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Release: January 18, 1996

NGK SUCCEEDED TO THIN THE WALLS OF ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS FOR AUTOMOTIVE EXHAUST GAS PURIFICATION

NGK Insulators, Ltd. (President: Masaharu Shibata, Head Office: Nagoya) succeeded to develop the technique to thin the walls of current essential components for automotive exhaust gas purification, the brand name of HONEYCERAM. NGK's newly developed technique made it possible to thin the walls of HONEYCERAM from 150 micron (approx. 0.15mm) to 100 micron (approx. 0.10mm), which is the World's thinnest for ceramic honeycomb. NGK started mass production of its new HONEYCERAM® with 100 micron walls as 4 mil / 400 cell model. This development was initially motivated by TOYOTA Motor, Co. which had been seeking the essential components for automotive exhaust gas purification with thinner walls to apply its automobiles. The new model of TOYOTA CALDINA and CORONA, appeared on the market in this month, are the first ones in which 4 mil / 400 cell model HONEYCERAM® were installed.

To thin the walls of HONEYCERAM® has two advantages. One is the increase of engine output. The resistance of air permeability inside honeycomb is reduced by 30%, which results in increase of engine output. The other is the enlargement of capacity to purify the exhaust gas. The weight of HONEYCERAM® is lighten by 30%; therefore, it can be heated more easily and the catalyst can activate sooner than before. In result, the capacity to purify the exhaust gas is enlarged.

In the development of 4 mil / 400 cell model, the lowering of honeycomb's structural strength, which was caused by thinning the walls and also by deformation in the forming process, was a serious problem to be concurred. However, NGK succeeded to maintain the same strength as before by the development of stronger material which is made of the denser ceramic.

Under the situation that the people have been more interested in the preservation of the environment, the U.S. will enforce the more strict regulations regarding the automotive exhaust gas in two years, as well as Europe in 2000. In the development of automobiles qualified for such regulations, NGK's new developed technology to thin the walls is highly appreciated as one of the leading technique among the automobile manufacturers in Japan, the U.S. and Europe.


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