Soapstone is an ancient natural product extracted from soapstone quarries. The soapstone Altech uses for its stoves is quarried in Brazil. Brazilian soapstone is a very soft, unique type of stone, consisting of (mineral) talc, magnesite and chlorite.
The talc is what makes the soapstone so delightfully soft and relatively easy to process. Combined with magnesite, this makes the soapstone highly suitable for use in stoves. The magnesite facilitates rapid heat absorption and effective heat conduction, and offers excellent fire resistance. Compared to other stone types, soapstone contains a higher level of magnesite, which makes it more suitable for fire-related applications.
Even though soapstone only contains a small amount of chlorite, this mineral contributes to the lovely structure and the colour nuances on the surface of the soapstone. As shown above, the composition of soapstone creates unique properties, making this material highly suitable for use in stoves.
The soapstone stoves by Altech
Brazilian soapstone forms the base for the Altech stoves. Both the interior and exterior of the wood and pellet stoves alike are primarily made of soapstone combined with cast iron or steel, as is the case for the Altech Max. The cast-iron frame adds solidity to the Altech stoves without detracting from the appearance and functionality of the soapstone.
The mass of soapstone used ensures heat accumulation, so the soapstone stove will continue to release heat even after the fire has been extinguished. After all: the more soapstone, the larger the mass available for storing heat, and the longer the stove can continue releasing heat.
Soapstone absorbs heat very rapidly: up to two to two-and-a-half times faster than other types of natural stone. Afterwards, it gradually releases this heat into its surroundings for a prolonged period of time. The most common soapstone colour is the grey of natural soapstone. All Altech stoves are also available in (uniform) black (sprayed).