How We Got Started

Surface Igniter was incorporated in 1997 after Graphite Sales Inc. bought the silicon carbide , hot surface igniter business from The Carborundum Company. The iconic, double helix igniter was developed by The Carborundum Company in the late 1960's, and was the first silicon carbide gas igniter in the industry.


Orginally introduced as the ignition source foe the gas clothes dryers in the 70's, the novel ignition method was rapidly adopted throughout the gas industry. Hot surface ignition is still the most reliable and cost effective method for gas ignition after more then 40 years after is introduction


From 1987 until 2002 the fabrication of the silicon carbide igniter element and its assembly into more than 100 different  configurations was done at Surface Igniter's plant located in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.


In 2003 the assembly operations were relocated to Surface Igniter's Sister Company, Carbide Hi-Temp Materials (Shuzou) Inc, which was established in Jiangsu Province , People's Republic of China. At the same time, a consolidation warehouse was opened in Chagrin Falls, Ohio; from which most of the finished product was shipped to over 100 customers in North America and Europe.


in 2013 Surface Igniter announced it was moving its assembly production plant and distribution center to Maryville, Tennessee. 


In 2014 Surface Igniter completed its move to Maryville, Tennessee, along with an acquisition of spark electrode  and flame rod manufacture. The new company CHT Ningbo has helped Surface Igniter round out its offering to the OEM market.