• monolithic catalyst;
  • catalyst preparation;
  • factor analysis;
  • mechanical stability;
  • washcoat adhesion;
  • washcoat cohesion

Alumina-washcoated cordierite monoliths are prepared to investigate the effects of the preparation process factors on the mechanical stability of monolithic catalysts. It is shown that the agent for pretreating substrates, properties of the washcoating solution (solid content, additive, and amount of additive), and washcoating times all have great effects on the washcoat loading and on the washcoat adhesion and cohesion. There is a great possibility of improving the mechanical stability through the optimization of these factors. If multiple washcoating is performed, the two-time washcoating after calcination is recommended in this case. It is also pointed out that the minor variation of the washcoat loading with monolithic mini-specimen increases the scatter of the washcoat adhesion and cohesion, resulting from fatigue failure of active material. Furthermore, the previously proposed mechanical failure mechanism is confirmed to be an effective tool to factors analysis of the mechanical stability of cordierite monolithic catalysts. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 2765–2773, 2014