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To assist the designer in making the choice, it is also useful to list in an overall sense the advantages and disadvantages of the most important design choices one has (Krishna Prasad, 1983). This is done in the next three tables. Table 1 presents the choice of material one has for building a stove.

The table shows the three broad classes of material one can use for building a stove.

Table 1: The choice of construction material of a stove
  Advantages Disadvantages
(i) Available more abundantly Nonuniform in quality; will require beneficiation
(ii) Fabrication does not need sophisticated machinery Quality control difficult
(iii) runs cool; stable on the ground; safe in operation Heavy; not portable; to be built in situ; not amenable to be marketed through conventional channels; uncertain life expectancy
(i) Availability similar to clay Material requirement more stringent
(ii) Quality control better than with clay Special kilns required
(iii) Lighter; portable; can be marketed more easily Runs hotter than clay; high risks of shattering; uncertain life expectancy
(i) Available according to designer's wishes Not as easily accessible as clay
(ii) Excellent quality control possibilities Sophisticated machinery for fabrication dependent on the material (thick sheet steel requires special welding and bending equipment
(iii) Light; portable; excellent marketability Runs hot; special features for stability required

Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. There appears to be no clear winner as it were. Thus the solution to this impasse is to adopt one of the following options which minimize the disadvantages stated in the table.

Clay with metal reinforcements.
Clay with ceramic inner liner.
Metal with inner clay/ceramic inner liner.

Needless to say most of these not only increase the complexity of production but by the same token cost more.