Patten Industries Power Systems On-Highway Division is helping customers clear the air with the recent acquisition of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning machine. The DPF cleaning machine, located in Elmhurst, Ill., is designed to thoroughly clean most standard diesel particulate filters of ash and excess soot to maintain peak engine performance and fuel mileage, as well as ensure the cleanest exhaust gets released into the air.
According to Marie A. Misasi, On-Highway product manager, DPFs have been required on On-Highway diesel engines since 2007 as a means of removing diesel particulate matter (DPM), or soot, from the vehicle exhaust. The purchase of the DPF cleaning machine helps Patten prepare for the Tier IVa off-road equipment that will be arriving with DPFs in 2011.
Generally, the filters remove roughly 85 percent of the soot found in diesel emissions, but can attain 100 percent soot removal efficiencies, depending on the filter and related equipment. By forcing the diesel exhaust through a ceramic wall with micro pores it allows exhaust gases and vapors to pass while trapping DPM particles. Although most systems have a combustion process that periodically burns off the soot, the inorganic ash that remains does not combust and collects over time until it is physically removed.
“Our new DPF cleaning machine allows us to clean, inspect and test the filter at every step of the cleaning process to remove ash, as well as unburned soot, and ensure that it continues to do its job,” Misasi said, noting that the department can handle filters from all engine and truck brands. “Using a proven thermal cleaning process, the machine provides the best results available without damaging the ceramic substrate or packing materials. This machine also adheres to all filter manufacturer specifications for cleaning.”
Although cleaning frequency depends on vehicle mileage and operating conditions, most DPF manufacturers require a minimum of annual cleaning. However, cleaning may be required more often if the engine has had a bad injector, heavy oil consumption or insufficient exhaust temperatures for combustion.
“Once the filter has been cleaned, Patten takes care of material disposal as required by OSHA and EPA standards,” Misasi added, noting that the cleaning process takes approximately two hours, plus the time required for removal and installation of the DPF. “Best of all, the cleaning process can be done in conjunction with other maintenance and repairs at Patten service facilities, eliminating the need to send the filter to an off-site facility. In hours technicians can remove the filter, place it in the machine for cleaning and reinstall it on the engine, allowing customers to put an environmentally friendly machine back on the job.”
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