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During the 20th century, concerns about corrosion in the components of furnaces and vent systems limited the upper efficiency level for safe practice. The initial entry into the condensing regime resulted in many setbacks and financially ruined businesses. More than 50 years after the onset of corrosion problems, a remedy was found. Materials research played a key role in reducing the corrosion problem. Market forces, such as fuel price variations, first reduced and then accelerated the R&D that was needed to overcome the corrosion problem. A brief, selected history is provided on the key players, dates, and events of this R&D quest. But, have the R&D costs and ensuing benefits paid off for the U.S. consumer?


Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 42, no. 4, April 2000