Can you use more titanium in your stoves to reduce weight?

All stove designs are a compromise between safety, performance, cost, durability and weight. All KOVEA stoves have safety as the primary design objective. The focus on safety this drives choice of materials for critical components.

Some users have asked if it is possible to use more titanium in the design of KOVEA stoves to make them lighter.

There are two main reasons not to use titanium for the legs of the KOVEA Spider. The first reason is that it is expensive to replicate the exact design of the existing stainless steel legs with titanium ones. The second reason is that we could use less expensive titanium sheet material. But this would require redesigning the legs and burner housing and would require additional testing and certification. This would all add substantially to cost to the stove.

Bimatalic Corrosion Risk with Titanium

Great care has to be taken when selecting different metals in order to avoid bimetalic (galvanic) corrosion risk. This occurs when metals like aluminium and stainless steel, are joined together. When such pairs of metals are used next to each other, electrons flow between the two and corrosion occurs in the softer metal. Corrosion of this type accelerates when a stove heats up, and in damp conditions. So although titanium is an extremely light, strong and non-reactive material, it can cause some other metals to corrode. This limits its usage.

Titanium as a Heat Sink

Stoves heat up during usage. But they are designed so that the heating process does not run away and damage the stove itself. Metals are chosen to avoid this runaway heating by dissipating the heat. Compared to other metals such as aluminium, titanium is a poor heat sink. If aluminium is added to the stove design to make up for the poor thermal conductivity of titanium, then a bimetalic corrosion risk will emerge.

It is clear that there is demand for a high-end, very light weight remote canister stove. The KOVEA design team is looking ways to achieve this without making a stove which is unsafe, subject to corrosion or too expensive.