Particulate Filters

Introduction of Particulate Filters

Particulate filters, which are also called diesel particulate filters (DPF), are the specially designed filtering parts for diesel engines as the exhaust aftertreatment devices. 

They are usually designed with the base of ceramic material, which is formed into a honeycomb structure, and are responsible for removing diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine. 

Diesel particulate filters can be designed as single-used or cleaning the diesel particulates by burning them out.

The particulate filters designed as single-used should be replaced once they are full of accumulated ashes. Some of this design would allow the users cleaning the filters for next-time usage while some of the forms would suggest the users just simply replace a new one.

On the other hand, the design of burning-out functions would help to burn out these ashes that can allow the diesel particulate filters being used again. They are designed either positively burning out the ashes by heating the filter to the burning point of the particulates, or passively burn out the ashes by using a catalyst.

These two methods can be realized by engine programming to run in a manner that elevates exhaust temperature and extra fuel injector in the exhaust stream. The fuel injector would provide fuel to react with a catalyst element and burn out the accumulated soot in the diesel particulate filter.

If the accumulated particulates on the particulate filters are not cleaned out regularly, the exhaust of the vehicles using diesel fuels would release the black smoke that was commonly seen on the road.

Features of Particulate Filters

Features of particulate filters can be various depending on different manufacturers since they would have their own designs and enhancing points. 

However, to reach the lowest level for entering the market, the features below are at least required:

Fine Filtration
This is the basic function a qualified filter should have.

​● Low Cost
This is important to the manufacturers since everyone would like to make high quality products with low cost. Therefore, the raw materials and structure design would be important to make the cost lower.

​● Mass Production Suitability
Besides low cost, high quantity is also important that suppliers should keep the balance of supply and demand to ensure their products can stay on the market.

​● Product Durability
Product durability would be an attractive point for consumers that products with long lifespan would be easier to be purchased.

​● Reasons of Using Particulate Filters
Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines are easy to produce particulates while working because of the incomplete combustion. Once the diesel combusts incompletely, the fuel and the air go into the engine chamber would mix together and produce diesel particulates.

Besides incomplete combustion, the second possible factor of producing diesel particulates is the quality of the fuel, especially the percentage of the sulphur inside the diesel. The higher the sulphur percentage is, the more possible the diesel particulates would be produced.

The third possible reason that the diesel particulates are formed is the injection pressure of diesel.

No matter what ways the diesel particulates are formed, they are not good things either to the engine or the environment. To solve this problem, the application of particulate filters is necessary for diesel engines.

Reasons of Particulate Filters Fail

Sometimes the diesel particulate filters would fail. It seems unreasonable, however, it could be caused by few possible reasons. 

Below are the three main reasons which might cause the failure of particulate filters:

​● False Maintenance Methods
Diesel particulate filters need to be clean regularly just like other kinds of filters. 

In common situations, when the accumulated ashes reach the maximum that the filter can bear, there would be notifications such as lightening the indicated lights to notify the users to clean the filter.

​● Filter Blockage
This is the outcome of not cleaning the diesel particulate filters or using the wrong type of fuel. 

While encountering this situation, the filters would need to be cleaned with special chemicals. If it is impossible to clean, replacing a new one would be an ideal choice.

​● False Fuel Using
This is also the reason for the filter blockage. Also, the false or even low quality fuel would damage the diesel particulate filter, or even the engine because the nature of the ashes might be different and might cause difficulties to automatically eliminate by the filter.

When some conditions occur to the diesel particulate filters, the indicated light on the dashboard would be lightened and notify the users to solve this problem.

Usually, it would not be too hard to deal with this problem that the users can choose to clean the filters out or simply replace with a new one.

Maintenance for Particulate Filters

As a member of the filter family, the most efficient way to maintain and take care of the diesel particulate filters is regular cleaning. Otherwise, the filter would lose its function and, in the end, still releases harmful black smoke into the air.

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