Acetylene is one of the popular industrial gases used across the world. The gas offers several advantages which has contributed to its widespread use across various industries. Although human-friendly, the gas also possesses several hazardous properties, which may lead to accidents, if not properly addressed at the initial level. Thus, safety is of paramount importance in acetylene manufacturing plants. Nowadays, acetylene plant owners rely on various devices that are designed to identify the increasing levels of acetylene, and take appropriate measures to avoid severe consequences.
There are several acetylene gas monitoring systems in the market that are specially designed for acetylene plants. Rexarc’s acetylene atmosphere gas monitoring system is one such reliable device that is designed to ensure gas detection in acetylene plants. Are you intrigued to know about the functioning of this device? Before discussing the functioning of this equipment, and its benefits, it is important to know the benefits of acetylene gas, its special properties, and hazards. Read this post to know more.
Properties of Acetylene Gas at Glance
The following are typical properties of acetylene gas.
- Acetylene is a non-toxic, colorless, and odorless gas. However, commercial grades contain impurities that lend a garlic-like odor to the gas.
- Commercially manufactured through a reaction of water and calcium carbide, the moisture content of this industrial gas is less. It is also a by-product of ethylene production.
- The ignition temperature of the gas is 325 °C, and it has a flammability range of 2.5%–81% of volume. (This is a range of concentration of vapor or a gas that will explode or burn when an ignition source is introduced).
- The specific gravity of acetylene is 0.9 that makes it lighter than air (specific gravity of air is 1).
- Acetylene gas is dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF) or acetone, and supplied in special maroon-colored cylinders. These cylinders have left-handed connections.
Benefits of Acetylene Gas
The following benefits of this gas have contributed to its popularity as the most efficient fuel gas.
- The low moisture content of the gas makes it perfect for various industrial processes that demand critical heating.
- It is one of the hottest fuel gases, which produce a flame temperature of about 3150°C when combined with oxygen.
- The oxygen-acetylene flame produces localized heat, which is widely utilized for heating applications such as these:
- Flame heating
- Flame hardening
- Flame gouging
- Flame cleaning
- Thermal spraying
- Flame straightening
- Profile cutting
- Wood ageing
- Branding wooden pallets
- Carbon coating
- The oxy-acetylene combination is also used for cutting applications, because it provides the fastest piercing and preheating times than any other oxygen-fuel combination. Also, this combination ensures improved cutting quality, faster-cutting speed and cut initiation time. Along with these properties, this combination also helps reduce the use of oxygen.
- The gas also finds application in glass and materials processing industries, which often used it for carbon coating. This is because acetylene helps create a lubrication between the material surfaces.
- This gas is widely preferred for underground working also, as it is lighter than air.
- Acetylene gas is the only fuel gas that is used for welding various types of stainless steels.
Know About the Hazards of Acetylene Gas
As discussed, acetylene gas offers several benefits, which makes it one of the most popular industrial gases. However, the following hazards of the gas also make it least safe and dangerous.
- The gas may explode, if it is compressed, liquefied, mixed with air or heated.
- Acetylene becomes unstable above the pressure of 25 psi, which makes it explosive, too.
- The method of acetylene production, its storage, charging, or use may be dangerous, if not handled properly. This is why cylinder production and charging plants are regulated by standards, rules, and codes.
Addressing the dangers of the gas, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 51A requires acetylene charging facilities to use optical flame detection that detects fire faster than any other heat detectors or smoke detectors. The specified alarm levels of this system should be 25% LEL and 50% LEL. Also, it mandates the first alarm to be audible, visible, and activate the ventilation. The gas generation system should shut down at the highest alarm.
Features of Acetylene Detection System provided by Rexarc
The Acetylene Detection System by Rexarc monitors the acetylene levels in the cylinder charging room. This system helps in the following ways:
- The monitor displays a SAFE light status in a normal condition indicating the monitor is on.
- If there is a high level of acetylene present in the room, an alarm will sound. The ALARM Light will be turned on subsequently.
- Equipped with an advanced Honeywell diagnostics, the PLC of the system issues a warning at 25% of LEL. The plant is shut down when it reaches up to 50% LEL.
The Acetylene Detection System by Rexarc is easy to install, commission, operate and maintain, which makes it one of the popular gas monitoring devices in the industry. For more information, you can always approach the team at Rexarc, who will help you understand how this system becomes a safety asset to any acetylene charging facility.