Acetylene is today considered one of the most popular industrial gases, which is distributed through manufacturing plants in pipelines and manifolds. Along with acetylene, oxygen and other inert gases are also used in various industrial applications. These pipelines and manifolds are fitted with various components to ensure the proper distribution of gas. The type of material to use is one of the most important considerations of pipelines or manifolds, which ensure safe gas delivery to the end user. Owing to the typical characteristics of acetylene, oxygen, and inert gases, it is important to keep several things in mind when choosing the material for piping and pipelines, and especially if laying the pipelines underground. This post discusses these factors in detail.
Key Considerations for Acetylene Pipeline and Piping Systems
The following are important factors that you need to keep in mind when deciding on the material and size of the acetylene pipeline and piping system.
- Acetylene gas is one of the most flammable gas, and it burns in the presence of air or oxygen across a broad range of concentration from 2.5% to 81% by volume. The presence of ignition source or any spark near the acetylene piping will lead to decomposition of acetylene if there is a leak, thereby causing potentially dangerous consequences.
- The size of the acetylene piping system has a key role to play in its delivery of acetylene. The working pressure of the pipeline and the size of the pipe all depend on the amount of cubic feet needed at the delivery points of the pipeline. Check valves are used to make sure that oxygen at higher pressure cannot flow into the acetylene pipeline. If acetylene is mixed with oxygen or air in a pipeline, then it may not be contained upon ignition.
- Acetylene gas may not be piped at pressures higher than 15 PSIG.
- Acetylene gas can form explosive compounds if it comes in contact with silver, copper, and mercury.
How to Choose the Right Material for Acetylene Piping and Pipeline Systems?
The material used for acetylene, oxygen, or inert gas piping must resist the action of these gases, as well as any impurities present in them which may have severe aftereffects on the piping system. The piping system and its components must be strong enough to withstand the stresses resulting at ambient operating pressures or due to the decomposition of the gas inside the pipeline.
The following materials are recommended for piping and pipeline systems used for acetylene and other inert gases:
- Use stainless steel or seamless carbon steel for building a piping system for acetylene gas plant.
- Use malleable iron for making fittings and valves used in acetylene pipelines.
- Stainless steel is also an ideal material for piping, tubing, and pressure gauges.
- Copper, brass, steel, seamless copper, and stainless steel are ideal for piping or building a piping system for oxygen and inert gases.
- Avoid materials such as magnesium, aluminum, or zinc because they may undergo corrosion in the presence of impurities.
Tips for Acetylene Pipeline and Piping System Installation
The following tips will help improve the safety of acetylene piping systems and pipelines.
- Pipeline and piping systems for acetylene manifolds or piping system for oxygen and inert gases should be positioned away from ignition sources such as burners, pilot lamps, open flames, heating elements, cinders, and so on.
- Electrical cables should always be laid away from acetylene pipelines and piping systems.
Along with these tips, you must invest in good quality equipment to produce and distribute gases. Rexarc is the leading manufacturer of acetylene plants the US. Experts at Rexarc will help you understand the benefits of using certain materials for piping and pipeline systems specific to your applications.