Originally Posted By: Russ
I'm not too familiar with the Jet Boil, but one reason I'm big on titanium is because it has a melting point over 3000F.
Quote:
...the flux ring on the titanium version of the JetBoil Sol is aluminum...
If the Titanium JetBoil Sol has aluminum where it should be titanium or stainless steel there is definitely a problem. Should the flux ring be something other than aluminum?
Russ,

That's a more complex question than you may realize. I may not be able to do it justice, but here goes:

Aluminum conducts heat fairly well. Titanium does not. If they attached a titanium heat exchanger to the bottom of the pot, it wouldn't conduct all that much heat to the bottom of the pot.

So, in order to conduct heat to the bottom of the pot, they attach an aluminum heat exchanger to the bottom of the titanium pot. Hmm. Two different metals. Two different rates of expansion. Every time the pot is heated, the two different metals will be pulling at one another.

Now say a weld fails or somehow pulls apart. The aluminum heat exchanger, the one that's absorbing all that heat, is now separated from the pot. Where does all that heat go? Nowhere. In other words, all that heat has got nowhere to go and that thin aluminum heat exchanger is going to get hot, really hot. Hot enough apparently to melt -- more than one thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

So you've got this very hot metal, some of which is melting, underneath the pot and surrounded by the bracket that connects the burner to the pot. That's a lot of heat confined to a fairly small space. Some of that heat is radiated back to the canister. As the canister heats, the pressure inside the canister increases, as the pressure increases, the flame increases. As the flame increases, the temperature under the pot increases, and yet more heat is funneled back to the canister of gas. What you've got (I think; admittedly this is somewhat speculative) is a runaway feedback loop. One would hope that the regulator valve would compensate some for the pressure increase, but judging by what has happened, the pressure becomes so great that the regulator valve does not impede the pressure and the runaway feedback loop continues.

So, should they change the metal? Probably not. Cooper, brass, and silver are also good heat conductors, but they have other issues like expense and weight that make them less desirable. I would think that the remedy might be three fold:
  • Increase the gauge of the aluminum fins of the heat exchanger
  • Improve the welding of the fins to the pot
  • Adjust the regulator valve to tone things down a bit

Can you see the problem here? The titanium version of the JetBoil Sol is only 2 ounces lighter than the aluminum version. That's not a lot of "room" to work with. If JetBoil improves the fins by making them thicker, they'll erode some of the weight savings of the Ti version of the product. Right now you're paying $30 to save two ounces. Let's say they improve the heat exchanger and welds. Now the weight savings is say only 1.25 ounces. Are you really going to pay $30 more for an ounce and a quarter? I'm sure some people will, but it might hurt their sales.

HJ
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