|My pot, listing to the left, after one of my pot supports deformed.|
|A BRS-3000T with deformed pot supports.|
Photo courtesy of Miguel C.
Not sure how it happened. I was just cooking rice and a cup of water. I was using the msr [Titan] kettle and two of the stands bent a lil.
The stove was on medium low cooked for like 15 [minutes]. It got super red. There was no winds but it was cold. It happened at night.
|Another view of a BRS-3000T with deformed pot supports.|
Photo courtesy of Miguel C.
Some people have criticized my use of a 1300 ml pot and 3 cups of water as "heavy." While maybe someone could misconstrue 3 cups of water as "heavy," an MSR Titan Kettle with just one cup of water cannot.
|Miguel's MSR Titan Kettle which contained only 1 cup of water and some rice.|
So, What the Heck is Happening?
Well, for one, the titanium here is not melting. Titanium melts at about 3000 Fahrenheit (about 1700 Celsius). The flame temperature in air of a butane-propane mix (i.e. canister gas) is about 3500 Fahrenheit/1970 Celsius, but you'd have to really focus the flame, as in a blow torch or similar, in order to get the metal that hot, and air would tend to conduct away the heat.
OK, so it's not melting. So what is happening? Well, metals get soft long before they melt. Think of a blacksmith shoeing a horse. He doesn't melt steel, pour it into a mold, and make a custom shoe. No, he typically already has the shoe made. He just heats it and then pounds on it until it's the right shape. He heats it because the metal gets softer, and then it's easier to work with the metal.
The same thing is true with titanium. Long before it melts, Titanium will become more malleable. Metals are assigned a rating called a "service" rating. This a temperature above which the metal becomes unreliable. The maximum service rating for titanium is 1100 Fahrenheit/600 Celsius, and that's for a really high grade alloy. The alloy used in a backpacking stove has a rating more likely around 750 Fahrenheit/400 Celsius. Our flame temperature is 3500 Fahrenheit/1700 Celsius, more than four times the service rating of the metal of our stove.
Titanium is a poor conductor of heat. If the heat can't be conducted away, and the small, thin pot supports of the BRS-3000T aren't going to conduct a lot of heat, the temperature can climb above the maximum service rating, and "creep deformation" can occur. Creep deformation isn't a sudden snap or anything like that. It's a gradual softening of the metal. The metal slowly droops.
In the case of Miguel's stove, he had it on for a fairly long time (15 minutes) and it was a still night. With no air currents to whisk away the heat, the temperature of the metal climbed above the maximum service rating, and... well, you can just look at the photos, above.
The Good News
Miguel reports that he just bent the pot supports back after the stove cooled and went on his way. He continues to use the stove. Now, how many times can you do this before the supports break? I don't know, but I wouldn't push it. You want to avoid getting the supports too hot.
I too just took my fingers and bent it back. The BRS-3000T isn't exactly a beefy stove. It's pretty easy to bend the thin little pot supports.
The Bad News
The bad news here is that Miguel's failure happened in still air (or a breeze so light as to be undetectable). My failure occurred when the wind focused the flame on my pot support. I was thinking that all one had to do was protect the stove from wind. I still think it is important, vital actually, to protect the stove from wind, but one also has to worry about excessive heat build up in the right conditions. It's a bit of a wild card here, but in general shorter burn times should be OK.
Interesting stuff. More will be revealed.