Why Upgrade Cast Iron To Stainless Steel For Pipe Burners?

Pipe burners are a length of tube or pipe with precision holes drilled into it to allow the release of gas mixtures passing through the pipe. The escaping gas is set on fire so as to provide a source of heat for many domestic and industrial purposes. Since this type of heating device utilizes pretty much the same principles for both domestic and industrial use, let’s use domestic applications to comment on the above question.

To Rust & Corrode; Or To Be Unaffected By Environment?

Whether of pipe or ring burner type; anyone who has used a gas stove that is a few years old is bound to have noticed the state of the cast iron burners (the rings or pipes where the flames come out). They often appear rusty, flaky and impossible to clean and restore back to their brand new appearance. Sometimes, the holes have become enlarged through corrosion or reduced in size by being blocked by flakes of metal – either way; you no longer get the correct flame needed for efficient cooking and you have to go out and buy new burners.

The reason behind this is oxidization of the cast iron – i.e. it rusts. Chemicals in the fuel gas plus spillage and splatter from the items being cooked can also degrade the cast iron burners; especially as they spend time at high temperature.

Stainless steel is still mainly iron; but, it has been modified into an alloy that is more or less rust and corrosion proof. There are many different grades of stainless steel but iron alloyed with chrome and nickel are the most common – different grades offer different levels of protection against corrosion. Additionally, stainless steels have higher temperature resistance than cast iron with some grades perfectly usable at extremely high temperatures.

Stainless Steels Cost More Than Cast Iron

For basic purchase price, Stainless Steel Pipe Burners cost considerably more than cast iron ones; but, if you are having to replace cast iron burners at frequent intervals, that extra cost could well be paid back over a short period due to the much longer life expectancy of Stainless Steel Pipe Burners. Many heated applications in such as oil refineries and petrochemical plants operate under such severe conditions that only stainless steel can be used; but there are many domestic and light industrial applications where cast iron could be considered but stainless would be a better choice – these include:-

  • Food processing and pharmaceutical industries where hygiene and regular sterilization of equipment is required – especially if subject to FDA regulations.
  • BBQ grill burners which are often exposed to outdoor weather.
  • Imitation gas fired fireplace burners.

To name but a few heat application areas that can benefit by using Stainless Steel pipe Burners.


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