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Catalytic Combustors - Ceramic vs Metal

Ceramic combustors comprise the largest share of catalysts in the wood burning stove market. However, combustors using a metal substrate are becoming more popular with wood stove owners.

Metal substrate catalytic combustors provide a lower resistance to air flow and require less heat to warm up to operating temperature. The corrugated metal allows chimney smoke to flow through almost 90% of the total front area while still providing more surface area than a ceramic combustor.

Another advantage of a metal substrate is the ability to manufacture the combustor cells with significantly thinner walls allowing more surface area per inch and thus converting more of the smoke into less harmful emissions.

Many stove owners are also switching to metal stove combustors since the metal substrate will never crumble like many ceramics if subjected to temperature fluctuations.  Important: even though a metal combustor does not "crumble" it is still possible to damage a metal combustor with direct flame impingement (destroying the active plating), or over firing the stove which can lead to warping of the catalyst substrate or frame. 

  • Metal reaches operating temperature faster
  • Metal has more surface area for less emissions and more heat
  • Metal does not crumble
  • Overall service life is the same