Release: September 2, 2003
NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (NGK; President: Shun Matsushita, Head Office: Nagoya, Japan) announced that Hino Motors Ltd. (Hino; President: Tadaaki Jagawa, Head Office: Tokyo, Japan) has selected NGK's diesel particulate filter (DPF) for use in its advanced Diesel Particulate active Reduction (DPR) System. The product has been installed in "Dutro", Hino's small-size truck, which has been available for distribution since August 20, 2003. This is the first employment of NGK's DPF for commercial-produced vehicles internationally and domestically.
The DPF is a component that almost completely eliminates particulate matter (PM) contained in exhaust gas from diesel engines. In Japan, diesel emission regulations will become significantly more stringent with the introduction of new long-term regulations expected to take effect in 2005, following sooner short-term regulations which are to be enforced in October 2003. Specifically, PM emission control is supposed to be tightened substantially. The needs for DPFs are expected to grow in order to achieve compliance with these new long-term regulations. To respond to these regulations, NGK has committed to the development of various DPFs, utilizing proprietary ceramics technology which has been accumulated over many years. Based on our cordierite DPF which has a low coefficient of thermal expansion and superior thermal shock resistance, we have made such improvements, as optimizing the porosity and pore size of porous ceramics, aimed at the improvement of the PM filtration efficiency and for the prevention of the dropping fuel economy caused by the loss of discharge pressure accompanying DPF installation.
The DPF is used as a porous filter for the DPR Cleaner used in the advanced DPR system developed by Hino. It is installed in a two-ton-class small-size truck, "Dutro", which Hino launched for sale on August 20, and subsequently, is supposed to be installed in a medium-size truck. Combined with the common-rail electronic fuel injection system and high-performance catalyst, the DPF achieved a PM filtration efficiency of 95%. Moreover, it is capable of catching ultrafine particles of 10 - 100 nm (1nm=1/1 billion meter) which were difficult to catch before, thus achieving a PM filtration efficiency of nearly 100%. In addition, the DPF automatically combusts the accumulated PM when its amount exceeds the set point, therefore constantly maintains high purification performance. The new truck reduces PM emissions below the 85% mark of the new short-term regulations. It is the first vehicle certified as "Four Stars," the highest award of the Ultra-low PM Emission Diesel-Powered Vehicle Certification System, by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. It also meets the PM emission standards of the new long-term regulations.
NGK will establish a system that enables a sufficient supply of DPFs for Dutro. Also, the Company will reinforce production facilities at its Head Office in Nagoya in order to respond to the increase in demand, as it is expected that other automakers will employ NGK's DPFs in addition to the new trucks that Hino are planning to distribute in the future. NGK has many years' experience in HONEYCERAM, a cordierite-made substrate for catalytic converters for the purification of exhaust in gasoline-powered vehicles, which has now reached over 500 million units accumulated production. We utilize our experience in the development of DPFs in close cooperation with automakers and catalyst manufacturers to achieve technological differentiation and the expansion of business.