Decades of research had gone into the development of metal substrates as a basic component of catalytic converters long before ceramic catalysts were presented as a solution. In 1929 Joseph Christie Whitney Frazer from Baltimore, USA, recognised the advantages of metal and patented his designs in the same year.
Persuaded by the enormous benefits of metal catalysts, many car makers supported the development of steel foils for substrates over several decades. All attempts failed at the point of implementation until a group of engineers at Interatom, a Siemens subsidiary, with specialist knowledge of joining high-strength materials finally met with success.
Metal (shown on the left) and ceramics dominate the market for basic catalyst components (monoliths). However, Metalit® catalysts offer many advantages, such as lower heat capacity and lower exhaust backpressure, and are up to 30 per cent more efficient under similar parameters thanks to turbulence-generating profiles.