Eco-burner has developed unique LPG-powered culinary stove technology over a number of years. Currently the combustion technology used in the product is in its third generation and is embodied as a flameless catalytic radiant burner. The stove is designed as a direct replacement for culinary gels and wicks used for food warming applications around the world. The benefit to end users is improved safety, waste reduction, and in many cases cost reduction.
Eco-burner contacted CREST after observing early mortality catalytic burner failures on stoves deployed in the field. Eco-burner was awarded a first Innovation Voucher with the support of CREST to help solve the issue. The main goal of the project was to improve the quality of the high temperature LPG burners by studying the life-limiting metallurgical failure mechanisms.
CREST experts combined field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis to visualise prepared cross-sections of Eco-burner products. After only few weeks’ first results and solutions were submitted to the company. In agreement with Eco-burner, further study was carried out to better understand the mechanisms of failure observed.
The two steps study gave the company greater insight into the underlying micromechanisms of burner failure and helped uncover an unauthorised material change by a supplier which was found to influence burner durability.
Tony Owens, Chief Technology Officer at Eco-burner mentioned that the benefit of the assignment to Eco-burner included a better understanding of the various micromechanisms of oxidative failure in surface combustion applications allowing a better design of the burners.
He also mentioned that he valued the ability to engage directly with CREST team members as engineering peers, to pool knowledge in a confidential environment, and to work transparently and collaboratively.