagnosis : Use 4G AGAR !

4T PROGRAM (Tenneco Train The Trainers Program)

Do you know terms like: wideband lambda

sensor, slip catalytic converter, SCR catalytic
converters, AD Blue, Blue tech, CR-DPF, etc?

If not, or if you want to increase your technical

Partner of
knowledge, subscribe to one of our technical
training sessions !

• More than 40 permanent certified Master

Trainers are located over all European
• Technical training from 45 minutes up to 8
• Delivered in 18 European languages.
• Sales and Negotiation training for
“Over 32,000 installers
trained in the last 2 years !”
Thanks to training and professional diagnostics,
you can make better decisions for your
customers and for our environment.

Main Components Of Modern Vehicles Exhaust System  All About Emission Control 35
Exhaust gases = DANGER Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Acid Rain
Particulate Matter = DANGER In conditions of extreme heat and pressure in the combustion
chamber, part of nitrogen molecules combined with air become
Soot = DANGER nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides combined with water generate
acid, which, together with sulphur acids, is the main contributor
to the phenomenon of acid rain. Acid rain causes the acidification
Walker ®’s Mission: of lakes and streams, and contributes to the damage caused to
A Cleaner and Safer Environment trees at high elevations, and many of our sensitive forest soils.

Walker ® has been actively working to reduce the following Many scientific studies have identified a relationship between
harmful gases to a minimum: elevated levels of fine oxide particles (like NOx), and
• Carbon monoxide (CO) increased illnesses, and premature death from heart and lung
• Unburnt Hydro Carbons (HC) disorders, such us asthma and bronchitis.
• Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
• Particulate matter (PM) Walker ® solution:
Millions of 3-way catalytic converters have been delivered
Diesel Emissions and Particulate Matter (PM) by Walker ® in the Original Equipment and Aftermarket helping
In diesel emissions, the most carcinogenic compound is to decrease the NOx levels in petrol cars. For diesel cars,
3-nitrobentrazone, that is directly linked to a high increase a new line of products, like SCR and NOx trap catalytic
in lung cancer in congested cities.(1) converters have been developed in order to decrease those
harmful gases to the minimum.
Recent studies demonstrate that diesel emissions produce
changes in heart activity, and the relationship between The Acoustic Contamination
arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and the inhalation of solid Acoustic contamination is provoked by human activities,
particulate matter (smaller than 2.5 microns).(2) including traffic. High noise levels produce negative effects on
auditory, physical and mental health. Noise level above 50 dB
Walker ® solution: is harmful. (3)
Walker ® has been working for years with the design of
more efficient oxidizing catalytic converters and diesel Walker ® solution:
particulate filters (DPF) obtaining over 98 % efficiency in By using Walker ® homologated exhaust systems, users can
eliminating dangerous particulate matter. ensure that their vehicle will have controlled noise levels,
and thus contribute to a quieter and healthier environment.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Unburnt
Hydrocarbons (HC)
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is one of the most toxic substances we
can come into contact with in our daily life. You cannot smell it,
see it or taste it, but it could be in the air now. CO is captured by
the haemoglobin of the blood in our lungs preventing its function
of transporting oxygen. If we breathe CO in concentrations of
only 0.3 % during a period of 30 minutes it can cause death due
to the lack of oxygen in our cells. CO is formed due to a rich air
to fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.
Unburnt Hydrocarbons (HC) emissions are those fuel particles
which remain without burning in exhaust gases. These
emissions are one of the main components of smog present in
big cities. It is very important to realise that these unburnt fuel
pollutants are proven to be dangerous to human health, and
even highly carcinogenic.

Walker ® solution:
(1) Source: National Institute of Public Health of Tokyo
The new and more effective oxidizing catalytic converters
(2) Source: New England Medical Journal
transform the harmful CO and HC, that remain after the (3) Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
combustion process in the cylinders, into CO2 and water.


Why a homologated

exhaust system?
(silencer & catalytic converter)

10 good REASONS!
1. the backpressure and noise levels equal those of the Original Equipment.

2. the engine will always maintain its performance level.

3. Its consumption level will be equivalent to one equipped with an original system.

4. T he backpressure is the right one for optimum performance of the engine

5. A
 wrong backpressure produces a leakage of unburnt hydrocarbons and
oxygen causing small fusion areas in the catalytic converter’s monolith surface
and damaging it.

6. M
 aintaining it this way melts the monolith and produces knocking noise
under the vehicle.

7. A
 wrong backpressure also causes loss of petrol and oxygen in each intake
stroke, and consequently loss of power of the vehicle.

8. A
 wrong backpressure produces a leakage of unburnt hydrocarbons caused
by a wrong backpressure that means that part of the emitted gases are
not transformed and remain harmful for the environment and human health.

9. N
 on homologated exhaust systems cause premature failure and damage the expensive
and sophisticated exhaust systems (DPF, SCR, slip catalytic converters, NOx sensors,
wideband lambda sensors, etc...) of newer vehicles.

10. F inally, non-homologated exhaust systems are prohibited and illegal in the European
Community and the installation of them is penalized by the local authorities.
€ 12. 95   A6174 GB

Reasons to Choose
Walker ®

Diagnostic Tools Preserving your Health

Original Equipment Manufacturer Complete Product Offering

Advanced Technology for

Original Equipment and Aftermarket Homologated Parts

Full Training Package Paper, Cd-Rom, Online Catalogues

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