MK Metallfolien GmbH to Produce Next-Generation Catalytic Converter Materials

In 1995–98, Krupp VDM, Emitec GmbH—the world’s largest manufacturer of metal catalytic converters—the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Materials Research, and Wuppertal University discovered a new material – Aluchrom YHf – whose cousin, Aluchrom 7Al YHf, promises to meet the stringent new air pollution standards that will soon be imposed on automobiles in the United States and Europe. Patented by Krupp VDM, the alloy contains chromium, iron, and rare earth elements with as much as 7 percent aluminum by weight. The composition can heat up faster than any other material used in catalytic converters because of its relatively high thermal resistivity and its ability to be rolled to as thin as 0.001 inch (0.025 mm) without jeopardizing the material’s operating life. Moreover, the extreme thinness maximizes surface area, and thus catalytic efficiency, without increasing the weight or volume of the unit or its resistance to air flow. Variations on this alloy are being produced by others, but Aluchrom apparently has the greatest life.