Welding is an important fabrication processes in various manufacturing industries. There are different types of welding procedures. One important type is gas-welding. In this type of welding, the heat necessary for the process is produced by the combustion of oxygen and acetylene. Sometimes, hydrogen, butane, and propane are also used as replacements of acetylene. The combination of oxygen and acetylene to cut metals has been in use since approximately 1906. Over the years, acetylene has earned a recognition as one of the safest, yet strongest welding gas. But, there is a rising misconception that propane is a better welding gas than acetylene. This post shares differences between these gases and discusses the benefits offered by acetylene gas in detail.
Gas Welding – 4 Degrees of Difference between Propane and Acetylene
The following are major differences between propane and acetylene:
1. Flame Temperature: Propane produces a flame temperature of ~2800 degree Celsius when burned in oxygen. Acetylene produces a flame temperature of ~3100 degree Celsius along with oxygen. This high flame temperature makes acetylene a suitable choice for gas welding steel.
2. Welding: When burned in oxygen, acetylene produces a reducing zone, which easily cleans the metal surface. However, propane doesn’t have a reducing zone. This property makes it unsuitable for welding. Today, oxy-acetylene welding is employed for high strength steels.
3. Safety: The efficiency of acetylene when used with oxygen is very high. This means that the gasses, especially the oxygen, lasts longer. Thus, this results in less cylinder handling.
4. Economic Benefits: Acetylene has less stoichiometric oxygen requirements when compared to propane. The ratio of the volume of propane is 4.3 to 1, whereas for acetylene it is 1.2 to 1. This means more oxygen gets consumed while using propane than acetylene.
All the above-mentioned differences suggest why acetylene is preferred over propane. Do you want to know more about the benefits of using oxy-acetylene for gas welding? The next section discusses it in detail.
3 Reasons Why Acetylene is Ideal for Welding
The following points will help you understand why acetylene is preferred for welding, since 1906.
1. A Safe Fuel: Safety is an important priority in most process industries. As acetylene is lighter than air, there are rare chances of them accumulating at low levels. This property makes it safe to use in any processing facility or in underground applications.
2. Excellent Welding Quality: Acetylene is the hottest fuel gas when combined with oxygen. In the right applications, this makes acetylene ideal for welding different steel materials.
3. Money Saver: Oxy-acetylene is well-known for its flexibility, and is suited for various machining operations other welding, such as brazing, cutting, etc.
In acetylene gas filling plants and other applications, acetylene cylinders for welding are available in various sizes. This flexibility makes them easy to source and transport when compared to other fuel gases.
Rexarc is one of the leading manufacturers of equipment for filling acetylene cylinders for welding. The team at Rexarc will help you understand the specifications and additional advantages of using acetylene for gas welding.